Friday, 14 August 2020 20:01

Bahada di Daniel

Hike over Bahada di Daniel; that is the area behind plantation house Daniel till the Hato Plains. There are several terraces there that you will cross during this hike. That means there is some climbing involved to go from terrace to terrace. The underground consists mainly of eroded limestone which is sharp. 

Highlights of this trip:

  • Beautiful views
  • Two caves that can be visitied (optional)
  • Historical landmarks such as old stone walls and "the pillars of Jay"
  • Plantation house Daniel where you can take a coffee or meal; also visit the beautiful painting collection of the owner inside the plantation house

This is a rather long hike. Because of the sharp underground and the the fact that you have to move from terrace to terrace the pace will not be high and that means that it can take up to 5 hours to complete this hike. So take sufficient water and some snacks with you and don't walk alone. Also bring shoes with a good sturdy sole.

Parking

The car can be parked either along the secondary road, if you are early (early bird entrance of the trail) or at the parking lot of plantation house Daniel.

Description of the trail

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

The trail is indicated with yellow stones and can be followed by looking for these. In case you have the impression that you are not on the right track you probably are indeed not on the right track. Always look around when in doubt how to proceed. 

I started my hike from the "early bird entrance" to the trail. When starting at plantation house Daniel you will get to the same trail after a short while. Remember where you came from because you have to take the same path to end up at your car at the end of the hike.

After a while you get the choice between going right or left. I took the right side but either choice is good. The only difference is that you walk the trail in the opposite direction. Taking the right side you will cross an old stone wall. That is the former border between the plantation Daniel and the area of Tera Kòrá. Continue along the trail till you reach an entrance into a rooi (dry river bed, contains only water after heavy rainfall). Take this rooi till you reach the end of the terrace. Enjoy the view but don't descend here unless you have the right climbing equipment. Go back a short while looking for the continuation of the trail out of the rooi marked by yellow stones. Take that path to reach a better point to descend to the lower terrace. There the descend is more manageable. 

Continue following the yellow stones. You will pass three of the "pillars of Jay" as described in my article about a trip by the Working Group Archaeology of Curaçao. Unless you pay attention you will probably miss these. They are just heaps of stones but purposely built.  Their history is still not known. There are several of these pillars as we called them but only three are in the vicinity of the path.

Shortly after passing the pillars you have to take a decision; either you continue to the Kueba Mirador or you take a shortcut called Hanchi di Sombra. You can enter the Kueba mirador and most probably enjoy a view as the name suggests. I entered but did not continue far into the cave because the ceiling is very low and my bad back doesn't allow me to cross that part. But feel free to do that. Then continue along the marked path; the Hanchi di Sombra trail joines the path so both trails are once again the same. You walk along an old stone wall, which in this case is most probably just a wall to keep cattle in a specified area. 

After a short while you reach the top entrance of Kueba di Pachi. You have the option to enter the cave at this point and to descend inside the cave. The other option is to pass that entrance and descend a little farther. When descended to the Hato Plains the path continues along the rock wall. A nice part of the hike. Looking at the droppings you could encounter cows here.

After a while the yellow stones direct you to go uphill to the next higher terrace. After a while there is another climb to a slightly higher terrace. From there you continue to the rock wall between this terrace and the next higher one. Always look out for bees when walking close to the rock wall. I did not encounter any but you never know. 

After the climb to the highest terrace you continue the trail till you reach the original path. Follow that path back to your car. If you are parked at the plantation house you could take a rest there and enjoy a drink or meal.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time) and you are able to follow the track.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

Trail map (download)

Monday, 03 August 2020 10:12

Santa Catharina - Middle area

Hike from the parking lot of Seru Pretu snack to the Northern coast via a dirt road along the plantation house of the former plantation of Santa Catharina. After a visit to two bays on the coast, Boka Labadera and Boka Grandi, via another dirt road parallel to the first one back to the starting point. In this way the middle area of the former plantation will be visited including the plantation house (optional).

