Tuesday, 31 December 2013 17:21

Jan Thiel West

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  • Difficulty: easy
  • Terrain: Mostly level
  • Total distance (km): 4.7
  • Duration (hours): 2 - 2.5

Overview

Hike from Jan Thiel bay to the entrance of the lagoon along the coast and then back via a different path
Highlights of this hike:

  • Ruin of the kiln with water tanks
  • Ruin of the old storage building for salt
  • Traces of the old pier
  • Old border wall
  • Nice views

Parking

The car can be parked on either side of the road between the roundabout in front of the Chogogo resort at the Jan Thiel bay and the barrier accross the dirt road.

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.

After leaving the parking area the trail starts to the left before the barrier. There a small path starts in the direction of the bay. At the waterside turn to the right and continue along the shore. Sometimes during high water you could have to go through a bit of shallow water. Continue to the "doggy beach". That is a shallow water area shielded from the sea by a rif and surrounded by mangroves. You have to go to the right in the direction of the cliff. There is no predefined route here but you should be able to get to a large pool with mangroves at the bottom of the cliff. In this pool sometimes upside-down yellies can be found.
Go back in the direction of the shore and follow a small path along the shore till you see a small path at your right hand side going uphill. Take that path to the top of the cliff. Follow this path in the direction of the Jan Thiel lagoon.

After a while you reach a large plateau with a nice view over the sea. Enjoy the view but be careful not to go to close to the edge. Then continue downhill to the shore at the entrance (not really because there is no opening to the sea) of the lagoon. There several historical landmarks can be found. There is the ruin of the former salt storage building, the remainder of the border wall between the plantation Damasco (currently Jan Thiel) and Steenwijk (now part of Koraal Specht), there are some remnants of the former salt pier and at the most Easterly corner there is the ruin of the former lime kiln. A good place for a rest.

The track continues accross the kiln (don't take the broad dirt road but turn left opposite the lime kiln). Follow this path. Dont take the path to the right that you encounter after a while. Go straight on. Sometimes you have two options to continue but both paths come together after a short while so you can take either option.

After quite a while you reach the dirt road along the powerlines. Turn right and immediately left. That is a small path in the direction of the lagoon. When you reach the lagoon you continue along the shore till you reach a salt pan. At the salt pan you turn to the right and take the path uphill. Cross the broad dirt road and continue on the small path that leads to the backside of the Chogogo resort. Turn right and go around the resort back to the road where the car has been parked.

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").

Alternative tracks:
When you look closely at the map with the track you see a dotted line from where the hike starts to the area near the lagoon. That dotted line is a small path that you can take when you go left at the barrier and then immediately to the right. The presence of this path creates the option to walk through the inland and along the coast in two different hikes. Both options are available as separate tracks on Wikiloc:

  1. the track along the coast; this is a short hike
  2. the track through the inland; this is a longer hike than version one but still shorter than the normal hike which is in fact a combination of these two options.

Location

 

Trail map (download)