Monday, May 31, 2010

Chott el Jerid

OK, I lied; I just couldn't resist this wall on the way out of Tozeur!

This is the Chott el Jerid, the largest salt pan lake in the Sahara, at 7000 square kilometers (over 170,000 acres). We were fortunate that it had rained the week before, as area only gets about 100 mm (less than 4") of rainfall a year and with summer temperatures of up to 122ยบ F, what rain falls doesn't last long. Our driver had never seen the Chott el Jerid with water in it and Adel, our guide with 23 years' experience, had only seen this four times. Water as far as the eye could see.

Salt piled up and ready to bag; pulling salt from the dry lake bed is the main industry of this area. Most of this salt isn't refined for culinary use and is exported for salting roads in Scandanavia. The dry parts of the salt lake glitter like broken glass in the sun.

Local port-a-potties; I wasn't going to ask what 'normal' or 'comfort' had to do with anything...

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