Highlights of this trip:

  • the walk along the Northern shore
  • Boka Labadera
  • Boka Grandi
  • Plantation house Santa Catharina

This is a rather long hike over mostly flat terrain. Along the coast the underground is rather sharp because of eroded limestone. So best bring shoes with a good sturdy sole.

Parking

The car can be parked in the parking lot of the Santu Pretu snack. Be careful not to block access to the snack or the car wash.

Description of the trail

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

Santa Catharina en Koraal Tabak trails begin
From the parking lot you need to enter a small path along a fence; to find this path look carefully at the detail map (photo) below under the Trail Map heading. The building at the left hand side is the Toko with the parking lot where the hike starts. Follow the line to find the path along the fence. Follow this small path till you reach the first houses of Santa Catharina. There you follow the dirt road straight on.

When you pass the last house of Santa Catharina along this road you continue straight on. You follow this dirt road till you pass the plantation house of Santa Catharina at you right hand side. If you like you can visit the plantation house. It is in a bad state so be careful when you enter the building. 

Then continue to the shore. To do that you have to leave the dirt road at a T-crossing and find your way to the coast. This will bring you to or close to the Eastern side of the Boka Labadera. Enjoy the bay and then continue along the coast in Easterly direction. This will bring you to a second bay, Boka Grandi. Check this bay out and then go in a South-Easterly direction till you find a dirt road that goes more or less to the South. Take that road.

After a while you get a small path at you right hand side that leads to a hill. If you like some climbing take that path and go to the top (almost) of that hill. You have a nice view here over the surrounding area. This hill has no name. To the East you see another hill called Seru Kabes. There is no path to the top of that hill so you don't need to go to that hill unless you want to try to get to the top without a path. On top there is a triangulation point.

Continue the original dirt path to the South till you reach a T-crossing. Go right there; that path will bring you back to the dirt road that you took at the beginning of the trip. Go to the left and go back along the houses and the fence to the parking lot where your car is parked.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time) and you are able to follow the track.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

Trail map (download)

Hike from the parking lot of Seru Pretu snack to the most Eastern part of the former plantation of Santa Catharina and part of the Koral Tabak area. First the hike goes to the Koral Tabak Area where a presumed Indian cave can be visited. Inside is a small statue with a face. Then the hike continues to the coast to the first bay on this hike, Boka di Mangel. Then further along the coast where the border between the two areas will be crossed before two other bays are visited, Boka Grandi and Boka Labadera. Then the hike returns to the starting point via a dirt road along the former plantation house of Santa Catharina.

Highlights of this trip:

  • the walk along the Northern shore
  • Indian cave
  • Boka di mangel
  • Boka grandi
  • Boka Labadera
  • Plantation house Santa Catharina (optional)

This is a rather long hike over mostly flat terrain. Along the coast the underground is rather sharp because of eroded limestone. So best bring shoes with a good sturdy sole.

Parking

The car can be parked in the parking lot of the Santu Pretu snack. Be careful not to block access to the snack or the car wash.

Description of the trail

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

Santa Catharina en Koraal Tabak trails beginFrom the parking lot you need to enter a small path along a fence; to find this path look carefully at the detail map (photo) below under the Trail Map heading. The building at the left hand side is the Toko with the parking lot where the hike starts. Follow the line to find the path along the fence. Follow this small path till you reach the first houses of Santa Catharina. There you follow the dirt road straight on.

When you pass the last house of Santa Catharina along this road start looking for a dirt road to the right. Take that dirt road. From there you follow the dirt roads either with the help of the downloaded map or helped by the track in the Wikiloc or Locus Map app. 

The first part of this hike is not very interesting. The area is flat and the vegetation is sparse. You could meet cows and donkeys during this first part of the hike. Be careful not to disturb the cows. You never know if they are friendly to you if disturbed. After a while you are walking over good roads, the remnants of a plan to build houses here that didn't come through. Then the path continues uphill. After a while you will see a path at your left hand side towards the indian cave. Take this if you want to visit this cave. Afterwards you come back at this path and continue in the direction of the coast. 

