THE SOUTHERN EDGE OF THE Tíh.
Start from Suez. — Our Dress and Equipment. — Scene on Landing. — Wády 'Amárah and Bir Abu Suweirah. — Head of Wády Gharandel. — Arab Version of the Story of Shylock. — Wády WuTáh. — Another Christmasday in the Desert. — We appear in the character of Snake-charmers. — Journey from the Convent to 'Ain Hudherah. — Jebel 'Arádeb. — The Haiwátt Arabs. — Wády el 'Ain. — 'Ain el 'Elyá; Nawámís. — El Migráh. — Wády el Biyár. — More primeval Remains. — Arrangement of ancient pastoral Camps. — Jebel el 'Ejmeh. — We enter the Tíh. — First Impressions. — Meeting with a Family of Teyáhah Arabs.
ON the 16th of December, 1869, we again left the comfortable hotel at Suez, and embarked for the Asiatic side of the canal.
If the society of that lively town had gazed in amazement at the unusually extensive caravan with which the Ordnance Survey Expedition had departed for Mount Sinai the previous year, they were absolutely aghast at the equipment with which Drake and I committed ourselves to the mercy of the. Wilderness, and there were not wanting those who, as they saw our small boat-load of boxes and Bedawín push off for the Asiatic side of the canal, regarded us in the light of harmless lunatics, and looked upon our expedition as little better than suicide. But there were unknown deserts to explore, strange and possibly hostile tribes to encounter, and we judged it best to dispense with all unnecessary baggage; while, as we could work much better on foot, riding camels would have been a mere useless expense.
Our only escort consisted of the owners of the camels which carried our camp-furniture and provisions, and, these being changed from time to time as we passed from one tribe to another, we may be said to have performed our journey absolutely unattended and alone.