Tuesday the 13th.



Fine weather continues. Some good boxing contests during the morning; this form of sport is easily the most popular of any event contested in the competitions. Lecture by Doctor during evening on various subjects which proved very interesting.

Wednesday the 14th.

Very warm, a good indication that we were nearing Africa's coast. Told to get into our uniforms and be ready to go ashore sometime during the afternoon. Naturally we were all excited and for once went about the changing in a pleasant mood. All the afternoon the lads were straining their eyes to sight land and at about 4 p.m. their looks were gratified the faint line showing on the horizon gradually getting larger, until we were able to realize that this part of Africa is very hilly. It looked pretty, the green vegetation on the hills showing up the back ground.

On entering the harbour, on the left is what they call the "Bluff", it being a large hilly mass standing hundreds of feet above the water and forming an ideal place for the light house which is built there, and also a fort and a safeguard to the harbour. The port just at present is very busy, there are quite a number of steamers in, including some transports. We were all highly amused at the natives as the boat drew in the wharf, especially when the lads commenced throwing them pennies, they scrambled like one thing to get whatever was thrown at them. A contented lot and go about their work as happy as a larry. We were allowed off at 6 p.m. It was fine to find another earth under ones feet again. We had to fall in and march to the Town Hall singing for all we were worth, a lot of residents hearing us came out to their doors, waving their hands or whatever they could find. We were dismissed at the Town Hall until 11 p.m..

The first thing we all done was to have tea and we were taken down first go. The prices surprised us 2/6d. a meal. Some of the people told us they had a special prices for Australians in this town and it looks like it. However thanks to the Y.M.C.A. who have provided a soldiers hut where the troops can get well provided for very cheaply. After being once bitten we made this institution our only port of call for food while in town.The prices are very cheap compared with the business people, one having a real good blow out for about 9d..

The town hall is absolutely I have seen up to date and the P.O. is also a very fine building. The trams here are double deckers of an up to date type and travel very fast. The business places are up to date both in prices and looks. There is no inducement for a soldier to spend espeically on 1/- a day. The rickshaws did a splendid trade in the night. There are hundreds of these fellows plying for hire, some of them are very fine built fellows and can run like deers. The fare is 1/- a mile and I am sure they earn it. They are very fond of colours, They also paint their arms and legs with all sorts of colous, and I must here mentiont he good work the Y.M.C.A. people are doing here at present.

There are about 15000 troops in Durban nearly all Tommies so it will give you some idea of how busy these good people are. We are only able to see a small portion of the town in the few hours on shore, and looking forward to the following day to view the place and surroundings, but, alas, I was doomed to disappointment, being detailed for picquet duty until 6.30 a.m.. This meant being quartered at the local police station, remaining there all the afternoon, should any of our fellows cause a disturbance in the city we would be called out. We were allowed the use of the Library there and were made as comfortable as possible, nevertheless I would much sooner have preferred to wander round the town.



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