At the coast you will be in the vicinity of the first bay of this hike, Boka di Mangel. Then continue along the coast. The former border between the two areas is marked by a low stone wall. Cross the border and continue to Boka Grandi. Before you get to that bay you pass two other small bays without a name. The first one is really small and can be compared to Boka Pistol in the Shete Boka area. The second nameless bay is a bit larger but apparently too small to get a name. Then you reach Boka Grandi and a bit further Boka Labadera. At the Eastern side of the end of the bay a path starts to the South in the direction of the plantation house. Take that path. 

If you like you can visit the plantation house. It is in a bad state so be careful when you enter the building. 
Along the road at the right hand side are the remains of a small building next to a water tank. It looks as if here a pump was located to distribute the water. There are more water tanks on both sides of the road. 

Follow the road till you reach once again the small path along the fence. Take that to return to your car.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time) and you are able to follow the track.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

Trail map (download)

Sunday, 02 August 2020 14:30

Santa Catharina - Western side

Hike from the parking lot of Seru Pretu snack to the most Western part of the former plantation of Santa Catharina. At first the hike goes westward till the border with the plantation of Ronde Klip. Then the hike continues to the Northern shore. After a walk along the shore the hike returns to the starting point via a dirt road along the former plantation house of Santa Catharina.

Highlights of this trip:

  • the walk along the Northers shore
  • the entrance of the Tunnel of Doom
  • Boka Labadera
  • Plantation house Santa Catharina

This is a rather long hike over mostly flat terrain. Along the coast the underground is rather sharp because of eroded limestone. So best bring shoes with a good sturdy sole.

Parking

The car can be parked in the parking lot of the Santu Pretu snack. Be careful not to block access to the snack or the car wash.

Description of the trail

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

Santa Catharina en Koraal Tabak trails begin
From the parking lot you need to enter a small path along a fence; to find this path look carefully at the detail map (photo) below under the Trail Map heading. The building at the left hand side is the Toko with the parking lot where the hike starts. Follow the line to find the path along the fence. Follow this small path till you reach the first houses of Santa Catharina. There you follow the dirt road straight on.

When you pass the last house of Santa Catharina along this road start looking for a dirt road to the left. Take that dirt road. From there you follow the dirt roads either with the help of the downloaded map or helped by the track in the Wikiloc or Locus Map app. 

The first part of this hike is not very interesting. The area is flat and the vegetation is sparse. At a certain point the dirt roads goes further to the North. At your left you see the Rond Klip mountain. When the road bends to the right the track becomes more interesting. You will pass an old stone wall. The path becomes smaller there and the vegetation becomes more interesting and denser. Also there the path is marked with blue ribbons.

Continue the hike till you reach the coast (no blue ribbons here anymore) and then continue on in Eastward direction along the coast. 
Before you reach Boka Labadera, a large bay, you will see another strange-looking kind of bay but without an apparent connection with the sea. This is where the Tunnel of Doom can be found. This "bay" has a connection with the sea but the connection is in the form of an underground tunnel to the sea. It is a knows dive spot but only for very advanced divers because you are diving under a ceiling, so in case of emergency there is no direct way up to the surface. Don't dive here withour an experienced guide.
As a hiker you can check the entrance of the tunnel of doom and get an idea how dangerous a dive here can be. Then continue along the coast till the next real bay, Boka Labadera. This is a large bay with a wide entrance from the sea. At the Eastern side of the end of the bay a path starts to the South in the direction of the plantation house. Take that path. 

If you like you can visit the plantation house. It is in a bad state so be careful when you enter the building. 
Along the road at the right hand side are the remains of a small building next to a water tank. It looks as if here a pump was located to distribute the water. There are more water tanks on both sides of the road. 

