- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
401

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XVIII. From the Buréya to Transbaikalia

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FROM THE BURÉYA TO TRANSBAIKALIA
front of us ; it was an outcrop of basalt standing by
itself in the midst of the flat plain. The basalt had
come up through a crack in the earth’s crust, and from
this little hill stone is being quarried for the work on
the tunnel at Ganukan. The stone is hard and good,
they say.
Late in the afternoon wc arrived at the Buréya, the
great tributary of the Amiir. Here wc had to part
from the motor-car and cross the river in a boat. The
bridge, 600 yards long, is to be finished next year, but
all wc saw was some holes in the sand for the first pier.
There was a big town here, with life and activity on
every hand. Tradesmen have built their shops and
stores, and a year and a half ago there was scarcely a
house.
At sunset wc made a trip up the river by a branch
line leading to a quarry. There was fine scenery with
hills on both sides and rich vegetation. Then came a
glowing sunset, and after that the moon, and it was
fully night before wc came back. Much gold has been
found on the banks of this river above here ; but it
often runs through ravines with sheer cliffs in a wild
mountain country. A little way from here there is a
lofty peak which rises abruptly from the river-bank.
There is a story that some time ago a party of gold
miners, who were descending the river in a boat, were
wrecked at the foot of this peak. Their boat was
dashed against the cliff by the rapid stream and smashed;
they barely succeeded in saving themselves, but lost
their food and everything else and had no means of
going on ; the marshy forest is quite impassable. They
starved to death ; but before they died they scrambled
right up to the top of the cliff to look for the
possibility of help, and on the face of the rock below
the summit they had scratched something about the
2C 401

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