Choloma

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On Thursday, August 29, 2013 a smaller than usual group went for a nature walk at the plantation of Choloma. Fred had a key to enter the gate, so we could drive till the first weekend house at the South-Western shore of the St Joris bay. There we parked our cars and started our hike. The group consisted of Fred, Carel with his niece Eliane, Eddy and me. The others had other activities this day. 

Close to where our cars were parked there is a brackish pond; not directly connected to the bay but probably fed by salt water during high tide or strong winds and by fresh rain water flowing  through the now dry river (roi). The old Werbata map shows that this is a area that is regularly flooded. The result is a nice pond with around it mangroves and fresh green trees. In and around the water lots of birds.

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Hardly a view that you expect in Curaçao. We were not in a hurry so we took our time here. Especially Carel enjoyed taking pictures of the water birds.

There were also several Date-palms in the vicinity. We entered the Manzaliña forest where we could walk in the shade of the large Manzaliña trees. No Wabi's here or other plants with thorns like the Prickly pear. For the variation an easy walk.

Soon we found the first dam. It was build to collect the water that during the rain period flows through the roi. But apparently the force of the water was too much for the dam because there was a large hole in it at the deepest point of the roi.
After a rest we continued our way to the second dam that is visible on the Werbata map (1906). Strangely enough there is not a single dam visible on the most recent topographical map (Kadaster 1993). 
The second dam was of a far less robust construction than the first one. 
In the vicinity of the dam we found several fruit trees, Mango, Mispel and Tamarein. Also a gigantic Mahogany tree, possibly the largest in Curaçao. It took between three and four people to span the circumference of the trunk. And the height was very impressive.

From there we went looking for a number of wells that are marked on the Werbata map. None of these appeared to be intact. All were obviously destroyed on purpose. The remainders of the windmills lying on the ground and the concrete foundation for the windmill and the wall of the well broken. 
Near the plantation house we found a rectangular and a circular water tank. The plantation house is in very bad shape. Parts of it are of a rather recent construction but for some reason it is abandoned and now not more than a ruin.

We walked back to the second dam and from there we took a more Easterly route towards the cars. It was a very pleasant hike in a very nice, almost park-like area.

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