"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

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Journal of Matthew Stirling
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August 29, 1926 : Head Camp (Lower & Upper) ; Overland Trail/Upper Rouffaer/Nogullo River ; Rouffaer River

August 29

"The Dyaks are tireless, {p. 227} burdened each with sixty pound packs, they hike right along..."

During the night the river arose over ten feet, so it's lucky the transport came yesterday, otherwise it would have been impossible for them to make it. At 7 A.M. we crossed River "C" and started up the trail along the Rouffaer which Jordans had been making. It is about the most difficult country conceivable, with sheer drops up and down steep ravines, winding along high precipices with long detours now and then around a perpendicular gorge. After two hours Shorty gave up the ghost and was sent back to camp. The Dyaks are tireless, {p. 227} burdened each with sixty pound packs, they hike right along over a trail where most of the time we were using both feet and both hands. We crossed two small streams en route and at about 4:30 P.M. came to a big tributary river of fine clear water flowing into the Rouffaer from the west side. It tumbles down through the rocks with more than double the volume of water of River "C" and makes a substantial contribution to the Rouffaer, whose roaring, wildly churning muddy waters it joins about 200 yards below where we made camp for the night after a day of most exhausting work. As soon as our shelters were up, a steady rain set in.

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