Hauling a tree with the Jeep
This is another piece of the long story about the access road to the farm. Or better it is about finding the right path for it. As mentioned before we’ve been given a lot of advice and recommendations but as always it makes a huge difference who tells you what for which purpose. As we don’t want to be stupid and spend money on things we don’t need, we’ve done several attempts at this. Due to the legal issues we’ve had we could not start working on the farm itself. So we had time to spend on proper investigations of other things including the access road.
After our visit last Sunday I’m glad that we were forced to wait. Now it is perfectly clear how to proceed once all the paperwork has been straightened out.
The road or path crosses two farms and we approached the owners after we explored on horseback how it looks like. Here in Panama you have the right to walk over someone else’s land on foot or on horseback. Of course if there is a fence, you have to respect that. If there is a door with a lock, you can’t open that on your own. But if you encounter a regular farm gate without a lock, then you can open it and are supposed to close it, if there is no lock on it. That’s for people on foot or riding a horse. I am not sure about the rules for vehicle access and at the very least I think it’s a matter of tact to ask in advance.
Because of that and because we wanted to know whether in fact this path is an official servidumbre we met with the owner of the land in question. It turns out that he is a very reasonable person with some inclination to help the community. He allows peons to cultivate food on his land knowing that these people have needs to support their families. We learned that he is in the process of obtaining a property title for his land that is currently held under the rights of possession law and in fact the path in question is marked in his property map as official servidumbre. The term servidumbre means something like access road and according to Panamanian law you cannot title land that has no official access road. A servidumbre by law has to be 12 meters wide.
After we learned the good news we set off to enter the path with the Jeep. Our goal was to see the last 300 meters of the path that we were not able to see last time due to a field full of maiz that was blocking our way.
But first we had to remove a tree that was blocking the road. Thanks to our Stihl MS650 chainsaw it only took a minute to cut the tree in half and then we used the Jeep to haul away the log. For the time being we didn’t bother to haul it off the road completely - just enough to get by it.
Once we actually start using this road to get in and out of our farm we will have to maintain it together with other users. There is no public entity reponsable for that. You have to do it and of course you do it in a way that is sufficient for you. Thanks to the Jeep and our special offroad trailer we don’t require much :-)
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