Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/163

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
133
Geographical Notice of the Empire of Marocco.
 

Itinerary, 19th day, December 2.

Course S.W. by S. 16 miles; road now quits the sea-coast, and assumes a more direct course towards the capital, across a series of elevated plains or table lands, stretching to the foot of Atlas, to which we ascend by three great steps. Enter the province of Ducaila, celebrated for its breed of horses, and its woollen manufactory, in the shape of sulhams, 'haicks, carpets, &c.; soil of the plain, light loam, covered with stones, flint, &c.; eight Arab camps; five tombs; several springs and wells; much cultivation; gardens; fields of Indian corn; a few scattered palm-trees, otherwise no wood; ascended by a rocky road, hard sandstone basis, about three hundred feet, on to an elevated plain, reaching to the horizon, except in the south-east quarter, where is a solitary hill, called Gibbel 'Khaddār (or green mountain), much resembling the 'lone Soracte,' rising in the Campagna di Roma.

Itinerary, 20th and 21st days, December 3, 4.

Course S.S.W. 14 miles, over an open plain, rather ascending; soil, light loam, stony: stunted palm; palmetto; a few flocks of sheep; herds of cattle; ten Arab encampments; seven saints' tombs;—from summit of plain caught first glimpse of

Atlas;—At sunset splendid view of the snowy peaks of the long looked for Atlas, which we now see in all their glory lighted up by the western sun; an extensive plain in every direction, and apparently reaching to their feet; the masses of snow before us are magnificent, but detached, as seen from this distance, upwards of a hundred miles; the whole group bounding the arc of the horizon between south-east by south, and south by west; the highest isolated peak south-south-east.

Itinerary, 22d and 23d days, December 5, 6.

S.E. by S. 30 miles; still journeying over an extensive plain far as the eye can reach; at times not a tree nor a building, except a solitary saint's tomb, to break the level. Seeing a horseman or tall camel on the horizon is like meeting a ship at sea; first his head, then his body, then the animal on which he rides, is visible. Soil of the plain, light loam, occasionally sandy and gravelly; palmetto and colocynth occurring in swampy spots; fine grass occasionally; patches of Guinea corn; gardens; twelve tombs; twenty Arab encampments; the tents now take the form of bee-hives, and are usually rudely thatched with straw. Passed a large market to-day, held in the midst of the great plain; camels, horses, mules, asses, rude implements of husbandry, coarse woollen manufactures, corn, vegetables, fruit, dates, almonds, 'hhenna, &c., exposed for sale; snowy peaks of Atlas beautifully silvered by the meridian sun; encamped at the foot of a semi-circular range of small hills, varying from one hundred to one