Santa Krus - opposite Hofi Mango

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St Krus 20140508 042 smallTo the North of Hofi Mango lies a large system of 'rooien' (riverbeds) that transport the rainwater from the mountains in that area through Hofi Mango to the bay of Santa Krus. The result is an area that for a large part of the year can be green. On the topographical map made by Kadaster in 1993 this area is for that reason indicated as green. But this year we have a long and very dry period since the end of March and most plants have gone into a state that allows them to survive this drought. So most of the trees dropped their leaves except for the Manzaliña trees that are many in this area and the Century plant that is in bloom in this period (see picture).

We had permission from the owners to park our cars in Hofi Mango. From there Fred, Carel, Eddy and I crossed the street and entered the area. This is also a well-known indian site. Lots of historical shells and also ceramic pot shards can be found on and along the path.

Soon we found the first waterworks in this area, two water tanks. Strange in the sense that these are built halfway beneath groundlevel. Other water tanks that we find are built on top of the ground. I don't know the reason for this exception but it has some disadvantages. The pressure from the outside earth was apparently too much for the sides and they caved in. The watertanks are built with concrete blocks made from finger coral which was used before Shell arrived on the island. So these tanks are apparently from the beginning of the last century.
Closeby we found a modern deepwell with the number 12100.

A bit farther we found a rectangular well made from the same concrete blocks as the water tanks so probably from the same period.

Noticable was the fact that the drought is taking its toll. There were a lot of dead iguanas and even a kitten. The kitten probably died in the last 24 hours because it was still completely intact and looked so alive that I touched it to check it for live signs. But it was already stiff. We also found the skull of a deer but that was probably from longer ago. But there are also positive signs; apparently there is still some water deep in the ground. Manzaliña still have their leaves. We found a Tamarind tree with green leaves and ripe fruits. A bit sour because the lack of sufficient water but still edible. Another Tamarind tree was not that lucky. It had a lot of large fungi on the stem and was obviously dying. Large branches were lying on the ground, broken off and fallen down from the tree. But we still trusted it enough to sit under it to take our apple break.

After the break we followed our track through the main rooi in the direction of a hill. South-east of that hill we found an interesting dam structure. Strangely enough it is not a dam that has the same height over the full width but it has a V-shaped dip in the middle of the dam. According to Gerard van Buurt this dam was built in 1974 and its purpose was to measure the flow of water in the rooi. In the past there were some instruments placed to register the flow and also the amount of rainfall. And possibly the ground water levels were checked in the small deepwell or the empty square well. The monitoring took place over 7 years. But in that whole period only once the water flowed over this dam. So the conclusion was that the underground is very porous which causes the water to drop quickly trough the surface layer and to flow mainly underground towards the bay of Santa Crus. Only after very heavy rainfall there is water flowing through the rooi. After reaching this conclusion the monitoring was not continued.

It was getting late (close to eleven) so we decided, before we would go back, to go to the top of the hill to check for a red dot on the Werbata map. A red dot means that there was a stone structure when this map was made in the beginning of the 20th century. But we didn't find anything. Fred was here before with François and also then they didn't find anything.

After a short break we took the same route back to the square well. From there we followed a path that was indicated on the Kadaster map from 1993. This concluded our hike for this day.

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