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Tuesday, 9 August 2011


The white potato originated in the Andes mountains and was probably brought to Britain by Sir Francis Drake about 1586.

Half the foods eaten throughout the world today were developed by farmers in the Andes Mountains. They include potatoes, maize, sweet potatoes, squash, all varieties of beans, peanuts, manioc, papayas, strawberries and mulberries amongst many others.

The Andes is the longest mountain range in the world, extending 5,000 miles, and its peaks exceed 12,000 ft in height for half that length.

The highest peak is Cerro Aconcagua (22,834 ft) in Argentina, which is the highest mountain in the Western hemisphere.

Three railways cross the Andes: from Valparaíso (Chile) to Buenos Aires (Argentina), from Antofagasta (Chile) to Salta (Argentina), and Antofagasta via Uyuni (Bolivia) to Asunción (Paraguay).

Newcomers to the Andean plateau, suffer from puna, mountain sickness, but indigenous peoples have hearts and lungs adapted to altitude.

Sources Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2011. Helicon Publishing,

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