HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 351

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to the primaeval forests ; he had therefore felled, and left to rot, the greater portion of the trees ; but finding the labour beyond his means, he had contented himself with barking, ringing, and hacking at the base of the remainder, to ensure their ultimate destruction. The extreme heights of Troodos, shoulders and head, are about 6300 feet above the sea, from which altitude the pines and cypress descend to within 1500 feet of the level. There are rough native mulepaths throughout the mountains, and the sure-footed animals will carry a man with ease where walking would be most fatiguing, owing to the loose rocks and smaller stones, which cover every inch of the surface. I have walked and ridden over the greater portion, but in all cases I have been overcome with anger and dismay at the terrible exhibition of wanton and unwarrantable desolation. If a hurricane had passed over the country and torn up by the roots nine trees out of every ten that composed the forest, the destruction would be nothing compared to that of the native Cypriote, who mutilates those which he has not felled ; the wind would only upturn, but would spare those whose strength had resisted the attack. Magnificent trees lie rotting upon the ground in thousands upon thousands, untouched since the hour when they fell before the most scientifically applied axe. I never saw a higher example of woodcraft. The trunks of pines two feet in diameter are cut so carefully, that the work of the axe is almost as neat as that of a cross-cut saw. These large trees are divided about four feet from the ground, as that is a convenient height for the woodman, and spares his back from stooping to his blow. Each cut with the axe is nearly at a right angle with the stem,

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