Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sulfur Lakes

I woke up a little sandy, drank coffee out of a plastic cup, had a quick wet wipe wash, and jumped into our jeep again for another day of salt seeing.  Our cars passed desert, got to the salt lake, AND KEPT GOING.  INTO THE WATER.  It was amazing.  I kept being scared that we would break through the crackly salt beneath us.  Then this guy did.  We had to get onto the back of the truck and jump around until our weight lifted the front end out of the cracked salt.

We parked our cars at the salt mountains.  Pillars of salt and rock reflected off the salty water beneath it.  The pillars looked like gnarled humans looking back to watch their city burn.  Or something.  There were twisty caves beneath the pillars but were flooded and we were warned not to explore them.  So I didn’t.  But some boys with underdeveloped frontal lobes did.  They said it was cool.

Back in the Jeeps we drove until the water disappeared beneath us and we were in a dryland with white salt as far as the eye could see.  Men bent over in the sizzling heat prying the salt up from the ground and hacking at them with machetes until the crystalline structures fell away in perfect lines to form salt blocks.  The salt blocks were loaded onto the back of the camels and sold for $1 a brick.  They could sell about 200 bricks a day split among 11 people.  The men had fading eyes from the reflection of the white salt.  The camels were all “fuck this, it’s too hot.”  The tourists took pictures and tasted the salt.  “It tastes like salt!”  Has to be the hardest job in the world.

Next we went to the sulfur lakes, one of the lowest points in the world.  Green, yellow, orange, magenta, painted the sky into a Martian landscape. Sulfur bubbled up from the green lakes and created little vertical poops.  I bent down to touch one non-acidic area and it felt like oil.  I rubbed it into my skin because it’s supposed to make you look youthful and beautiful.  I just kind of looked oily.

We slept in a little room, on the floor, and played cards.  I took a welcomed bucket bath (fill bucket with water, use cup to splash all over yourself), ate injera for dinner, and went to sleep very (very) close to my new friends.

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