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A trip into the "white world" of kenyan coast

Ngomeni, 30 km north of Malindi, an unique landscape

04-05-2020 di redazione

The "white world" of the Kenyan coast is about thirty kilometers north of Malindi.
After the golden beach of Che Shale, beyond the Italian base of the San Marco aerospace project, the view of the ocean disappears and miles and miles of salt expanses appear.
Iodised sea salt, which more or less, through the industries that have shared this stretch of coast, reaches the whole country.
Here salt is everywhere: piled up in small dunes at the sides of dirt roads that create open-air labyrinths, in sudden islands in the middle of the water where pink flamingos walk, in huge crystallized rock mounds that will be shoveled and placed on old and unstable trucks, to be transported to the area of the refineries.
The landscape is lunar, the white pools often blend in with the clouds on the horizon and the sky struggles to break away from them.
But beyond the undeniable spectacle, salt is also in the faces and thoughts of the people of the area, even very young women, who go to work early in the morning. For them salt is a daily damnation, it mixes with the sun to burn the skin, it creeps into the sores of fatigue, it settles on their lips never full of fresh water. They don't like to talk about their work, the employees of the salt pans.
Yet we know that, a decade ago, they were the first employees in Kenya to go on strike to protest against the poor working conditions they had to endure. Today things are a little better, but life is the same in the endless expanses of the "white world". Salt that breaks the skin and sun that burns it.
For a euro and a half a day. Maybe you can save something on food, fishing while struggling with the tiny little anchovy-like fish that will give flavor to a dish of polenta that can not always be accompanied with tomatoes and vegetables.
So you also have to find salt in the taste of the food. 
Africa is the backdrop to this area and, taking one of the roads formed by the small walls that divide the salt pans, one from the other, you can reach Robinson Island, a small island where Nature is once again the mistress, among mangroves and sand, and where you can taste delicious crabs.

TAGS: saline kenyangomeniRobinson Island Kenya

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