August 16, 2008

Via Salt Flat to the Laguna.

From the little town we made our way to the laguna. Even though the road looks fine on this picture, you do need a four-wheel drive to get there. We had read up on our trip and discovered that this salt flat was being eyed greedily by ESSA, a joint venture of Mitsubishi and the Mexican Government who had submitted plans to build a $ 120 million salt-making facility in this environmental preserve and the only one of Baja's three whale nursing lagoons still untouched by industrial development.

Salt, granted is one of the primary electrolytes in the human body and one of the vital minerals needed for optimal bodily function. I have recently read a fascinating book called "Salt", by Mark Kurlansky which gives the fabulously interesting history of salt throughout the ages. I had no idea how much there was to something I sprinkle so mindlessly on my boiled egg in the morning.

When we pitched our tent it was getting windy. We ate our empanadas, not really knowing what they were and discovered that they were tasty but sweet. Little parcels of dough filled with pumpkin or other types of fruit. We were not the only ones there at sunset and a young woman came up to say hello. When she heard our accents she said that she more or less expected us to be dutch. She had traveled all over and she mentioned that even in the remotest spots she had been some dutch people would turn up. What can I say? Holland is a small country and we need spread our wings sometimes.

The house of the fisherman who would take us out in the morning to see the whales and their one-ton newborn babies. This laguna is the place where several hundred gray whales that come to mate and calve before their departure on their 5,000-mile migration north to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea. We are in for an unforgettable experience.

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