Porto Marie near Playa Hunku

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On Thursday July 4, 2013, a small group consisting of François, Fred, Michèle and I went once again to Playa Hunku on the plantation of Porto Marie. We wanted to look again for remnants of slaves habitation in this area and we expected to find remnants of a fort on one of the hills next to this bay.

But first I made a stop at the church of Willebrord. Last week I had seen something that looked like the ruin of a large cistern at a close distance from the church. And indeed this was a reasonably intact building which purpose was to collect water. Originally it had a roof, but the roof apparently collapsed. Parts of the roof are on the floor. There is still water in the cistern. The large roof of the church collects large amounts of water during rainfall and apparently this building was used to save it for a dryer period; maybe even to provide water to the nearby village of Willebrord. There would be no need for such a large cistern just for the church. The size is comparable to a similar building near Fort Beekenburg; that cistern was used to collect water for the former hospital in that area.

Porto Marie 20130704 020 smallAfter taking some pictures I drove to the gate of Porto Marie where I met the others. From there we went to the beach of Playa Hunku where we parked our cars. We decided to check a lower part of the Seru Dingo. If there had been a fort on this hill to defend the bay a logical place would be a the cliff that overlooked the bay. So we went up along the same trail that we used last time. We also checked for traces of habitation or agriculture in this area but similar to last time we didn't find any clear indications. Also no traces of a fort. We found a good spot, a large rather flat rocky area with a perfect view on the bay but no remnants of a fort and no artifacts either. So we went back to the beach for a short break. 

Our next target was the sea side part of the Seru Mateo. Also a possible area for a fort to defend Playa Hunku and possibly even the bay of Porto Marie. After a rather steep climb we found a well-maintained path. Apparently Uniek Curaçao made a trail from the parking lot of Porto Marie beach to Playa Hunku over the Seru Mateo. We took this path to get more quickly to the area that we wanted to investigate. Strangely enough we found not a single Mammilaria on this mountain. Apparently these cacti are strongly concentrated on the Seru Dingo and not outside that area.
Also on this mountain we found a good spot for a fort but no traces of it. We went back along the same Uniek Curaçao trail. Strangely enough that trail ends abruptly just before reaching Playa Hunku. We had to climb down to reach the beach. Not an easy task for most tourists.

After a rest on the beach we drove to the border between Porto Marie and Cas Abou. The border is marked by a double dry stone wall with a path in between; that path was government property and allowed the authorities access to the coast without crossing any private property. So no permission was needed from the land owners to get to the coast.
We didn't find any artifacts in this area except a small part of a gin bottle and two indian tools. We did find two Mammillaria cacti. In this case not on a rocky underground but in plain earth. This in stark contrast with last time when we found these cacti only where the limestone came on the surface.

We were all quite tired so we decided to leave for home a bit earlier than we are used to.

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