Journals

Second Journey (MS 107/1/1-2)

30th October 1777


transcription

[30th October 1777 and 31st October 1777]
30

vertrokken met den dag door een moeyelyke passagie zodat onse wagen omsloeg, dog gelukkig brak niets, na alles in omtrent een uur geklaart te hebben vervolgden wy onse reis, vonden vier a vyf schapen nog versch van de wolf(hyena)geslagt, en een het geen in een berg liep en hun ontsnapt was kwam op myn roepen naar myn toe gelopen, en volgden tot het weer by den trop een half uur van daar kwam
na oostwaards een groot uur door een tamelyk effen caro velt door de boeren dus dog door de hottentotten [blank]
of bosjes velt, kwamen wy in hoge ruggen so dat wy dan noordoost dan zuidoost, en met allerley draayen omtrent middag by de grote rivier, dewelke midden door die cloof draayden, en ťan ćou è genaamt is op hottentots buffels land rivier, zy ontspringt aan de westelyke zyde van het swarte gebergte loopt, aan de noodzyde der tousberg, zuidoost door 't canna land en verliest zig ten zuiden, digt by de poort van de grote keten daar de gourits rivier doorloopt, in deselve.
zy droogt uit in de zoomer, liep nu tamelyk snel en breed, met vele bogten, dog was niet diep, passeerden deselve tamelyk gemakkelyk na eerst op den oever uitgespannen en gegeten te hebben.
onse eene hottentot mallegaas is agtergebleven, om dat het paard dat hy leid flaauw is, vervolgden oost aan door een zeer moeyelyk wagenpad door hoge ruggens, tot de gourits rivier, dewelke omtrent twe uren verder als de grote rivier, hier zuidelyk met draayen langs de z o lage punt der rode bergen draait, dan zuidelyk
*[in margin:] *de gamka of leewe rivier loopt door de swarte berg zuid ten oosten by de gamdous berg daar in de cloov de oliphant rivier door de rode berg loopt in gourits of canny camma rivier. de paarde craal rivier die van atquas cloov komt loopt digt by de poort in gourits rivier

door de voornoemde poort der grote keten Zuid in de visbaay in zee loopt, dese gourits rivier heet daar wy hem passeerden van de rode berg tot by daar de groote keten ćanny ćamma of draay water op hottentots. heet oliphants rivier van het oosten langs de zuid zyde der swarte bergen z west lopende, en door de grote keten zynde, gourits rivier. dit is een der grootste rivieren der colonie en seer quaad hier te passeren door zyne steile oevers, was tamelyk breed en diep, waaren dikwels op het punt om omteslaan, en in de steilte alles te breken, waaren hem omtrent half zeven gepasseert, eer wy de andere steille oever beklommen waaren, was het donker en ons eene span ossen die door de rivier gejaagt waaren verlooren, zo dat myn hottentot en zyn zoon terug bleven om ze te soeken, passeerde de hoogte dog weder op het punt om ieder reis omteslaan, moetende wy de wagen met riemen tegen houden
kwamen omtrent half tien aan de slange rivier, een kleine droge rivier waar in enige kuilen enigsins brak water, spanden in een vlak dal met hoge ruggens omgeven, uit. sloegen onse tent op, en na wat gegeten te hebben leiden ons te rust, hadden om onse paarden te spaaren byna altoos gemarcheert, onse coers is over het geheel oost ten noord een geweest
7 a agt uren distantie dog wel 12 door de hoogtens en draayen. het terrein in dit Canna land is ook als zedert hottentot holland alles klei met rotsen en klippen, en de laag zeer dun, meest ros agtig dog door de droogte is het zeer hard. heeft byna geen gras als in regen dog struiken en kruiden, veel misembriantimums van verscheide couleuren euphorbiaas, aloes hier en daar, de canna is een misembriantimum, kleine witte bloemen

[annotated on page 33:]

den 30

[om ses] [agt] [twaalf] [ses] [agt]
52 69 75 66 [blank]

peilden mooy weer bewolkte lugt zagte z weste wind s'avons enige weerligt.

[page 34-35]
[31st October 1777; the date not signalled by Gordon and no meteorological readings]

passeerden s'morgens twe slegte vee plaatsen digt onder het gebergte de grote keten gelegen om het water het koorn stond goed, zy brengen enige erten en bonen aan de caap en leven verder van vee meest schapen, de grote keten is hier door dit land meest steil en rotsig, daar door loopt het water aan dese zyde schilyk weg, en heeft rykelyk water aan de zuidzyde der keten, peilde de poort der keten daar de gourits rivier doorloopt van de hoogte onses legerplaats z z west.

