A long day of driving carried us from Broome to Port Hedland. The town was small enough, with a lovely location on the ocean, and it catered to my particular addiction to sea shells (bought three lovely ones), but it fell short of charming me because it was also the location of a great deal of large machinery. It has huge operations for loading iron ore onto ships, and it is also home to important sea salt manufacturing and processing facilities. However, while I was more in a wilderness frame of mind, my interest in how things are made at least made the spot intriguing—particularly the sea salt facilities.
Salt is an astonishingly important commodity on world markets, and it always has been. Don’t let the fact that you have such easy access to it fool you into think it’s boring. To give you some idea just how important salt is, here’s an article on salt history I wrote for Hungry Magazine. (You may recognize the photo shown below, which also appears in the article. The shot of rock salt from Morocco is also mine.)
In Port Hedland, I wandered over to get a view of the salt pans and mountains of salt ready for processing. I would be glad to leave this place the next day, and get back to the wilderness, but I was pleased to have seen the salt operation. The photo below (the one that also appears in the Hungry Magazine article) is of sea salt ready to be processed for distribution.