March 30th – Left early this morning for the Dead Sea, Jordan and Jericho. Passed Bethany and soon got into the Wilderness of Judea. The country was now more barren. We even went up and down chalky mountains until we reached the sea. These were some and the hills were green on the N. side. When we came to a level with the sea we passed through a cane-brake. We were surprised in finding any verdure near it. The water was washing upon the shore, along which were branches of trees and canes. There our dragoman gave us an excellent lunch, before which we bathed. After being thus refreshed we mounted our horses and were soon in the plain of the Jordan which is before Pisgah and the mountains of Moali. Here it was very hot; the plain is very large. We soon came to the river where we drank and washed our hands. Continuing up the valley of the Jordan we soon reached Jericho and its lovely plain. Passing through the modern town we came to the site of the old town which is situated near the brook Cherith or Fountain of the Sultan as it is now called. On going up to its head waters we passed through fields of red poppies nearly as far as the eye could reach, intermixed with yellow, blue, white and purple flowers. Our dragoman guided us to the left of this fountain where we found four tents pitched and a nice dinner in readiness for our disposal, which consisted of five or six courses.
On the road going to the Jordan we met 4000 or 5000 pilgrims returning, some riding on camels, donkey and horses, but the greater portion were walking, staff in hand, women on donkeys with their children which they baptized in the river. This exempts then from making the pilgrimage afterwards.
Sunday – Enjoyed communion in the English Church. Among the communicants were several Arabs; also six Turks. The eucharist was given to them in their own language. Mailed my 13th letter home; also one to Julia Davis and one to Frances.