Seru Macomba

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Seru Macomba 20140227 008 smallThis hill has the name Seru Macomba on the topographical map made by Kadaster in 1993. On the oldest topographical map created by Werbata in 1906 this hill has the name Seroe Macamba. Macamba being the name, not always meant to be friendly, given to the white people from The Netherlands. Somewhere between 1906 and 1993 someone decided to give this hill a more neutral name.

On Thursday February 26, 2014 we had an appointment with mister Hoyer, a kunukeru in the area next to this seru. He would be our guide on that day. We also had a special guest, a relative of Carel de Haseth. He is living in the States for a long time and is on vacation in Curaçao. Locally he is known under the name Opi de Haseth.

As always we wanted to reach the top of the Seru Macomba. But it is a bit unclear which seru we had to climb. On the Werbata map another hill is marked as Seroe Macamba than on the Kadaster map. So we decided to climb both tops.

The area we walked through consists of a number of roi's which normally would channel the water that flows from the hills in the rainy period. To catch this water for agricultural purposes the flow of these roi's is blocked by building a dam. And to increase the amount of water that can be stored the lowest part of the area is excavated. In really rainy periods this creates a large lake. But now it is completely dry even though we are almost at the end of the rainy season already.

We all met close to where Mr Hoyer lives. After explaining what we would like to do this day we started our hike. Mr Hoyer immediately started telling us about the herbs that we passed, what they could be used for and what the local customs are with respect to certain herbs. He sure proved to be one with the nature in which he lives and works. Really a joy to walk with someone that close to nature. And because he often walks in this region he knows the small paths that cross the area. So we had an easy hike this day.

First we visited a low unnamed top where we found a dry-stone wall. From there we continued our hike to the lower of the two tops that we consider being the Seru Macomba. The way to this top was rather easy but on the top we encountered a rather dense vegetation especially around the place were we discovered a Kadaster measuring point. Not the standard triangulation point but a supporting measuring point with the identification KAD VH 1292. To get close to this historic point we had to clear the area of several Wabi's.

After a short rest on the top we went to the currently dry water hold, the dam. On the side we took our break for the traditional apple. Fred and I surveyed the area. While Fred was walking through the high grass Carel warned him for the crocodiles that could be there. Once there was a rumour that there were crocodiles in the dam at Muizenberg.

After a rest we walked through the lower part of the water hold where we found a strange feature. Lots of Karpata plants. The Karpata in itself is not strange but in this case the plants had developed a survival strategy for when the water is high. The plants were more than man-sized with the lower part of the stem without leaves.
Another strange thing we found were three measuring poles. Each had a top-height of 2.5 meters. Looks like a standard measuring pole because I have seen a similar one in the 'Lake that disappeared' (Lago disparsé) at Malpais. But here apparently the water can be much higher than 2.5 meters. So there are three of these poles here. The foot of the next pole is positioned at the side of the dam at the height of the top of the previous pole. Interesting concept. So in total a height of 7.5 meters can be measured. If that height will be reached the survival strategy of the Karpata plants will not work.

From there we walked over the dam and then uphill. Mostly easy through grassy areas but occasionally we had to cross dense vegetation. The view from the top was nice but, although the top is higher wit its 106 meters, not really different from the top of the lower hill.

After a rest we started our hike back along the same path. A nice walk. And because it was still rather early a number of the hikers decided to compensate for the waterloss at the snack in Soto.

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