The hunter-gatherer bent down to the bubbling spring. The water was clear like the other springs he knew. The water was warm like some other springs he knew.
He cupped his hand into the water and tasted it, then quickly spit it out.
This water didn’t taste like the other springs he knew.
From that day, many millennia ago, humans have been at the bubbling spring.   

Click here for the rest of the story:


10 thoughts on “Salinas

  1. Dennis

    I can’t get the pdf to open,error message is:

    Adobe reader
    The file is damaged and could not be repaired

    Please resend

  2. Doug


    I uploaded the file again and it tests OK from here.

    Please let me know if it is still not downloading for you there.


  3. Peter

    I’ve got the pdf – no problems.
    It’s a real interesting story.
    Do you know, what they get for a bag of salt?



  4. Tim Palmer

    Again you have captured something essential yet overlooked. I wonder what will happen in the future. Tim

  5. Ron Baker

    Doug and Stephanie:

    Good story, and it looks like a lot of hard work for probably not very much money. On the other hand, it’s a living, I guess. Heavens knows that we all need salt. I wonder if the salt is mostly NaCl. Also, I wonder what other minerals may be in it. Anyway, it’s a good tale. Thanks for sharing.


  6. Steph

    I have to say that this was one of my favorite places on this trip, and one of the most fun to shoot.

    Watching the back-breaking work of carrying the bags of salt, as the men and women teeter on the narrow bands of hardened dirt, is amazing.

    Ron, we bought some of the salt (both the very fine stuff and the wonderful larger grains), but I don’t have any way to test it. I could send you some if you want to give it a try! 🙂

    Being able to camp in an open lot just above these salt pans, and to be out there when the light is just disappearing, or just coming up over the surrounding mountains, is such a treat. If any of you have the chance to visit this area (not far from Cusco), don’t miss it. It’s really something.


  7. Tom Thomas

    Doug, Steph, this is a most interesting travel report. collecting and bagging salt looks like a painful,low income simple life. Keep the updates coming…love it!

    Tom & Marie