North of the Zengwen River, I reached Salt Mountain in Cigu on a windy afternoon. Before me stood a mountain of salt just over sixteen metres high that covered one hectare. I was immediately drawn to the salt steps that led to the top.
This hill was sometimes called Mount Everwhite, and when I looked down to watch where I climbed, I noticed pieces of salt like broken glass from a windscreen sparkling in the sun. I clutched my hat and the railing once I reached the top because the wind whipped across the flat landscape that had once been former salt fields.
Under me was 39 000 tonnes of salt that had compacted into a hard solid mass from years of being exposed to the elements. I stood on the highest elevation within the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area, but I couldn’t hold out for long. The wind speed was only twenty-three kms, but it felt like fifty.
In 2002 Cigu Salt Pans discontinued operation and ended 338 years of salt making in the region.