Follow the road till you reach once again the small path along the fence. Take that to return to your car.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time) and you are able to follow the track.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

Trail map (download)

Hike from the Caracasbay  to the top of the Kabrietenberg (78 meters high) which is the Dutch word for Mountain of the goats. From there we take a route to the coast of the Spanish Water where we continue along the coast.
This is a rather challenging hike partly over easily accessible paths, partly over rocks. The pace is somewhat higher than during most of my other hikes.

Highlights of this trip:

  • View from the top of the Kabrietenberg
  • Various views from the path along the coast
  • Challenging climbs and descends
  • Walk along historical buildings: quarantine building, fort Beekenburg
Thursday, 29 November 2018 17:41

St Michiel's mountain via Seru Blandan

Hike from the bay in the small fishermen's village of St. Michiel to the top of the St. Michiel's mountain (105 meters high) via another mountain, the Seru Blandan

Highlights of this trip:

  • Remains of the old indigo tanks
  • Nice vegetation along the path
  • Lots of crabs in a muddy area
  • View from the top of the Seru Blandan
  • View from the top of the St. Michiel's mountain

Parking

The car can be parked in the parking place behind the former dive shop Wederfoort at the large bay of St. Michiel (Boka Sami).

Description of the trail

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

It can be difficult to follow the track based on the description only because not every path can be easily found. So the best way to hike this trail is with the help of a GPS or the Wikiloc / Locus Map app loaded with the track.

You will need good walking shoes and sufficient water for the trip. Along the shore of the saliña the underground can be muddy so keep this in mind when selecting your shoes.

From the parking lot the trail starts along the shore of the saliña (salt lake). Depending on the water level in the salt lake it might be necessary to take a higher level path (see track). After a while the higher path descends to the water level again. Follow the shore line; when the side is too muddy look for alternatives further in the back.

When you reach the large plain (often very muddy) that marks where the rain water from the hills entered the saliña, you go to the right into the Manzaliña forest. Look around to see a lot of crabs in this area. You have to be quiet to not disturb the crabs otherwise the only thing you get to see are their holes. Avoid the manzaliña forest if it is raining; it can give you blisters.
in the manzaliña forest you see a stone structure. This is the former indigo tank system belonging to the plantation of Klein St. Michiel. Indigo dye was produced in this tank system from 1670 till 1720. At the indigo tank system you turn left and start to go uphill. Follow the yellow markings. These will lead you to the top of the Seru Blandan. From there you have a nice view over part of St. Michiel. To the North you see the top of the next mountain on this trail, the St. Michiel's mountain.
Continue the path in the direction of this next top. From the Seru Blandan there are no yellow markings anymore but you should follow the path or use the GPS-track to guide you.

Enjoy the view from the top of the St. Michiel's mountain and take a rest if necessary.

From the top you take the same path down for the first few meters till you reach a fork in the path; there you go right. This path leads to the shore of the saliña where you turn left to go back to the car. Also now you have to follow the shore line and if it is too muddy close to the shore look for an alternative path more in the back.

This will bring you back at the car.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time) and you are able to follow the track.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

Trail map (download)

Wednesday, 07 March 2018 16:29

Around the Jan Thiel lagoon

Hike around the lagoon of Jan Thiel. The first part of the hike is through Parke Sorsaka to the area near the Jan Thiel lagoon. From there the hike continues mostly close to the shore of the lagoon in a counter clockwise direction. The last part is once again through Parke Sorsaka

Highlights of this hike

  • the historical bridge and a large well in Parke Sorsaka
  • a nice Mazaliña forest and a forest of Mangrove trees
  • beautiful nature along the path
  • view on the lagune
  • remnants of a lime kiln
  • saltpans

This is quite a long hike over mostly flat terrain. At some place the area can be muddy or even wet. So keep this in mind when selecting shoes for this hike.

Parking

The cars ca be parked along the road close to the plantation house Sorsaka opposite the Botika Sorsaka/Medical center Sorsaka. 

Description of the trail

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

From the parking area it is a short walk to the entrance of Parke Sorsaka, where the trail starts. Take the main path through both parts of the park to get to the area around the lagoon.

