Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This past weekend we visited The Maras Salt Mines that have existed since the preinca times. They are fed by a natural hot spring that washes out salt deposits from the mountain. These deposits are the result of isolated ocean waters drying up during times of massive geological change. When we looked at the rocks surrounding the hot spring, we found tiny seashells. The salinity of the water was 30% and much more concentrated than the ocean. We were able to try the water because the bacteria that normally would get us sick could not survive. The hot spring travels through various levels of salt planes where the stream would be cut off by a rock and plastic to let the water evaporate and leave the salt behind. The first layer of each plot is considered the finest salt and is most often used for finishing dishes. The lower levels of salt are more often used as medicine for animals or bath salts. Each bed could be harvested up to once a month!

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