Dry riverbed between Meiberg and Hermanus

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On Thursday May 23 at 8:15 we, François, Fred, Michèle, Carel, Eddy, Hetty and I, parked our cars along the road to Willebrordus in front of the house of the local artist Zanolini. Our target for today's hike was a dry riverbed running between the plantations of Meiberg and Hermanus. Not really a riverbed because Curaçao doesn't have rivers. But in the rainy season all the rain water has to go somewhere and this leads to what is locally called a 'rooi'. This specific rooi doesn't have a name. Another one a bit further to the West has the name Rooi Katoen on the topographical map from the beginning of the 20th century.
Nothing specific was visible on any of the topographical maps so we thought to start just a nature walk without any archaeological finds.

Rooi Meiberg Hermanus 20130523 036 smallWe were joined by someone who lives next to the artist, mister Gabriel Wernet, nickname Pipel. He too likes to walk in the nature.  

Before we could enter the rooi we had to find our way through rather dense vegetation. As soon as we started our walk we had the first surprise. There was an old triangulation point from CPIM, the first operator of the refinery on the island. In the neighborhood there were also remnants of a dry stone wall.

The real surprise came when we neared the mountainside. We found several old shells, some tools and also a piece of pottery. Clear indications of indian habitation. probably not a permanent habitation but at least there were indians here in the past. We looked for more signs but these were not abundant. We found another tool and some shell fragments but nothing else. 

After a while we reached the rooi. As expected dry in this season. But with clear signs of the force of the water during the rain season. 
From there we followed the rooi. Soon we reached a large dam. A large intact wall on both sides perpendicular to the rooi but only a foundation in the rooi itself.
Behind the dam there were several places where the water would have fallen several meters. This would be a nice place to visit in the rain season. Undoubtedly a pretty impressive river will flow here after a period of rainfall.

We found a second more modern dam in the rooi. Probably an older dam that was reinforced with concrete. And we found an impressive open cave as you can see in the picture. The people are dwarfed by the size of this cave. A good place to take a rest.

A bit further we left the rooi to reach the dirt road next to the gate of the Curaçao Oil Terminal. We followed that road back to our cars. That last part took us less than one hour although the distance over the road was about three times as far as through the vegetation and the rooi. Around 1 in the afternoon we reached the cars.