In the area of Koraalspecht the part adjacent to Bottelier is indicated under the name Labadera. According to Joubert (Papiamentu dictionnary), this word has two meanings: laundress and ford. Since this is an indication of an area, the second meaning is the most obvious, though we found some artifacts, which can also indicate the first meaning.
On the map of Werbata (1909) there are two houses indicated in this area, two water holes and an old road to the saliña of Jan Thiel. We decide to investigate.
On Thursday, January 3 the archaeology sleuths are gathered for the first quest of 2013. Meeting point was at the entrance of the current landfill deposit of Selikor at Koraal Specht. But unfortunately we didn't get permission to park the car on their premisses and they wouldn't open the gate in the back where we could have entered our search area. So we went off to Bottelier. Behind the last row of houses the area in which we are interested is located. Through an open lot we could enter the search area. The vegetation was not too dense and there were few Wabi and Palu di Lele (in the beginning). Well many columnar cacti, but no Prickly pears. The risk of getting spines in the skin was limited.
Using the GPS we pushed our way through the vegetation towards the location of the first house. Soon we started to find artifacts: fragments of glazed pottery, shards of gin bottles and parts of wine bottles. We found a beautiful perfume bottle and even an old iron. But no remnants of the house. No upstanding walls or rocks with plaster lying in a more or less straight line. We found scattered large limestone, some small stones with plaster and some remains of tiles. The largest concentration of stone was exactly at the place where the first housing was located according to Werbata. There clearly has been a house, but, excepts for many artifacts and some minor indications of plaster, there is nothing left that indicates a house.
On to the second house. Not a straight line, because the vegetation made this impossible. We went through an area with clearly modern waste (eg an old rusty washing machine and water heater) and which was moved around in the past by a bulldozer. Not surprisingly, because this is the area of the first landfill of Curaçao. Now this is only a transfer station for waste, but in the past it was a real landfill.
Because this area was cleared we find far less artifacts. Also no big limestone, although there are some pieces with plaster and tiles with grout residues. And also in this area we find an old iron. According toWerbata we are in the vicinity of where the second house was. But even less indication of a house than in the first area. But the two irons, could it be that this was a place where laundresses have lived?
Then we go looking for the old road and the two waterholes. We easily walk through a field with Beyisima, a plant with most beautiful flowers, but clearly a plant that is overgrowing everything. We also find some Yerba Stinki plants. But no old road. Not so strange because there is now a hill as a result of the former landfill. The road is completely covered by it. This also applies to the first waterhol; where it should be there is now only the slope of the former landfill. Also the larger of the two waterholes (Tanki) we don't find which is strange because this area is less disturbed. But apparently it has filled up, because in this area there could have been no water. The area runs off towards the saltpan! There is no deeper section, where any water could collect.
Close to the salt pan we find some rusty remains. It is unclear what it was. There are many remnants of pipes, so it could have been a large boiler. At the waterside we take a proper break. Fred, Carel and Hetty entertain themselves with taking pictures and François, Dirk, Eddy and I are sitting down enjoying the rest.
Although it would be more fun to walk along the saliña we decide to go back through the same area in the direction of Bottelier, because there we will probably find the only place where we can get back on the road without going through the yards of people.
We reach quite easily the houses of Bottelier and there we find indeed a open lot. But from there it would be a long walk along the asphalt road before we would get at the cars. Dirk and Hetty decide to try that, the others go back to reach the cars via the backside of the houses. The latter appears to be the fastest route.
Fred and I decide to end the walk there. The rest of the group goes on (by car) to the snackbar Gasora for a drink and a snack.
All in all a good start of the new hiking year.