The plot thickens

OJ at dawn Jun 14A spiritually optimistic point of view holds that the universe is woven out of a fabric of love.  Everything that is happening is ultimately for the good if we’re willing to face it head-on and use our adversities for soul growth.  Joan Borysenko Ph.D

Doesn’t time fly?!  It’s been nearly four weeks since the contractors stopped work on the ‘new road’ below us.  On Monday 2nd June I reported that they laid the first stretch of concrete and hadn’t been seen for a few days but I never imagined that they would down tools and disappear completely.  Various conspiracy theories abound – such as the Junta discovering that the track goes nowhere (except to a few important peoples’ properties), or that the Junta has paid up but the money has been spent elsewhere by the town hall.

Track holes afterTrack mess afterThe fact of the matter is that the men told a neighbour that they haven’t been paid so they came with the red lorry and removed everything they could from site, including the wooden shuttering.

Day 40 track repair 22 Jun 14 (3)Day 35 track repair 16 Jun 14 (8)They’ve left behind a legacy including the massive sheets of reinforcing metal grid (too heavy to shift), now attractively adorning the banks; a yellow barrier saying ‘works – no through road’; one or two gaping holes where repairs have been made to the severed water pipes and festoons of orange nylon netting.

Track beforeTrack after (3)The locals around here are left bemused and I certainly feel a bit like a bride left at the altar!  Are we worse or better off than before?  I think we’ve been left a bit in the lurch.

Track before (2)Day 35 track repair 16 Jun 14 (24)We are obviously grateful that the track has now been saved for the foreseeable future, but now faced with a damage limitation project of our own to make good what the men didn’t.

The before and after photos (above) illustrate the improvement to the track.  However, we now we need to secure our boundary, fence off our land from marauding goats, and do some serious concreting of our own to ensure that the rains are redirected.

Agave planting goat gate 24 Jun 14 (6)We’ve now planted quite a lot of quite large agave cacti which will soon become a prickly and impenetrable hedge, but with the added benefit of helping to knit the loose earth together.  Since our roll of stock fencing was stolen, Joe managed to find a short length of buckled fencing, and we straightened a few of the fencing bars, so for the time being we’ve got a small but serviceable fence.  However, to properly stabilise it we need to put in a concrete lip and/or gully where the soil meets the line of concrete and I’m blowed if I’m going to ask for planning permission…

Everyone else around us here has mains water; we’re the only ones totally reliant on our own well.  We were approached back in February by two neighbours who have broken water pipes to club together to have new trenches dug from the supply point, a few km or so away.  We have been waiting now since February for the Junta to give their permission. When it was chased up in early April, the town hall had somehow lost our application, so I had to sign another request.

Watering can Almacen 14 Aug 13I don’t hold out any hope that we will get permission, or even if the second form has been sent off.  It’s just a fun exercise really, to see what happens.  In any event when Joe mentioned it to Ricardo he did his usual mouth frothing and said he would not allow us to dig up ‘his’ track.  But haven’t the men just dug up ‘his track and laid a fresh new, large bore water pipe from exactly where we asked for permission to lay ours?  And haven’t they now started to concrete it?  This certainly appeals to our sense of the ridiculous!



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