Competition: Literally Lost: 47

This excerpt has been taken from a work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us:

a) where is the action taking place?

b) who is the author? Blackwell's Bookshops will give pounds 30 worth of book- tokens to the first correct answer out of the hat. Answers on a postcard to: Literally Lost, "Independent on Sunday", 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Usual competition rules apply. Entries to arrive by this Thursday.

They are laid down in the Longitude of 181, reaching to the Westward as far as 176, therefore their Longitude from England Westward is about 68 degrees. But I believe our Hydrographers do not place them far enough to the Westward. The Spaniards who first discovered them, and in whose draughts alone they are laid down, report them to be a great number stretching North-West from the Line, as far as 5 degrees N., but we saw no more than 14 or 15. Some of them are 7 or 8 Leagues long, and 3 or 4 broad.

They are of a good height, most of them flat and even on the top. Four or five of the Easternmost are rocky, barren and hilly, producing neither Tree, Herb, nor Grass, except a few Dildo-trees by the Seaside. The Dildo- tree is a green prickly shrub, that grows about 10 or 12 feet high, without either Leaf or Fruit. It is as big as a Man's Leg, from the root to the top, and it is full of sharp prickles, growing in thick rows from top to bottom. This shrub is fit for no use, not so much as to burn. Close by the Sea there grows in some Places Bushes of Burton-wood which is very good firing. This sort of Wood grows in many Places in the West Indies, especially in the Bay of Campeachy and the Samballoes. I never saw any in these Seas but here. There is Water on these barren Islands, in ponds and holes among the Rocks. Some of the other Islands are mostly plain and low, and the Land more fertile, producing Trees of diverse sorts, unknown to us. Some of the Westernmost of these Islands are nine or ten Leagues long, and six or seven broad, the Mould deep and black. These produce Trees of great and tall Bodies, especially Mammee-trees, which grow here in great Groves. In these large Islands there are some pretty big Rivers; and in many of the other lesser Islands there are Brooks of good Water.

The Spaniards, when they first discovered these Islands, found Multitudes of Guanoes and Land-turtle, or Tortoise. I believe there is no place in the World that is so plentifully stored with those Animals. The Guanoes here are as fat and large as any that I ever saw, and they are so tame that a Man may knock down twenty in an Hour's Time with a Club.

Literally Lost 46: The book was 'African Laughter' by Doris Lessing. The location was Zimbabwe. The winner is LM Williams of Cardiff.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £32,000 Uncapped

    £22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £10,000 Uncapped - Part Time

    £7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Digital Marketing Executive (CRM, Eve...

    Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Sales / Customer Service Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea