There is a better access road
It pays off to go slow at some times.
We explored several paths for the access road to the farm and we talked to our neighbords to hear their opinion. Our immediate neighbor Didimo recommended to use a path over his property and his neighbor Chano recommended the same route. The path is well traveled but is narrow and hence heavy equipment (bulldozer, backhoe/loader, etc.) would be required to move dirt and rocks. That can easily get quite expensive. The other issue is that Didimo would like to receive a one-time payment for the right to travel over his property. In the end we would pay for the right to pass and build him the access road to his property on our expense. Not a very good deal ;-)
Not only because of the other legal issues did we hold off on all of this but also because we remembered that we were told there were another path through the jungle and the mountains on the other side of the river that is our property limit.
But guess what … Nobody recommended that path and nobody was eager to show it to us.
So … Seeing is believing and based on that we set out to explore that other path ourselves. Equipped with a handheld GPS we drove on early Sunday morning to the place, got on our horses and with a local helper (a peon who works for anybody who pays him a day’s salary) we started off to find that path.
It turned out that this alternative path is actually the best access road one can imagine. The distance to travel is basically the same. In the end we have to cross the same Chuluganti river but the crossing is right there where the farm is located and that is about 4 km further upstream from the crossing of the public road. The river is much shallower there and gets much less water from creeks than further down. So on rainy days we may still be able to cross there while further down the water level makes it impossible. And … of course that’s for the mid-term future … we can build our own bridge or otherwise improve the crossing without going all the trouble that would take with a public road. Doing something just for yourself is usually easier and less expensive.
It got even better. About 70% of the path has no obstacles for a 4WD car. These days nobody drives by car there but a few years back someone drove a bulldozer through the first half to get to the top of the mountain on his property. As the path is on a mountain ridge water damage is no issue as it flows down on both sides and the road on the top stays dry. There isn’t much brushwood there either due to that.
The best part is that at the end where the path reaches the farm there is still the original jungle with a lot of old and big trees that make perfect construction wood. The person who owns that jungle has been clearing it step by step to make room for pasture, maize, and rice. We believe that he won’t oppose our intention to get our construction wood from there. We would be widening the last part of the path to make it a road and get wood for free.
In fact the wood aspect is really the best part of that all because we had been thinking about buying wood trees from neighbors around. We may not need to do that at all and the challenge of transporting the wood to the farm won’t be there either. We simply start cutting our way up the hill and hauling the wood back while building the road. One effort and multiple benefits.
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