Peninsula Rif St Marie

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RifStMarie 20140828 063 smallLast Thursday, August 28, 2014, the archaeology sleuths opted for an easy hike around the peninsula on which the plantation house Rif St. Marie is built. At the Southern part of that peninsula a set of three small saltpans is located that is not known to many people because this pan is not visible from the road.

To be on the safe side we decided to park our cars in the parking lot of Coral Estate.

From the parking lot we walked over the asphalt road down the hill till we reached the old road to the saliña and the plantation house. That is still a dirt road which is easily accessible. When we reached the saliña we continued clockwise around the peninsula.


One of the attractions during this hike were the nice rock formations. Look at the pictures to see what I mean. We kept taking pictures of these. Fred at one time said to me "the only pictures I have up till now are pictures of rocks". Very nice.

The hike close to the shore was not always easy; there was always a chance of slipping and ending up in the water. It didn't happen although it was a close call for Hetty. She was able to stop close to the water line and climb back up. But all in all this was an easy hike because by staying close to the shore we avoided the dense vegetation more inward.

At the Southern side of the peninsula we reached the saltpans. None of the saltpans in the saliña is functioning because of the water inlet at the Bullenbay. Most of the walls of the former saltpans are now under water or open at some point so there is no way for the water to evaporate and to let the salt crystalize.
In the saltpans we found a group of Upside-down jellies. This is a species of jellyfish that needs to expose their tentacles to the sunlight; in these tentacles a form of algae lives in a symbiotic relationship with the jellyfish and so it happily turns upside down to allow the algae to get the necessary sunlight. We saw one of the jellyfish, which apparently turned by accident, roll over by moving against the waves so that it got upside-down again.

Our next visit was the plantation house of Rif St. Marie. It is a shame the condition this plantation house is in. The roof tiles are long gone and more and more parts of the country house deteriorate and collapse. The second floor is no longer safely accessible. It is a pity that this monument never got restored.
Next to the house is a coral for goats, there are two bell pillars that together carried the bell and there is an old bakery with a bread oven.

From the plantation house we walked back to the cars; the last part was very tiring because we had to walk uphill. Some of the sleuths decided to wait till the others came with the cars.

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