June 02, 2007
The Canary Island of Lanzarote is only 140 km (84 mi) away from the coastline of Africa (Morroco). In the past, fishing was the most important source of income here. The salt-works of Janubio (shown above) produced large amounts of salt for the preservation of fish; nowadays they only make small quantities -- mainly for tourist purposes. Extracted salt is of very high quality here. The salting process is carried out in shallow basins, which are fed with pre-concentrated water from an adjacent lagoon. Evaporation of the water concentrates the brine, and finally, the salt crystallizes. At mid day the basins look like artists palettes as a result of different salt concentrations in the various pits.
Like the other Canaries, Lanzarote is of volcanic origin -- the last eruption was in the year 1824. Lanzarote is the most arid island of the Canaries with only about 112 mm ( a bit more than 4") of rainfall per year. Agriculture is only possible when farmers cover the farmland with lapilli, which is a black pyroclastic consisting of small size particles. Lapilli takes up water vapor at night and then releases it the above plant canopy. This allows vineyards, grains and vegetables to be cultivated.
Details: Panasonic DMC-FX5 camera, Leica lens, automatic, 3 pictures in stitch mode. Photo was taken on September 9, 2004.