A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 665 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 02.
to the west for a considerable space.  The coast of Africa, to the southwards of Cape Bronco, falls in considerably to the eastwards, forming a great bay or gulf, called the Forna of Arguin, from a small island of that name.  This gulf extends about fifty miles into the land, and has three other islands, one of which is named Branco by the Portuguese, or the White Island, on account of its white sands; the second is called Garze, or the Isle of Herons, where they found so many eggs of certain seabirds as to load two boats; the third is called Curoi, or Cori.  These islands are all small, sandy, and uninhabited.  In that of Arguin there is plenty of fresh water, but there is none in any of the others.  It is proper to observe, that on keeping to the southwards, from the Straits of Gibraltar, the coast of exterior Barbary is inhabited no farther than Cape Cantin[1], from whence to Cape Branco is the sandy country or desert, called Saara or Saharra by the natives, which is divided from Barbary or Morocco on the north by the mountains of Atlas, and borders on the south with the country of the Negroes, and would require a journey of fifty days to cross,—­in some places more, in others less.  This desert reaches to the ocean, and is all a white dry sand, quite low and level, so that no part of it seems higher than any other.  Cape Branco, or the White Cape, so named by the Portuguese from its white colour, without trees or verdure, is a noble promontory of a triangular shape, having three separate points about a mile from each other.

Innumerable quantities of large and excellent fish of various kinds are caught on this coast, similar in taste to those we have at Venice, but quite different in shape and appearance.  The gulf of Arguin is shallow all over, and is full of shoals both of rocks and sand; and, as the currents are here very strong, there is no sailing except by day, and even then with the lead constantly heaving.  Two ships have been already lost on these shoals.  Cape Branco lies S.W. of Cape Cantin, or rather S. and by W. Behind Cape Branco there is a place called Hoden, six days journey inland on camels, which is not walled, but is much frequented by the Arabs and caravans, which trade between Tombucto,[2] and other places belonging to the Negroes, and the western parts of Barbary.  The provisions at Hoden are dates and barley, which they have in plenty, and the inhabitants drink the milk of camels and other animals, as they have no wine.  They have some cows and goats, the former being greatly smaller than those of Italy; but the number of these is not great, as the country is very dry.  The inhabitants are all Mahometans, and great enemies to the Christians, and have no settled habitations, but wander continually over the deserts.  They frequent the country of the Negroes, and visit that side of Barbary which is next the Mediterranean.  On these expeditions they travel in numerous caravans,

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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