It is a long time ago that François, Fred and I visited the phosphate mines at Ascencion (June 2010) and because the others hadn't seen these mines, we decided to renew our visit on Thursday April 24, 2014. François is doing archaeological work in St. Kitts and Dominica, so he was not present this time. Dirk with a family member, also with the name Dirk, Fred, Carel, Eddy, Hetty and I parked our cars just behind the gate of the plantation house. Dirk has the key of this gate and in this way we are sure our cars are parked safely. From there we took one of the many Uniek Curaçao trails in this area in the direction of the Seroe Mainshie (Werbata) or Ser'i Mainshi (Kadaster). On top of that seru the mines are located and also a triangulation point.
The first part of our hike went through a nice forest. Lots of Indju, Manzaliña and even some Mispel trees give this area an almost Dutch appearance. There is even a path with trees on both sides that could have been copied from a Dutch forest.
In the forest we found a shallow water hole (tanki), a nicely made stone bench and some parts of a dam. We crossed an open area and then we reached the path uphill towards the mines. On top of the hill we found the triangulation point. This triangulation point is originally from Werbata, but reused by Kadaster in more modern times. The bottom part is still in the shape of the original Werbata point but without the identification tablet that normally is present in one of the sides. As has become a tradition Fred had to take place on top of the triangulation point.
Strangely enough there is also a Kadaster measuring point nearby; this one has no longer any visible identification. I don't know what the function is of such a measuring point almost next to the standard triangulation point. Also strange was the fact that there were three copper points on the triangulation point. One on top, what is the usual position, but also two on the former Werbata part.
From there we walked over the clearly marked path to the former railway embankment. That is an impressive structure which is at some places about 2 meters high; no cement is used to reinforce this structure. Just carefully piled rocks to create the two sides. Probably just filled with more stones to create the path on top. A very sturdy construction that apparently had to carry a railroad for the transportation of the phosphate from the mines.
Almost at the end of the railway embankment lies the ruin of the former mine building. A bit farther is the largest mine. Inbetween is a large field of rocks in different colors. All the mines here are surface mines, so apparently the phosphate could be found close to the surface. We saw some phosphate in one of the boreholes in the side of the deepest part of the large mine.
We didn't visit the other mines because of the time. We took the Northern route to get back to the cars. Close to the edge of the plateau is a large Clusia rosea tree that we also saw during our previous visit in 2010. The tree had flowers and fruits at the same time. It is a rare tree in Curaçao and this is one of the known places where it can be found.
We descended along the cliff and walked back over the San Pedro plains to the bay and from there back to our cars.
No rights can be derived from this report.
- In blue our track on the Werbata map (1906) In blue our track on the Werbata map (1906)
- Nice Indju trees in the forest Nice Indju trees in the forest
- A little bit of voodoo too A little bit of voodoo too
- This view reminds me of The Netherlands This view reminds me of The Netherlands
- A tanki (natural water hole) A tanki (natural water hole)
- The road uphill to the area with the phosphate mines The road uphill to the area with the phosphate mines
- A dry-stone wall A dry-stone wall
- Very interesting looking rocks Very interesting looking rocks
- even with blue inclusions in the rocks even with blue inclusions in the rocks
- The top with the triangulation point The top with the triangulation point
- Fred is once again acting as a pillar saint Fred is once again acting as a pillar saint
- Time for a rest Time for a rest
- A Kadaster meaduring point near the triangulation point A Kadaster meaduring point near the triangulation point
- The former railway embankment The former railway embankment
- Lots of cacti on top of the railway embankment Lots of cacti on top of the railway embankment
- Very impressive side of the railway embankment Very impressive side of the railway embankment
- Dirk at the ruin of the mine building Dirk at the ruin of the mine building
- Strange inclusions in this rock Strange inclusions in this rock
- This looks like a lime tube inside the rock This looks like a lime tube inside the rock
- Apparently someone cut this rock to see what is inside Apparently someone cut this rock to see what is inside
- A homogeneous core with a separate crust A homogeneous core with a separate crust
- A rock with three colors A rock with three colors
- The dry weather causes colorful effects on the cactus The dry weather causes colorful effects on the cactus
- Field of rocks as a result of the mining operation Field of rocks as a result of the mining operation
- The deepest point of the surface mine The deepest point of the surface mine
- The roots of a Manzaliña tree in the mine The roots of a Manzaliña tree in the mine
- Carel and Dirk take time for an apple Carel and Dirk take time for an apple
- The good looking teeth of a (dead) goat The good looking teeth of a (dead) goat
- The side of the surface mine with several drilled holes The side of the surface mine with several drilled holes
- One of the holes in the side contains phosphate (whitish) One of the holes in the side contains phosphate (whitish)
- An albino cactus? An albino cactus?
- A field of blooming century plants A field of blooming century plants
- A large clusia tree; rare in Curaçao A large clusia tree; rare in Curaçao
- The flower of the rare Clusia rosea The flower of the rare Clusia rosea
- The fruit of the Clusia rosea The fruit of the Clusia rosea
- This Clusia is a large tree This Clusia is a large tree
- An impressive Manzaliña tree on our way to the San Pedro plains An impressive Manzaliña tree on our way to the San Pedro plains
- From the bay: plantation house Ascencion From the bay: plantation house Ascencion