As soon as you leave the second part of Parke Sorsaka go to the right to start the hike around the lagoon. Depending on the water level you have to choose your path if you want to keep your feet dry. If the water level is low it is possible to take some shortcuts and walk over the old stone dams arount the salt pans. But most of the time part of these dams are under water. In that case you have to stay close to the vegetation away from the lagoon. The best way is to use the track in an app as a guidance but in fact you cannot go wrong.

There is no clearly marked trail in this area but as long as you keep the lagoon at your left hand side the exact path doesn't matter. 

At a certain point close to the jail you will cross a small bridge over the water. If the water level is high parts of this bridge can be under water. Continue along the shoreline. After a while you have to leave the shore to go a bit higher up. At that ime the entrance of the lagoon is in sight. Close to the sea shore you walk through the old border gate. The gate is gone but the remnants of the border wall are clearly visible. At this point you are about half way in the hike. 

Walk along the sea shore or the shore of the lagooun to the point where the lagoon shore bends inward. Try to stay as close to the shore of the lagoon as possible. Sometimes you have to climb some rocks to continue along the shore. If the water in the lagoon is really high you could get wet feet or go higher up to continue. 

When you get at the first salt pan you take the path over the old dam between the salt pan and the lagoon to cross to the other side. There you continue along the shore till you reach the other salt pans. There you can take several paths over the dams between the salt pans depending on how long you want to make your hike. Enjoy the view over the salt pans. 

Then go back in the direction of Parke Sorsaka. The last part of the trail is the same as the first part. This brings you back at your car.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time and does not always work) and you are able to follow the track. If this doesn't work you can download the track from the PC-version of the website and save the hike in your own profile. In this way you can follow the hike in your Wikiloc app.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

Trail map (download)

Friday, 02 June 2017 13:19

Vaersenbay to Boka Sami and back

Hike from Kokomo Beach / Vaersenbay to Boka Sami and back over the Seru Sami. Alternative start and endpoint is Boka Sami; the description is for the starting point at Kokomo Beach / Vaersenbay.

Highlights of this hike:

  • Fort Vaersenbay
  • Nice route on top of the cliff with a view as well at the sea as at the saliña
  • Upper fort of St. Michiel
  • Hike along the saliña of St. Michiel
  • Climb to the top of the Seru Sami with a beautiful view on the surroundings

Parking

The hike starts at the parking lot of Kokomo Beach / Vaersenbay; the beach opens at 8AM and from then on there is a guard on duty. Dont take up to much parking space because it can be busy especially in the weekend. Park close to the other cars and line up with the street or the side of the parking lot.

In case you want to start the hike from Boka Sami you can park in the back of the former dive shop Wederfoort at the large bay of St. Michiel (Boka Sami).

Description of the trail

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

With your back towards the entrance of Kokomo Beach there are yellow stones at the right-hand side of the parking lot about where the dense vegetation ends. Going there you will see a bridge over the 'roi'. From there we go uphill to Fort Vaersenbay. You have two choices, either one is OK. The left is a bit more gradual than the one on the right and also passes the remainders of the former entrance to the fort. The two paths come together more uphill. Continue straight on; don't go to the left at the stone floor (former floor of the land side of the fort). When you reach the shore you are in the remainders of the former fort Vaersenbaai. From there you have a nice view on Vaersenbaai and the sea.

On top of the cliff the path continues to the East in the direction of Boka Sami; at a certain point there is an option to go to the right, but that is another trail that leads to the coast; of course you are free to check out that trail too and come back here. Continue further along the path till you get a nice view on the saliña of St. Michiel. Shortly after you can find a path uphill to the former fort on top of the cliff. If you are interested take the path to the fort, look around, enjoy the view, find the last cannon and descend again to where you left the main path. Continue on the main path that goes downhill to the saliña. 

