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5月19日号 ペルーの山に観光客殺到、環境破壊の懸念も

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gasp for breath
息を切らす
peak
頂(後出 ridge は尾根)
~ meters above sea level
標高~メートル
color ~
~に色をつける
sediment
堆積(たいせき)物
lay (→ laid) down
築く
tectonic plate
地質構造プレート
remote
人里離れた
(be) home to ~
~が暮らす
struggling
生活苦と闘っている(後出 struggle with ~は~に苦しむ)
herder
飼育する人(写真説明の muleteer はラバ追い)
environmentalist
環境保護論者
treasured
貴重な(後出 prized は価値のある)
ecological
生態学の(後出 biologist は生物学者)
kill the ... eggs
目先の利益に目がくらんで将来の利益を失うことのたとえ
threatened
絶滅の恐れのある
dirt trail
未舗装の道
erode
損なう(後出 scar も同意)
wetland
湿地
migrate
移動する
flood of ~
あふれかえる~
indigenous
先住民の
alcoholism
アルコール依存症
malnutrition
栄養失調
net ~ ...
~に…をもたらす
take up
再開する
ancestral
先祖代々の
haul
引っ張る

Color and Shadow   

Tourists gasp for breath as they climb for two hours to a peak in the Peruvian Andes that stands 5,000 meters above sea level. They are tired, but amazed by the magical beauty spread out before them.

Stripes of turquoise, lavender and gold color what has become known as "Rainbow Mountain," a ridge of multicolored sediments that were laid down millions of years ago and pushed up as tectonic plates clashed. The natural wonder was only discovered by the outside world within the last five years, earning it must-see status on Peru's growing backpacking tourist route.

The popularity of Rainbow Mountain, which attracts up to 1,000 tourists each day, has provided a much-needed economic push to the remote region that is home to struggling alpaca herders. Environmentalists, however, fear the tourists could destroy the treasured landscape.

"From an ecological point of view, they are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs," said Dina Farfan, a Peruvian biologist who has studied threatened wildlife in the area.

He points to a 4-kilometer dirt trail climbed by tourists to reach Rainbow Mountain that has been badly eroded in the last 18 months, scarring the otherwise untouched landscape. A wetland once popular with migrating ducks has also been turned into a parking lot the size of five soccer fields.

Yet the flood of tourists has meant jobs and cash for the local Pampachiri indigenous community, which has struggled with high rates of alcoholism, malnutrition and falling prices for the wool of their prized alpaca. Now, they charge tourists $3 each to enter, netting the community roughly $400,000 a year.

Some 500 villagers have returned in the last couple of years to take up their ancestral trade of transporting goods across the Andes. Now, the difference is that they are hauling tourists on horseback. (AP)

[本文 - 301 words]

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