After our find of the border gate between Cas Abou and San Juan I had posted a picture of this gate in the Facebook group "You know you've lived in Curaçao ...". This is a FB-group with a common interest in Curaçao and especially the Curaçao of the past. My question to this group was if someone knew what was in the picture and where it was taken. As a response I got two old maps of the area of San Juan. The first one was posted by Rico van Bemmel and was created to document a dispute about a well. The second map was posted by Helma Molhuijzen and came from the WIC archive. Very interesting was that on the first map the indigo tank system of Cas Abou was mentioned and drawn. Close inspection of the WIC-map showed that also on this map the indigo tank system was drawn although not mentioned in the legenda. On both maps the indigo tank systems was drawn close to a well.
After close inspection of both maps we had a pretty good idea where we had to expect the indigo tank system. So we went back to Cas Abou on Thursday June 11, 2015 to search for this indigo tank system.
We parked our cars next to the plantation house of Cas Abou and followed more or less the same route as during our last visit to the saltpans of Cas Abou. There we took a short break in the shadow of an Oliba. Then we followed the roi to the tanki (pos di pia) that we had visited the last time. But then we had looked for the indigo tank system to the West of that tanki and we didn't find anything there. This time the first place were we expected to find the indigo tank system was to the East of the tanki. And indeed not too far from the tanki we found a rectangular structure that could be the indigo tank system. But we needed to determine that this indeed was an indigo tank system. From previous finds we know what to look for. So we started searching for traces of the watertight plaster (pink color) in the edges of the rectangular structure. Also IJsselstones are normally used to cover the inside of the tanks although these IJsselstones are most of the time reused for other buildings after the indigo production stopped on the island.
In what appeared to be the front wall of the large structure one IJsselstone was found close to a breach in that wall. That could be the remains of the opening that exists between the top and second tank in such a system. In two corners of the large rectangular structure we found the pink plaster and another IJsselstone. So we got more and more convinced that this was indeed an indigo tank system. But then there needed to be two other tanks because each system consists of three tanks. So we started looking for the second tank. We found traces of two walls of the second tank although this tank seems to be mostly underground. With this second tank in place and the location that corresponded to the maps we concluded that this is indeed the indigo tank system of Cas Abou. Most probably it is partly destroyed when the area was cleared for seasonal archiculture or it was partly broken down on purpose to reuse the building materials.
Based on the maps a second location was also an option and to be sure that we didn't miss anything we checked the roi in the direction of the border with San Juan. But there we didn't find anything. We continued our hike once again along the border to show the border gate to two of the sleuths that were not present last time.
That concluded our hike for this week. We had another birthday celebration at Dokterstuin planned at noon so we went back to the plantation house where our cars were parked.
- Our track during this hike Our track during this hike
- On route to the starting point - Jan Kok salina On route to the starting point - Jan Kok salina
- Historical map from 1721 drawn to document a dispute about a well Historical map from 1721 drawn to document a dispute about a well
- Another historical map from the WIC archives Another historical map from the WIC archives
- Plantation house Cas Abou Plantation house Cas Abou
- Toilet building of plantation house Cas Abou Toilet building of plantation house Cas Abou
- Cluster of young cacti Cluster of young cacti
- The saltpans of Cas Abou The saltpans of Cas Abou
- Two-color flowers of the Oliba Two-color flowers of the Oliba
- Tilandsia Tilandsia
- The first trace of the indigo tank system The first trace of the indigo tank system
- IJsselstone in the opening in the largest tank - the rotting tank IJsselstone in the opening in the largest tank - the rotting tank
- Inside corner of the rotting tank Inside corner of the rotting tank
- Corner of the second tank, the beating tank; mostly underground Corner of the second tank, the beating tank; mostly underground
- Overview; foreground the beating tank, background the rotting tank Overview; foreground the beating tank, background the rotting tank
- Right back corner reveals watertight plaster (pink) Right back corner reveals watertight plaster (pink)
- Left back corner reveals watertight plaster and part of an IJsselstone Left back corner reveals watertight plaster and part of an IJsselstone
- The largest tank, the rotting tank The largest tank, the rotting tank
- Bordergate between Cas Abou and San Juan Bordergate between Cas Abou and San Juan
- Some enamel pots (milk jug and piss pot) Some enamel pots (milk jug and piss pot)
- Old kitchenware Old kitchenware
- A 'Heinekens' bottle A 'Heinekens' bottle