Follow the path along the shore of the saliña clockwise (so go left). Stay close to the shore; there is a path there that sometimes requires you to climb over a steap rock or forces you to go very close to the water (or sometimes even through the water at high water). There are some yellow markings along this path to show you that you are still on the right track. When you reach the dam between the two parts of the saliña go straight on and gradually to the left; follow the shore of the second part of the saliña.

When the path opens up into a wide plain you have to find your way to the other side depending on the water level to a small sign that leads you to the Seru Sami. To reach that sign you can follow the yellow stones but most of the time there is a shorter way straight through. At the sign follow the yellow stones to get to the bottom of the Seru Sami. The climb to the top of this hill is the most challenging part of this hike. There is not really a path uphill, but you can follow yellow markings on the rocks that show you the way.. This requires some climbing skills. On our way to the top we have a nice view on the surroundings.

After the climb the path continues and gradually leads to the highest point of this hill. You will cross a dry-stone wall near the top. When you reach a fork in the path you go left and continue this path; when you see a path to the left ignore that and continue stragih on till you reach the stone floor of the fort that you saw at the beginning of the hike. Go to the right and follow one of the two paths back to the parking lot.

An alternative starting point is from the parking lot of the dive operator at the large bay of St. Michiel (Boka Sami). In that case you have to cross the wooden bridge that you can see from the parking lot; after crossing the bridge the hike starts along the water of the saliña (see previous text) and in that case the visit of the upper fort of St. Michiel marks the completion of the hike. The route is exactly the same except for a different starting and end point.

ATTENTION: this is a challenging hike. You should have a good physical condition; also you should have some climbing skills and not have fear of heights. The hike is less suitable for kids.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time) and you are able to follow the track.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

 

Trail map (download)

Saturday, 24 May 2014 17:18

Caracasbay peninsula

Hike from the Caracasbay over the Caracasbay peninsula with a visit to several historical buildings in this area. An alternative route goes to the top of the Kabrietenberg (mountain of the goats) after visiting the historical buildings. A third option is to extend either of these two tracks by following an alternative route back to the car.

Highlights of this trip:

  • Fort Beekenburg which was built in the beginning of the 18th century (1703)
  • The former water building
  • Quarantine building
  • View over the Spanish water
  • Nice nature trail around the mountain or nice view from the top of the mountain

Parking

The car can be parked at the parking place in front of the last restaurant at the Caracasbay. There are always people here and I have never had any bad experience parking here. Don't park anywhere on the peninsula itself because it is very common there to break into your car by smashing a window. Don't leave anything of value in your car wherever you park.

Description of the trail (common part in blue on the map)

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

After parking the car the hike starts by following the asphalt road in the direction of the fort. First along the coast and then to the left; there is a pool at the left where often waterbirds can be found. There is also a pool at the right but that pool is often dry. Follow the road and go right at the T-crossing. Another pool is at your left hand side. This pool can sometimes color bright pink because of bacteria in the water. At your right hand side you see the fort. Enter the fort by climbing the stairs. The for was built in 1703 but it took till 1750 before it was completed. The fort was used to protect the large bay. During the second world war there where Dutch soldiers housed here once again to protect the bay; this time against the Germans. On the peninsula a lot of oil storage tanks were built by the Shell; the refinery and also the oil storage was very valuable to the allied troops as fuel so these assets had to be protected. Some remainders of the second world war buildings can still be found here.

In the leftmost corner of the fort wall close to the water an old bathroom can still be found. Close to the entrance of the innermost fort wall another 2-person bathroom can be found. In the fort tower there is still a water storage(visible from the corridor) and an ammunition bunker (under a closed hatch on the top floor). A large water building can be found on the fort terrain. You can take a look at the large reservoir by climbing the stairs of that water building.

Leave the fort and walk along the former sulfur building, better known as the Baya Beach restaurant and now in use as a church on Sunday. Continue straight on and follow the asphalt road till you reach the side road to the Quarantine building. Go to that building and look around. Afterwards go back to the asphalt road and turn right. Continue on the asphalt road till you reach a dirt road at your left hand. Follow the dirt road; after a while it once again reaches the asphalt road. Go left. After a short distance the road turns left but you have to continue straight on. Very soon you will see a small path at your right hand side. There the trail around the mountain starts. If you choose the alternative route to the top you have to continue for some additional meter to see a second path at your right hand side. There the trail to the top of the mountain starts.

