Saltworks of San Fernando, Cádiz

Beyond description to our retinas, the hieroglyphs invented by
the drowned wetlands reveal themselves and rebel. Sinuous
paths of chlorophyll, water and salt shown by the magic labyrinth
to the winged eye held aloft by kerosene motors. A journey
towards knowledge from the air, to the abacus that counts beaks,
feet and wings that frolic in mud and sheets of water. Where to
look for the entrance and exit to this network of green corridors.
Where does the ancient writing begin and end, the one glimpsed
by flight in tribute to science.
The feathered flamingos ignore the fact that their movement isn’t
punctuated by a pilgrimage to El Rocio, but instead by a dance
performed by them in ponds; likewise the woodcocks and geese
are unaware that their continual take offs and landings smudge
the numbers high above. Dry Doñana and drowned Doñana,
forever an asylum to grazing cows, wild horses and weatherbeaten
dwellers of the wetlands. Looking to the south, further
south, the river comes and goes, takes and gives back, and it is
always water, in the end, which shapes, which writes for the sky
and for the earth.

Mario Sáenz de Buruaga

Saltworks of San Fernando, Cádiz
36º 27’ 37.26’’ N 6º 10’ 16.45’’ W / January 23, 2006
Network of canals of the traditional saltworks. The original design
of the manmade saltworks adapts to the underlying terrain of the
wetlands, with interesting results. The walls have been colonized
by halophyte plants and it’s still possible to observe the ruins of
some floodgates from the original water control system.
Protection status: Bay of Cádiz Nature Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido