Malpais - Friends of the National Archive

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Malpais Vrienden Archief 20140329 001 smallA special hike was organized for the "Vrienden van het Nationaal Archief" (Friends of the National Archive) in the area of Malpais. The hike started at the parking place of Kokomo Beach at Vaersenbaai at 8 AM. After a welcome word by Josette Vos, the guide and Helma Maduro the hike started. Soon the walking pace of the leaders of the group appeared too high so they got the request to slow down a bit.

We crossed the road to Bullenbaai and diagonally crossed the dry saliña.

We walked over the old dam to the double indigo tank systems where we got an explanation by the guide about the history of the tanks and how indigo dye was made from the indigo plants in these tanks. The guide had brought a branch of an indigo plant from his garden and also an example of the finished product, a blue block of indigo as it is still sold today although it is now produced chemically.

From there we continued to the Hofi di Malpais where we all enjoyed a piece of patia (local name for water melon). Two people decided to stay at the hofi while the rest went on to the next stop, the Pos di Pia. A Pos di Pia is a naturally or artificially created water hole with easy access to the water. Around the currently dry water hole nature could take its course without a lot of regulation. Large trees are fallen down which creates a jungle-like environment. Quite nice.

Then we walked over the dam put there by Shell to create a large water reservoir for the refinery. In many years this lake is completely dry which explains the name "the lake that disappeared". But in years with a lot of rain this area is filled with water; then it attracts a lot of water birds.

The last stop was the milk factory, also a remnant from the Shell period on the island. Apparently Shell wanted to ensure that their employees got enough milk. The milk was produced in this building from milk powder. A lot of the milkpowder tins are still there in a very rusted form. Nice details of this building are the arches of the bottom floor window openings and the special concrete roof tiles.

This concluded the hike apart from the fact that we still had to walk back to the parking place while underway picking up the two ladies that stayed at the Hofi.