ARGENTINA NATURE’S SUPERSTRUCTURES
Nature’s Superstructures Argentina BY PAUL BIRD
he air was silent and still except for the oddest occasional creak, like an aging galleon at sea. “It’s falling,” someone shouted excitedly, as I spun to see a sizeable chunk of glacier breaking and crumbling into the water below. Huge calving chunks of ice fell suddenly creating a mini tsunami which echoed and
rippled across the lake. A three-hour flight south of Buenos Aires takes you to the small town of El Calafate. This southerly point, home to around 20,000 people, is the gateway to the glaciers and unspoilt scenery at its very best. There are few towns in the world further south and upon arrival
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you feel a rewarding sense of discovery of a landscape far away. Appreciation of the scale of the area and a few facts are key to understanding what a unique place you are in. Remarkably for a lake fed by such massive glaciers, Lake Argentina sits at only 187 metres above sea level. On my visit to the most famous of glaciers, Perito Moreno, the answer
is offered as to how at this altitude it is possible for such impressive glaciers to form. It’s the Andes, plain and simple, the geographical wall that straddles virtually the entire Chilean – Argentine border that are fully responsible. As warm air currents flow east across the Pacific, the humidity is dramatically absorbed by the mountain range. Only the coldest air is able to
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