HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 249

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artificial channels, exhibited splendid crops of wheat and barley. Groves of very ancient olive-trees existed in the valley, and we halted beneath the first oaktrees that I had seen in Cyprus. These were widespreading, although not high, and I measured the girth of one solid stem—eighteen feet. W e had hardly off-saddled, when crowds of women and children collected from all quarters, with a few men, to stare at the new-comers ; not at me personally, j but at my wife. They were, if possible, more filthy I than the average of Cyprian women, and a great proportion of the children were marked with recent' attacks of small-pox. I regretted that I had not a' supply of crackers to throw amongst and disperse the] crowd that daily pestered us ; any lady that in futurej may travel through Cyprus should have a portmanteau full of such simple fireworks. It was in vain to explainJ that the people were a nuisance if too near : when driven! to a moderate distance, they would advance shyly, b y degrees ; two or three children would come forward] and sit down a few paces in front of the main body a after a few minutes several others would overstep this-j frontier and sit down five or six yards in advance o i the last comers, and by this silent system of skirmish-1 ing we were always surrounded in twenty minutes after' the original crowd had been dispersed. I did not mind them so long as they were not in personal contact, and were free from recent small-pox ; but some of the redpitted faces were full of warning. There was nothing of interest to detain us at Polis, and we started early upon the 19th April towards Baffo. The valley through which the river Aspropotamo had deposited a layer of fertile alluvium divided the moun-* tain range, leaving the plutonic rocks to the east ; an !

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