[annotated on page 35:]

[om ses] [agt] [twaalf] [ses] [agt]
[blank] [blank] [blank] [blank] [blank]

translation

[30th October 1777 and 31st October 1777]

Temperature. 6 o’ clock in the morning 8 o’ clock in the morning Afternoon 12 o'clock Evening 6 o'clock Evening 8 o'clock
52 69 75 66 [blank]

Fine weather. Overcast sky. Soft south-west wind. Some lightning in the evening.

Departed at daybreak through a difficult pass, causing our wagon to overturn but fortunately nothing was broken. Having got everything ready in about an hour we continued our journey. We came upon four or five sheep which had just been killed by wolves (hyenas) and one, which had run into the mountains and had escaped them, came running to me when I called it and followed us till it reached the flock half an hour from there.

After going on eastwards for a good hour across fairly regular Karoo-country, thus called by the farmers though the Hottentots call it [blank] or shrub-veld we came into high ridges so that going north northeast and then southeast with all manner of turns reached at about midday the Groote River which twists through the middle of the kloof and is Tau cou è in Hottentot or “Buffalo Country River”. It has its source on the western side of the Swartberg range and runs to the north of the Touwsberg and south-east through Cannaland and loses itself in the south in the Gourits river close to the defile through the great chain in which the Gourits runs. It dries out in summer, is now running wide and fairly swiftly with many bends but was not deep. We crossed same fairly easily having first outspanned on the bank and eaten. One of our Hottentots, Mallegaas, has stayed behind because the horse he is leading is weak. We continued going east over a very difficult wagon-road, across high ridges, up to the Gourits River, which approximately two hours further than the Groote River, here turns southwards with bends along the south-east lower point of the Rode Berg, then flows southwards through the afore-mentioned defile in the great chain and south into Fish Bay and the sea. [In margin:] the Gamka or Leeuwen River runs through the Swartberg mountains south by east at the Camdousberg. where the Oliphants River flows through kloof in the the Rodeberg and into the Gourits or Canna River. The Paardekraal River, which comes through Attaquaskloof runs into the Gourits River, close to the defile.
This Gourits River, at the point where we crossed going from the Roode Berg up the great chain, is called, Canny Camma or “Twisting Water” in Hottentot. It is called the Oliphants River from the east where it runs south-west on the southern side of the Swartberg mountains, and it is through the great chain it is called the Gourits River. This is one of the largest rivers in the colony and crossing it here is very irksome on account of its steep banks. It was fairly wide and deep and we were frequently on the point of overturning and of breaking everything on the slope. Had crossed it at about half past six. It was dark before we had ascended the steep bank on the other side and one of our teams of oxen that was being driven through the river became lost so that my Hottentot and his son stayed behind to look for them. We crossed over the heights but were again on the point of overturning at any moment, having to check the wagon steady with leather straps. We reached the Slang River at about half past nine, a small dry river with some pools of rather brack water, and outspanned in a flat valley encircled by high hills. We pitched our tent and, after we had had something to eat, laid ourselves down to rest. For almost the whole time we had tramped on foot in order to spare our horses.
For the most part our route has been east by north as the crow flies for a distance of seven to eight hours, but it has taken a good twelve on account of the heights and bends. The terrain in this Cannaland is also as it has been since Hottentots Holland, all clay with rocks and stones, the layer is very thin and mostly reddish-brown; but it is very hard because of the drought. There is hardly any grass except when it rains but there are shrubs and herbs and many mesembryanthemums of differing colours with euphorbias and aloes here and there. The canna is a mesembryanthemum, with small white flowers.

[page 34-35]
[31st October 1777; the date not signalled by Gordon and no meteorological readings]

This morning we passed two poor stock-farms directly beneath the mountains (the great chain), situated there on account of the water. There was a good stand of wheat. They bring a few peas and beans to Cape Town, and for the rest they live by their livestock, mostly sheep. In this part of the country the great chain is mostly steep and rocky. For this reason water runs off very rapidly on this side; and there is plenty of water on the southern side of the chain. From the heights of our camp, I took bearings on the defile where the Gourits River runs through the chain: south south-west.