Now, imagine a pink lake ….. Lake Rebta (Lac Rose in French) is situated not far from Dakar in Senegal. It is salty. Veeery salty. Almost like the Dead Sea. Its pink is from an algae. Unfortunately the sky was cloudy when we visited it, but on a bright day you can get to see that striking contrast, as if somebody poured industrial paint in the lake. But it’s real, natural, no make over.
Salt is extracted manually form the bottom of the lake and is used locally in Senegal and in the neighbouring countries, mainly for nutrition purposes and to preserve fish. Lots of foreigners work on the lake – men would dig out the salt and women would carry the filled up baskets. It is a hard labor and not one of the pleasant ones. Workers cover their bodies with shea butter, otherwise it is impossible to survive for extensive hours in that salinity. The pirogues (Senegalese traditional boats) are made entirely of wood because any metal would immediately get rusted in the salt.
The site gets more and more popular. It is only about an hour drive from Dakar, therefore tourists don’t miss it. At the lake women sell souvenirs. Their approach may be quite annoying and chaotic, but just buy some staff, it would probably coast you a few cents anyway.
They travel a long way to the lake to make a living.
The salt comes in different types and quality. The experienced workers sort it out in bulks.
Just at the entrance to the lake there is a resort and a local market. There you can get super fresh fruits and vegetables. A fruit eaten not far from the tree is never like a fruit bought in the supermarket! Ah, I would have those mangoes and papayas every day!
They sell the fruits for nothing, you can get more than you can carry for just 2-3 dollars.
I loved that mango tree!
It was here when I tried a soursop for the first time, and it became my favorite fruit of all times! It is a green spiky fruit, white inside, with many seeds. The content is very juicy, tasting of pear and pineapple. It is said to be good for preventing and curing cancer.
I wish I could come back on a sunny day!