Glaciers, dogs, and birds

El Calafate, a town in Argentine Patagonia, has the look of a frontier town, with buildings thrown up slapdash out of whatever scraps were at hand. The landscape itself is sere and twisted.

The gorse-like bush at the edge of the photo with the yellow flowers is called el calafate, and despite its thorns, its berries are picked for jam and liquor, makeup and whatever else the industrious population can think to make of them.

But as the natural wonders that surround the town have become an increasing tourist draw, it’s as if a Disney theme park had appeared next door, and hotels, restaurants and shops have instantly sprung up to accommodate trekkers, sightseers, and tourists of all sorts.

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