Around the mountain (continue with blue on the map)

For the trail around the mountain take the first path; continue on this path. When you see paths to your right ignore these and continue straight on. You will pass a large overhanging rock; an ideal place for a short rest. Then continue along the path; after a while you will pass another large overhanging rock. The path continues closer to the water. You can choose to continue even closer to the water or higher up. The path closest to the water leads you to some nice mangroves but that path is sometimes under water. Both paths combine after a while and then go up again. Continue on the path; once again there will be an option to continue very close to the water or a bit higher up; either choice is good although the path closest to the water can sometimes be under water.

After a while you reach a small stairway; this dates back to the Shell period. Go up the stairs and another set of stairs till you reach the asphalt road again. Turn right and follow the asphalt road back to the car.

To the top of the mountain (orange on the map)

For the trail to the top of the mountain you take the second path. Follow this path till you reach the top where you can enjoy a nice view over the Spanish Water. After a rest there you take the same path back; when you reach the start of the path you turn right and follow the small path, the broader path and then the asphalt road back to the car.

Extension on the way back to the car (red on the map)

If you want to extend the hike a bit more you can go straight on in a curve in the asphalt road where a broad dirt road starts. That dirt road leads along the coast and in the end also gets you back at the car.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

Alternative route to the top of the Kabrietenberg (Wikiloc)

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time) and you are able to follow the track.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

 

Trail map (download)

Saturday, 24 May 2014 14:55

St Michiel around the saliña

Hike from the bay in the small fishermen's village of St. Michiel around the saliña (saltpan) of St. Michiel. 

Highlights of this trip:

  • Remains of an old salt storage building (only part of the foundation left)
  • Remains of the old indigo tank
  • sometimes lots of water birds
  • flamingoes
  • Mangroves along the saliña

Parking

The car can be parked in the parking place behind the former dive shop at the large bay of St. Michiel (Boka Sami).

Description of the trail

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

You will need good walking shoes and sufficient water for the trip. Along the shore of the saliña the underground can be muddy; also most of the time part of the dam is under (shallow) water, so keep this in mind when selecting your shoes.

From the parking lot the trail starts along the shore of the saliña (salt lake). Depending on the water level in the salt lake it might be necessary to take a higher level path. After a while the higher path descends to the water level again. Follow the shore line; when the side is too muddy look for alternatives further in the back.

When you reach the large plain (often very muddy) that marks where the rain water from the hills entered the saliña, you have two options, either you go to the right if you want to visit the indgo tank system or you go straight on. Either way look araound for crabs in this area. You have to be quiet to not disturb the crabs otherwise the only thing you get to see are their holes. 
To visit the indigo tank system you go to the right into the Manzaliña forest.Avoid the manzaliña forest if it is raining; it can give you blisters. in the manzaliña forest you see a stone structure. This is the former indigo tank system belonging to the plantation of Klein St. Michiel. Indigo dye was produced in this tank system from 1670 till 1720.
Return to the large plain that you left to enter the manzaliña forest and cross the plain.

If you didn't go to the indigo tank system cross the plain. Also there crabs can be found.

Follow the shore line of the saliña till you reach the dam that separates the part of the saliña along the road to Bullenbaai from the side of the saliña that you were walking along. Cross this dam. At the end there is a small bridge but sometimes the bridge is not sufficiently long and you have to go through the shallow water to get to the bridge and cross it.

Go left and start following the shore line on the Western side of the saliña. This will bring you to a wooden bridge that you have to cross to get back to the car. Also here sometimes the water is so high that you have to go through the water to reach the bridge.

This completes this hike.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time) and you are able to follow the track.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

Trail map (download)