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In March 1863 Sir Samuel and Lady Baker were on their way from Gondokoro to Ellyria. The path was difficult; intersected by steep ravines the pack animals had to be unloaded and re-loaded many times and the men were dispirited. Samuel Baker writes “The men were hungry. But , before leaving Gondokoro I had ordered a large quantity of kisras (black pancakes) to be prepared for the march, and they were packed in a basket that had been carried on a camel; unfortunately Mrs. Baker's pet monkey had been placed upon the same camel, and he had amused himself during the night's march by feasting and filling his cheeks with the kisras, and throwing the remainder away when his hunger was satisfied. There literally was not a kisra remaining in the basket. Everyone lay down supperless to sleep. Although tired, I could not rest until I had arranged some plan for the morrow.”

Dispensing with some of his luggage and re-arranging the loads, they travelled on with Sir Samuel and Lady Baker leading. Sir Samuel writes “The valley of Ellyria was about four hundred feet below, at about a mile distant. Beautiful mountains, some two or three thousand feet high, of grey granite, walled in the narrow vale; while the landscape of forest and plain was bounded at about fifty or sixty miles' distance to the east by the blue mountains of Latooka. Below us, in the valley, I observed some prodigious trees growing close to a ravine, in which was running water, and the sides of the valley under the mountains being as usual a mass of debris of huge detached rocks, were thronged with villages, all strongly fortified with thick bamboo palisades. The whole country was a series of natural forts, occupied by a large population.”


The Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail is supported by the following partners:

For further information contact:
Julian Monroe Fisher FRGS FI'00


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