The second bridge from the island to the western bank of the river was not so elaborate, the stream being slightly narrower than on the other side. The line led through fertile fields thence almost up to the pyramids: lucerne was the commonest crop & was growing luxuriantly, stray charlock (wild mustard) plants with their yellow flowers standing out prominently.
The irrigation water was applied when the crop was abt 6 inches high in one place. I could not see how the natives cut it, but when cut it was piled on to donkeys' back, a huge bundle hanging on each side in place of panniers, & a native perching himself in between the two on the rump, & seemingly guiding the animal by flicking one ear or the other with a switch.
Only one plough was seen, drawn by 2 Indian oxen or buffaloes, the distance being too great to distinguish which. A cylinder fitted with a kind of Archimedes screw was seen in operation raising water from a canal over the embankment of the field, & in another a buffalo was lazily lying in a lucerne patch recently cut, & scampering over its back were two black & white kids!
I saw 2 sheep, most peculiar animals, lean & large-boned with big brown lop-ears & long tails. A cereal (probably wheat) about 8 inches high & sown very thickly was also abundant, sugar-cane being about the only other crop noted: the latter was poor compared with what I had been accustomed to in Fiji: one small patch of cotton was seen, but only abt ¼ acre.
About ½ way out to the Pyramids are the Zoological Gardens, - said to be good, - & near them, as at several spots along the route was an encampment.