Monday 35th day (7 May 1917)

Alas – our boat went out into the stream this morning, and is now awaiting convoy.  Tobacco, railway fares, fruit in season, servants and labour, are cheap, meals, food stuffs etc. very dear, also firewood, but salaries are correspondingly higher.  I had on occasions a glass of brandy with K. and have never tasted spirit which I cared so much about.  The reason is, here distillers are under compulsion to make brandy out of wine.  The city and suburbs are situated at the root or isthmus of a long narrow peninsular dividing two large bays (see atlas).  The water in the bay on which the city stands is cold, but that of the other bay is much warmer and its shores are consequently the favourite watering places.  The higher ground is stony and rocky and of a reddish volcanic appearance, though not scoriac, and is thinly coated with a stunted kind of heath and scattered hardy-looking trees.  On the low country there is grass and the soil is sandy though good for certain purposes, such as growing vegetables.  What with the heathers, of which there are numerous varieties, and all the other flowering things, it must be a wonderful sight in spring.

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