Friday, 03 January 2014 08:29

St Michiel's mountain

(0 votes)
  • Difficulty: difficult
  • Terrain: Hilly, Possibly moist, Rough / sharp
  • Total distance (km): 6
  • Duration (hours): 3

Overview

Hike from the bay in the small fishermen's village of St. Michiel to the top of the St. Michiel's mountain (105 meters high) and back along the shore of the saliña (saltpan). 

Highlights of this trip:

  • Remains of an old salt storage building (only part of the foundation left)
  • Remains of the old indigo tanks
  • sometimes lots of water birds
  • flamingoes
  • View from the top of the St. Michiel's mountain

Parking

The car can be parked in the parking place behind the former dive shop at the large bay of St. Michiel (Boka Sami).

Description of the trail

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

You will need good walking shoes and sufficient water for the trip. Along the shore of the saliña the underground can be muddy; also most of the time part of the dam is under (shallow) water, so keep this in mind when selecting your shoes.

From the parking lot the trail starts along the shore of the saliña (salt lake). Depending on the water level in the salt lake it might be necessary to take a higher level path. After a while the higher path descends to the water level again. Follow the shore line; when the side is too muddy look for alternatives further in the back.

When you reach the large plain (often very muddy) that marks where the rain water from the hills entered the saliña, you have two options, either you go to the right if you want to visit the indgo tank system or you go straight on. Either way look around for crabs in this area. You have to be quiet to not disturb the crabs otherwise the only thing you get to see are their holes. 
To visit the indigo tank system you go to the right into the Manzaliña forest.Avoid the manzaliña forest if it is raining; it can give you blisters. in the manzaliña forest you see a stone structure. This is the former indigo tank system belonging to the plantation of Klein St. Michiel. Indigo dye was produced in this tank system from 1670 till 1720.
Return to the large plain that you left to enter the manzaliña forest and cross the plain.

If you didn't go to the indigo tank system cross the plain. Also there crabs can be found.

Follow the shore line of the saliña; when you are opposite the small island in the saliña you have to look for the start of the trail to the top of the mountain. For quite some time there is an old tire in the water where this trail starts, but it can be under water or removed so you better also look at your right for the path itself. Or you can just follow the GPS-track with a GPS or an app on your smartphone.

Take the path to the top. After a while you will reach the top. Enjoy the view and take a rest if needed.

Take the same path from the top for the first few meters till you reach a fork in the path; there you go left. Follow that path till you reach a point where you can descend along a steep path. To find this location a GPS-track certainly helps because it is not obvious. Descend there till you reach the path and continue on this path around the mountain. This will bring you back at the saliña near the dam that separates the part of the saliña along the road to Bullenbaai from the side of the saliña that you were walking along. Cross this dam. At the end there is a small bridge but sometimes the bridge is not sufficiently long and you have to go through the shallow water to get to the bridge and cross it.

Go left and start following the shore line on the Western side of the saliña. This will bring you to a wooden bridge that you have to cross to get back to the car. Also here sometimes the water is so high that you have to go through the water to reach the bridge.

This completes this hike.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time) and you are able to follow the track.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

 

Trail map (download)

Scheduled hikes

 

End of 2019 I will stop offering guided hikes; till that momenI the following hikes will be held: 

All hikes start from the parking place mentioned in the description of the hike.

Each hike costs US$ 10.00 per person to be paid at the start of the hike.

Registration: click here