On Thursday September 3, 2015, we went once again to Cas Abou. This time we had three targets: to investigate a peculiar well, looking for former houses to the South of the plantation house and also looking for a large builing and former houses to the North of the plantation house. We had a special guest for this hike, Frensel Mercelina was joining us. Also Karel Aster was back after his vacation in The Netherlands. And of course the regular sleuths, François, Fred, Hetty, Eddy and I.
The well was found during a previous hike in this area. It is peculiar because it has a strange ridge close to the bottom and it contains a pile of sand. To investigate this dry well, François had brought a 20 feet ladder. So for the first part of the hike we went through the vegetation with this ladder. The well was about 300 meters from the plantation house. Luckily the terrain was not too difficult to do with a ladder.
Arriving at the well we started by cleaning part of the rim from the overgrowth. We found out that we need an new tool for this. We already have a "Dirk pruner" but Frensel brought another useful tool, the "Frensel foldable saw". A good addition to our toolkit. After clearing the rim we positioned the ladder inside the well. It was just long enough.
François was the first to enter the well followed by Fred and later Eddy. We decided that no more than three people at a time should be in the well so the others had to wait their turn. After thorough investigation we decided that the ridge was a natural phenomena, that the apparent building bricks in the ridge are most probably naturally formed sand stone bricks and that part of the side of the well consist of shale. The pile of sand came from a space along the outside of the well; combined with an opening at the bottom this caused sand from the surface to enter the well. This could be a failed well from the start because of the construction and the underground.
We went back to the plantation house with the ladder; we left it there for the remainder of our hike. After a break we went along the road to the South for two houses marked on the Werbata map. At the location of the first house we entered the vegetation. Soon we found several artifacts but no significant trace of a foundation. Strangely enough we found a Melongena shell and also a Conch shell; most probably a shell collector lived here.
We went back to the road to go to the second location where houses were. Here we found two car wrecks nicely parked next to each other as if they were left there by the owners when they moved away. We found the Chevrolet signature mark on two parts. We estimated at that time that these cars were from after the second world war. But Fred checked the Internet back home with the casting number that we found on one of the parts and discovered that at least one of the cars was from 1933. A respectable age.
After our traditional apple break around 10 AM near the car wrecks we continued our search for the houses; this time we were a bit more lucky. We found part of a floor, so there was definitely a house here.
From there we went once again back to the parking lot in front of the plantation house to start the last part of our search. Close to the magazina a large building was shown on the Werbata map. That appeared to be a second magazina. One of the back walls was collapsed. Behind that wall an later extension was built which appeared to be toilets.
We continued to the North in the direction where in the past a house should have been. We found a lot of artifacts but no foundations. But enough artifacts to conclude that here were one or more houses.
While the others went back to the cars Hetty and I decided to cross an area that was cleared with a bulldozer; we found a large field of Sansevierias close to the road, clearly a sign of former habitation. When we entered the vegetation we found a large field of artifacts and then we saw the remnants of a kunuku house. Part of the walls still standing. Some steps led to the entrance. We also saw a number of upright Brasia trunks that were used in the construction of the walls. So this house was built in the traditional way. A good find to conclude our hike for this day.
- In blue our track on the Werbata map from 1906 In blue our track on the Werbata map from 1906
- With a 20 ft ladder throug the mondi With a 20 ft ladder throug the mondi
- The well that we want to investigate 'deeply' The well that we want to investigate 'deeply'
- The well; dry; strange ridge close to the bottom The well; dry; strange ridge close to the bottom
- Entering the ladder into the well; it helps that we have people of different lengths Entering the ladder into the well; it helps that we have people of different lengths
- François is testing the ladder François is testing the ladder
- Three sleuths in the well; François, Fred and Eddy Three sleuths in the well; François, Fred and Eddy
- Bricks in the wall; possibly naturally formed sandstone Bricks in the wall; possibly naturally formed sandstone
- Shale to the side Shale to the side
- Sand came through a hole in the side and covered the bottom Sand came through a hole in the side and covered the bottom
- Karel watches if everything is ok Karel watches if everything is ok
- Look at the similarity of the license plates Look at the similarity of the license plates
- Entering the mondi where a house should be Entering the mondi where a house should be
- First artifacts First artifacts
- Strange, a Melongena shell; possible a collector lived here Strange, a Melongena shell; possible a collector lived here
- Top of a water jar Top of a water jar
- Cooking pot Cooking pot
- Medicine or perfume bottle Medicine or perfume bottle
- Part of a cup and another (conch) shell Part of a cup and another (conch) shell
- Engine block of a chevrolet Engine block of a chevrolet
- 6 cylinder in line engine 6 cylinder in line engine
- One of the pistons One of the pistons
- One of the two car wrecks; this one is also a Chevrolet One of the two car wrecks; this one is also a Chevrolet
- Also with a 6 cylinder in line engine Also with a 6 cylinder in line engine
- Front of the Chevrolet Front of the Chevrolet
- Through the windows a look at some of the resting sleuths Through the windows a look at some of the resting sleuths
- Another wreck next to the first; this one dates back to 1933 based on the casting number Another wreck next to the first; this one dates back to 1933 based on the casting number
- Camshaft housing Camshaft housing
- Also from a Chevrolet Also from a Chevrolet
- A ballast stone from a ship A ballast stone from a ship
- Debris mound Debris mound
- Floor of a former house Floor of a former house
- The sleuths are discussing the condition of the country house The sleuths are discussing the condition of the country house
- A second magazina behind the first one A second magazina behind the first one
- Apparently the inside was reused Apparently the inside was reused
- The back of the magazina collapsed The back of the magazina collapsed
- Cement with part of a tile in it Cement with part of a tile in it
- Small wall Small wall
- Lots of artifacts in the area Lots of artifacts in the area
- This Palu di lele lifted an artifact This Palu di lele lifted an artifact
- Sansevierias; a good indication of former habitation Sansevierias; a good indication of former habitation
- Large field of artifacts Large field of artifacts
- Aluminum teapot Aluminum teapot
- And here we find the remains of a kunuku house And here we find the remains of a kunuku house
- With an entrance With an entrance
- Next to it the remains of probably a fornu Next to it the remains of probably a fornu
- In the wall the remains of a windowsill In the wall the remains of a windowsill
- These 4 Brasia trunks were part of the wall These 4 Brasia trunks were part of the wall
- An extremely large living tick; definitely much larger than a dog tick An extremely large living tick; definitely much larger than a dog tick