Both the salt lakes form a Protected Natural Park rich in flora and fauna. The Torrevieja lagoon is pink and when I first witnessed this phenomenon in 2012, I thought it must be pollution of some kind. Perhaps it´s because I´m a Brit who´s seen all colours of contaminated water amidst the waterways of the UK.
The pink lake has such a beautiful glow due to the presence of “good for the environment and for you” bacteria that produce carotenoids or “beta carotene.” (The bacteria itself only lives in extreme salty water). However several conditions apply:
- The salt lake water has to reach a higher density of salt than sea water.
- The temperature has to be high enough.
- Favourable light conditions.
All are necessary.
As a result brine shrimps are red, and the pink flamingos who eat them can be described as more red than pink! During the breeding season there´s a population of about 2,000 of them, it´s an awesome sight. Other feathered friends include over 100 different species of aquatic birds. There´s also an abundance of small wild animals. Salt marsh reeds, and evergreens flourish along the outskirts. This array of wildlife lives outside the boundary from where the salt is gathered for obvious reasons, they’re not daft and stay out of the way. (Besides we wouldn’t want any bird poo in there would we?) In summary the whole area has an eco-system all of it´s own.
Notice the HUGE mountains of salt…
Workings without any machinery: Salt production begins when the weather really starts to heat up in June. The blue lagoon called La Mata is four metres below sea level and has it´s own canal, the gates are opened and sea water is naturally transported to it. As it reaches the La Mata salt lake, the water starts to evaporate and salt levels in it become more dense. When this happens the salt water is diverted to the Torrevieja lagoon, and the salt settles en masse. A layer on the lake bed is formed.
Workings with environmentally friendly machinery: Something like what I can only describe as a harvesting machine without a tractor, winds it´s way through the lake collecting the salt layer. It is then carried via conveyor belt to barges (without engines) which sit close to the edges of the lake. Huge paddle boats (Mississippi river style) then tow the barges out to an island in the middle of the lake. The salt is unloaded onto another conveyor belt and brought ashore. During this process it is washed many times to get rid of any impurities. Several different types of salt are produced. The salt production season ends in October.
So there you go, the intricate procedures involved in creating a pink lake without any food colouring…
Related Facts: A salt lake contains mineral molecules so tiny that they float within the water itself. The mineral molecules themselves also contain solar properties such as vitamins. This rich mixture means human skin can easily absorb it and pass the goodness throughout the whole body. People with chronic skin conditions, bone and joint conditions such as arthritis, and respiratory problems can find relief. It´s even been said that sitting next to a salt lake for half an hour can re-invigorate and cleanse the body (and soul probably). Unfortunately I don´t think humans are allowed in Las Salinas De Torrevieja! However, there´s a nature trail around part of it.
Makes you think though, next time you take your supplements from a plastic container (as I do). Bear in mind that the molecules inside a capsule of any kind are too large for the body to use. Therefore they zoom on through without doing what they say in the blurb.
I took all the photos in this post from the rooftop swimming pool and terrace, the only area of the hotel that exceeded expectations.
Captured some of the surroundings for miles too…
Had to take these, and no it´s not the blue lagoon…
Other side of the pool, greener than any green. Not a native palm to be seen, and stays like that ALL YEAR…
Yes it´s truly gobsmacking when you first move here from a place that´s known as “the green and pleasant land.” To find a much better one in the sun, where the leaves don´t drop off the same species of trees, whatever time of year it is.
Well that was an interesting blog post. Nature is marvellous…