The Seru Bientu in the Christoffel park

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Seru Bientu 20151022 018 smallOn Thursday October 22, 2015, a small group of the sleuths, Eddy, Carel, Fred, Michèle and I went for a leisurely hike in the nicest part of the Christoffel park, the Seru Bientu, at least that is my opinion. So we met at the entrance of the Christoffel park at 7:45 AM and went from there with Fred's car to the small parking lot where a path to the Seru Bientu starts. Following that path we reached the top of this 225 meters high mountain easily. The top of the Seru Bientu contains a large number of very old Sabal palms, a palm, native to Curaçao, that is only found in the Christoffel park. There we split, because 'leisurely' is not really a word in the vocabulary of some of the sleuths. Michèle and Carel went on leisurely taking nature pictures while Fred, Eddy and I went for a more challenging hike.

We descended along the Southern side of the Seru Bientu. A rather steep slope with lots of loose rocks and also lots of Bringamosa plants. A dangerous combination because when you reach for some support on the steep slope you must be very careful not to grasp one of the stinging Bringamosa plants. To make it even more difficult we also encountered Prickly pear cacti on the slope, but luckily not in dense patches. So our progress was slow. We had seen a suspicious patch of rock on a part of the slope more to the left from our point of view, so that is where we wanted to go. We crossed a roi and had to take some detours going up again because of large trees over our path. When we came at the suspicious part it looked as if there was a small cave but it appeared to be an opening under a large piece of rock that broke off and landed on top of another rock. Behind it was an almost vertical cliff with a bright brown color. We looked for traces of boreholes or mining equipment but found nothing. Still the brighter color suggests that this is a part of the rock that is relatively recently exposed. A bit further at the same height we found a second cliff with the same bright brown color. Once again we looked for traces of mining and also here we didn't find any. But we found a small ridge of phosphate. So maybe there were some trials here but because of the extremely hard Knip formation rocks no boreholes were made but dynamite was just put in one of the many existing openings between the rocks. That would explain the large rock that we found earlier lying on top of another one and also the brighter cliffs here. But this all could also be caused by natural causes. The amount of phosphate that we saw was certainly not enough for mining.

In the meantime Eddy had left to join Carel and Michèle; Fred and I continued along the Southern side of the mountain. We regularly stopped to drink water. As Fred said, he had not drank as much water on any previous trip, so apparently it was warm and the hike itself was indeed as challenging as we wanted. We enjoyed the views, the many old trees, mostly Brasia, and flowers on our path. We returned to the parking lot completing our circle. There we joined the others. A nice hike through a very beautiful part of the park.