A path on top
Unlike all other possible paths for the access road to the farm this one is completely on top of a mountain ridge. Panama is a tropical country which means that rain falls as heavy downpours. Dirt roads very quickly become unusable due to the formation of deep canyons by the water, if there is no other exit for it. Roads that traverse a hill flank can be destroyed by a mud slide and of course a dirt road at the bottom of a hill turns into mud due to all the water coming down the hill.
So we are very happy that our road will be on top for the most part. It will dry fast and even during the rain water will flow off the road.
As mentioned early the owner of that land is a nice person and allows peons to cultivate food for their own purposes. In the next picture you can see such an example. The little hut belongs to a peon and if you look closely there are plantain or banana plants close to it.
The other advantage of that path is that we don’t have to do much to use it. There is no need to drive heavy machines like a bulldozer through. Before we were looking at investing at least two weeks of bulldozer work which has a going rate of about $80 per hour. So that would have been easily up to $6500 just for that. We can spend that money on cattle, use it to build fences or something else that we need.
All we have to do to use this path with our Jeep or to bring cattle to the farm is cut down the weeds and remove a few small trees to widen the path a bit. Weeding is for guys with a machete and by contracting these guys we support the local community. Money spent on a bulldozer goes to a company in Panama City so it suits us more to spend money locally.
Look at the next picture. The pumpkin, squash or whatever it is was just growing next to the path. That’s the great thing about the rainforest. It produces food without human activity all on its own. Well worth protecting it by acting responsibly.
After a while on top the path now goes down to the river through an area that is still virgin forest with real big and old trees. The distance between the trees is enough for the Jeep to get through so we don’t have to start cutting them down.
Although we will cut a few of these big trees over time to extract the wood. One of our first projects on the farm will be to build a stable for our horses. They are criollos and don’t need a stable but there is nothing wrong in treating them nice and it will be easier to find them. At present we need to send a peon a few hours ahead so that he finds the horses and brings them to a meeting point. Once we can drive all the way up the farm we want to get off the Jeep and have the horses right there. Of course there will be a peon living permanently on the farm as well so that there is always a caretaker present.
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