- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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These roads, by the way, show how cheap land is
here, for they are broad beyond all reason. First the
road itself has a great breadth, at least double that of a
Norwegian high road. But after all this is not so strange,
as the making of it cannot cost very much ; all that is
done is to lay some gravel on the top of the ground,
which is otherwise left almost as it was. And over this
gravel one drives, as well and as long as one can. But
then by the side of these roads there are broad stretches
of grass for riding and walking over—and driving over
too, when the roads themselves become too impassable.
Besides this the telegraph line has a broad låne where all
trees and bushes have been cut down, and where one
can also ride and drive at a pinch. If wc add all this
together, it gives a broad stretch of ground which, if it is
not all regular road, at all events may serve for traffic.
Towards evening we met a large drove of cows,
several hundreds of them. These cows had been bought
by a Yeniseisk trader in the Minusinsk district and were
now on their way north. As far as I could see, the herd
was simply driven forward across all the meadows and
the cows grazed where they happened to come, without
anybody’s leave being asked, and I suppose it would
never occur to anyone to make an objection. In this
vast country there is room for everybody, and the
grazing of a few droves of cattle more or less makes
no difference.
The drove was in charge of some mounted herdsmen.
One of them presented a very striking appearance as he
sat on his pony, rolling a cigarette, in the middle of the
herd, with the cows grazing all round him. They were
comparatively large and powerful animals and looked
well. Originally, no doubt, they were Mongolian cattle,
of which a good deal is imported. From China a
considerable quantity of horned cattle comes into

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