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Monday 30, 2009

UFO Crashes and Blackouts in Northern Argentina

Google Earth is one of those Internet-age novelties that have made the world smaller and more accessible for the armchair explorer, relegating the old atlas and travel guide to the bookcase. Typing in a few words will take you to places that you’re unlikely to see in a lifetime, or even in many lifetimes (ninety per cent of us are tied to our jobs!). This surely applies to the vast spaces of Northern Argentina, where satellite images present the viewer with lonely roads, the odd farmstead, endless cultivated fields or wilderness areas bordering the vast and unforgiving Andean Cordillera and its tributary mountain chains. These brown, black, grey and sometimes green spaces are relegated by human cartography as brightly colored provinces with names that do not quite connect to the barren landscape – Jujuy, Salta, Tucuman – and towns whose nomenclature ranges from native toponyms to those of brave settlers who gambled their lives in colonizing the area.

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