Koraal Tabak

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The area around the St. Joris Bay is known as a former residence of Indians. Traces of which are found all around the bay. Also in the hills north of the bay there are clear indications of the residence of the Indians. In addition there is a ruin of an observation post from the Second World War. This all makes a visit to this area very worthwhile.
The sleuths gathered around quarter past eight at the entrance of Koraal Tabak at St Catherina. From there we went by car to the Ser'i Kibra Pika.

Koraal Tabak 20130110 009 smallThere is a large cave near the top of the hill. This cave is also indicated on the map of Koraal Tabak in the booklet of Uniek Curaçao, Curaçao Hiking. There are still a few copies of this booklet in Papiamentu for sale at Uniek Curaçao.
The cave is named Kueba Koraal Tabak. The cave is easily accessible via a well maintained path upward. This leads to the entrance of the cave, where some climbing is required to actually enter the cave. Once inside, it is striking how big this cave is. It is well lit by several openings, but dark enough for a large collection of bats. We walk through the various rooms of the cave to the back, where a small vertical column can be found with the etching of a face. This would have been made by Indians, but whether it is indeed authentic, I would not dare say.
The room with the Indian sculpture has an exit to the plateau. We exit the cave there and that brings us to a plateau with a beautiful view of the surroundings and the sea. On the ground there is a painted square with a cross inside. Would that be the place with the best view?
We go back into the cave and explore a different area, which leads to another exit. There we leave the cave once again. From there it appears possible to walk back along a path to the place where we entered the cave. Some of the group decide to go back through the cave and at the entrance we meet again.
We continue with the cars toward the entrance to the bay. Along the road we we see that the area has become a big landfill. In one place, we can hardly pass by car; the dumped garbage is so close to the road. This is a shame and a sign of insufficient awareness of nature's value.

Koraal Tabak 20130110 030 smallWe park the car at the foot of the hill at the entrance of the bay. This hill is called Seru Stèla and a part of that hill is the famous pyramid. We continue on foot.
Soon François points out large amounts of old shells. Those flowed downhill with the rainwater. In one place it looks like river of shells between the rocks. When we walk around the rocks to the top we find a large field of these shells. This is a place that in the past was used by the indians to eat. Perhaps they have lived in the nearby niches. Inbetween the shells we find also a number of indian tools carved from shells or stone.
From that point we try to make our way to the top of the hill. Not easy and at one point I see Eddy hanging at an almost vertical cliff. For most of us no viable ascent, so we look for alternative routes to the top. It turns out being not that easy to reach the top and some choose to stay in the lower area to continue taking nature pictures.
Once on the top, we soon see the ruins of the observation post. It appears to be a mixture of old and new building material. Parts are clearly made with cement that we have seen in other WW-II ruins. The blocks, which are used for the foundation seem old. But in the area there are also Eternit plates, which are probably from a later date. Possible that on the old foundation later a new house was built.
After a rest we start the descent. On the North East side of the hill there is a prickly and dense vegetation, making it very difficult to move on.
After a while we meet back at the cars, where we discussed what we found and then returned home.