HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 306

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worthless for other uses. The vine requires little water after the young grapes have formed, and the burning sun-light which is favourable for their development would destroy all cereals upon those steep inclinations, where a casual shower, instead of soaking into the earth and nourishing the crops, rushes quickly over the surface and drains superficially into the deep vale below. The land of the vineyards is wine land, and adapted specially by the quality of the soil and the peculiarity of climate for the production of grapes, in addition to the impossibility of converting this land io other purposes of cultivation would be the loss to the proprietor of all his plant, buildings, jars, &c , &c , which would become valueless. This is, as well as I can describe the grievances, the real position of the vine-grower. Although since the British occupation he has escaped the extra extortion of the tax-farmer, he is still the slave of petty vexations and delays, which strangle him in red-tape and render his avocation a misery ; without profit, leaving only a bare subsistence. What is to be done ? The first necessary change is a system of roads, only sufficiently wide to admit of the native two-wheeled carts, with sidings every half mile to enable them to pass when meeting. Our usual English mistake has been made, in the only two metalled highways that the engineers have constructed in Cyprus, "that everything must be English ; " thus we have two costly roads of great width from Larnaca to Lefkosia, and from Limasol to Platraes, which are entirely unsuitable to the requirements of the country ; and as there are no branch roads in communication, the people are hardly benefited, as they cannot reach the main artery with wheeled conveyances. The military road

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