• Short Summary

    In Cyprus, near the Larnaca Airport, there is a lake which is called Aliki and is a unique salt lake in Cyprus.

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    Background: In Cyprus, near the Larnaca Airport, there is a lake which is called Aliki and is a unique salt lake in Cyprus. This lake has no connection with the sea which is only a few miles away.

    The lake extends into two miles length and width. Generally it is not a deep lake. At its depth, there is a muddy layer of about 20-30 centimetres which has been there for many years. It might have been part of the sea in earlier years.

    On the surface of this mud, there is a layer of an oily substance which according to specialists helps to turn the rain water into salt.

    During the rainy season, this lake contains about half a metre of water. In June this water dries out and the water is turned to salt of about 10 centimetres.

    The collection of this natural salt is done by hand. It is a very difficult and tiring job. The transport of salt from the lake to the ground is done entirely by donkeys.

    The operation of the collection is done in the following way: workmen form small passages by laying down thick cloths and walk on them so that they will not stick in the mud.

    With special instruments they brake the surface of the salt. With palms open, they put their hands between the mud and the salt and collect the salt and put it aside on pieces of cloth. Salt is collected into a large pile. They often have accidents like the one showing a donkey who stuck in the mud. Workmen try to pull him out.

    The donkey is now out and they wash it to get rid of the mud. Convoy of donkeys loaded with salt brings the salt from the lake to the area outside the lake. When the salt is cleared of stones or other dirt, it is put in bags and transferred to the factories. 6,000 tons is used in Cyprus and the rest might be exported in future.

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