Our German friends arrived shortly afterwards, and we all had a very hospitable reception from Mr. Gagliuffi, with whom we lodged. A few calls were made upon us in the evening, but we were glad enough to seek our beds. Next day the chief people of the city, the Kady and other dignitaries, began early to visit us. When we had exchanged compliments with them, we went in full European dress to wait on the acting Pasha. We found him to be a very quiet, unassuming man, who gave us a most kind and gentlemanlike reception, equal to anything of the kind of Tripoli. He is a Turk, and recognised me as having been before at Mourzuk. We had coffee, pipes, and sherbet made of oranges. Afterwards we visited the Treasurer, who also gave us coffee, and was very civil; and finally called upon the brother of the Governor of Ghat, who was writing letters for us to-day.
I feel in better health than when I left Tripoli. Yet we are all a little nervous about the climate of Mourzuk, which is situated in a slight depression of the plain, in a place inclined to be marshy. The Consul has just recovered from a severe illness.
We had been, in all, thirty-nine days from Tripoli, a considerable portion of which time was spent in travelling. This makes a long journey; but I am told that our camel-drivers should have brought us by way of Sebha, and thus effected a saving of three or four days. The greater portion of our sandy journey was unnecessary, and merely undertaken that these gentlemen might have an opportunity of visiting their wives and families.
On a retrospective view of the route from Tripoli to Mourzuk, via Mizdah, I am inclined to divide the country, for convenience sake, into a series of zones, or regions.
1st zone. This includes the sandy flat of the suburbs of the town of Tripoli, with the date-palm plantations and the sand-hills contiguous.
2d zone. The mountains, or Tripoline Atlas, embracing the rising ground with their influence on the northern side, and the olive and fig plantations, covering the undulating ground on the southern side, where the Barbary vegetation is seen in all its vigour and variety. This may also be emphatically called the region of rain.
3d zone. The limestone hills and broad valleys, gradually assuming the aridity of the Sahara as you proceed southward, between the town of Kaleebah and Ghareeah; the olive plantations and corn-fields disappear, entirely in this tract.
4th zone. The Hamadah, an immense desert plateau, separating Tripoli from Fezzan.
5th zone. The sandy valleys and limestone rocks between El-Hasee and Es-Shaty, where herbage and trees are found, affording food to numerous gazelles, hares, and the wadan.
6th. The sand between Shaty and El-Wady, piled in masses, or heaps, extending in undulating plains, and occasionally opening in small valleys with herbage and trees.
7th. The sandy valleys of El-Wady, covered with forests of date-palms, through which peep a number of small villages.