San Sebastiaan - water works

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San Sebastiaan 20140821 016 smallLast year on August 8 we went for the first time to the former plantation of San Sebastiaan. Our target then was the the small village opposite the country house; we found a lot of foundations and we also found an indigo tank that was not known before. This year on August 21 we went back to this area. On the Werbata map several dams are visible and also a tanki with a brick wall. These water works were our target for this trip.
We parked our cars at the home of François; Fred arrived in his new car, a very nice 4x4 pickup truck.
We walked from there to the area opposite the country house. There we were greeted by the owner of the country house San Sebastiaan, mister Harold Hollander. He lives with his family in this house since August 1969; he bought it from the heirs Statius Muller including the area next to and behind the house. The area opposite the country house was not available for sale because the government at that time wanted to straigthen the road through that area at the expense of the old buildings (milk house and remains of an old village). Luckily this didn't happen till now. We talked for a while at the gate and then started our hike through the mondi.

The first part was easy because there is a kind of path; not completely free from vegetation but a lot better than when you have to make a path yourself. So we arrived in short time at the well and indigo tank that we found last year. These are still surrounded by dense vegetation. We cleared the inside of the middle (beating) tank last year and this tank is still reasonably free from vegetation. Especially interesting of this indigo tank is that part of the small tank (catch tank) is still above ground; also this indigo tank has a support structure on the side of the upper (rotting) tank and there are traces of two more tanks on the side of the main system. The addition of an extra tank can also be seen at the indigo tank at St. Michiel and some others but we still don't know the purpose of these additions.

Closeby is an earthen dam that is hardly recognisable as such because it is a low dam and completely overgrown. One thing that is obvious from the location of the well and this dam is that the Werbata map is not very accurate in this area.

From there we walked to the East in the direction of the large earthen dam that is visible on the Werbata map. We found this dam but it is not just an earthen dam. Inside the dam and partly visible where the earthen coverage is gone is a supporting wall made from stacked stones. Probably this dam was completely intact when Werbata surveyed the area so he couldn't see this supporting structure.
At the far end of this dam we found a rather modern looking concrete dam head and attached to it perpendicular to the earthen dam a concrete wall. Probably used to keep the water inside. There was no number on this dam head.

After a rest we continued to the South in the direction of the second earthen dam. We reached that dam close to its dam head but were warned by Carel that there was a bees nest inside a termite nest. So we took the Baygon spray from our backpacks and went careful in the direction of the dam head. This dam head was from an older construction than the other one. It consisted of a plastered wall of stacked stones.

The next stop was the tanki. It is a large but completely dry tanki or pos di pia. Not much is left from the stone wall that is shown on the Werbata map. Apparently there was a hofi in this area with a lot of Tamarind trees but we were unable to find it. We had expected it to be close to the tanki but there were no Tamarind trees in the vicinity.

It was becoming hot so we decided to take the shortest route to the path that we had used at the beginning of this hike. The GPS showed us the way. When we reached the road we greeted the owner once again and went back to the home of François and Ai Wha where we were treated on chips and beer.
And because it was on this day and the previous that the sun would reach a point directly overhead we took pictures at the exact moment of this happening to show the minimal shade on the ground.

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