After sailing five days from Gezan, having always the coast on our left hand, we came in sight of some habitations where 14 of us went on shore in hopes of procuring some provisions from the inhabitants; but instead of giving us victuals they threw stones at us from slings, so that we were constrained to fight them in our own defence. There were about 100 of these inhospitable natives, who had no other weapons except slings, and yet fought us for an hour; but 24 of them being slain the rest fled, and we brought away from their houses some poultry and calves, which we found very good. Soon afterwards the natives returned, being reinforced by others to the number of five or six hundred; but we departed with our prey and reimbarked.
Continuing our voyage, we arrived on the same day at an island named Kamaran, which is ten miles in circuit. This island has a town of two hundred houses, inhabited by Mahometans, and has abundance of flesh and fresh water, and the fairest salt I ever saw. The port of Kamaran is eight miles from the Arabian coast, and is subject to the sultan of Amanian or Yaman, a kingdom of Arabia Felix. Having remained here two days, we again made sail for the mouth of the Red Sea, where we arrived in other two days. From Kamaran to the mouth of the Red Sea the navigation is safe both night and day; But from Juddah to Kamsran the Red Sea can only be navigated by day, as already stated, on account of shoals and rocks. On coming to the mouth of the Red Sea, we seemed quite inclosed, as the strait is very narrow, being only three miles across. On the right hand, or Ethiopian coast, the shore of the continent is about ten paces in height, and seems a rude uncultivated soil; and on the left hand, or coast of Arabia, there rises a very high rocky hill. In the middle of the strait is a small uninhabited island called Bebmendo, and those who sail from the Red Sea towards Zeyla, leave this island on the left hand. Such, on the contrary, as go for Aden, must keep the north eastern passage, leaving this island on the right.
[Footnote 48: This word is an obvious corruption of Bab-el-Mondub, the Arabic name of the straits, formerly explained as signifying the gate or passage of lamentation. The island in question is named Prin.—E.]
We sailed for Bab-al-Mondub to Aden, in two days and a half, always having the land of Arabia in sight on our left. I do not remember to have seen any city better fortified than Aden. It stands on a tolerably level plain, having walls on two sides: all the rest being inclosed by mountains, on which there are five fortresses. This city contains 6000 houses, and only a stone’s throw from the city there is a mountain having a castle on its summit, the shipping being anchored at the foot of the mountain. Aden is an excellent city, and the chief place in all Arabia Felix, of which it is the principal mart, to which merchants resort from