Tales about Aviation, Coaching, Farming, Software Development

Progress on our dirt road

This Wednesday we went again to the farm to see how the work on the dirt road has advanced, to bring in more supplies and give more direction. It is looking good.

I took the time to take a few pictures from the passenger seat so that you readers can follow along and get a better impression. Here we are approaching the entrance. If you look closer, you’ll spot the barb wire left and right of the opening. This fence marks the limit of the property owned by our neighbor Frederico Camargo. He is a smart and knowledgeable gentleman who knows a lot about protecting the environment and the all so important water sources. If you kill all the trees on a farm, you’ll up without water as punishment. We met him recently to get his permission to drive over his land and he informed us that he had specifically marked this trail as servidumbre in his property map.

When people who own land on right of possession start the process to obtain legal title they have to perform a land survey so they can claim title on a specific piece of land. Before it was enough to list the neighbors to the south, north, west and east. Some “forget” to mark a servidumbre in their property map and then disputes about right of way may evolve. Plus one cannot title land that has no access road (servidumbre). I was putting quotation marks around “forget” because sometimes there is evil spirit at work. Apparently something in the human nature … who knows.

Well… Here is our access road. The leaves are drying and this time we could get up a bit easier than with the fresh cut leaves on the ground. Once we are done we have to see how we put back in a farm gate that meets our and Sr. Camargo’s needs.

You can see that the ground is not really even. I tried to show how the car was leaning to the side. It’s about a 45 degrees angle. So we need to fix that soon. It’s not too much and we should be able to do that with shovel and pick.

Once up we have forest to the right and after a slight right turn we cross over a large clearing that has been used as a rice field before. You can clearly see all those logs and stumps. Our guys cut them into pieces and removed them from the road in construction. When that field was cleared they simply felled the trees and did not care about removing the logs. They simply started seeding between them.

We don’t intent to drive a bulldozer through the road. Instead we think that a bit of vegetation on the ground helps to fight erosion and avoid this to turn into a mud pit.

Further ahead the road goes up a little hill in a gentle curve. There are more fallen trees to be removed. Some have started to rot others are still intact. Our guys cleared all the brushwood for a good 1000 m with their machetes and now the next step is to cut the trees and move them to the side.

Other trees are still standing and blocking they way. They have to go. Not all the trees have wood that can be used for something. Some are very soft. We only clear about 3 m - 4 m wide. A servidumbre by law is a path 10 m wide.

Around the corner a huge almendro tree is blocking the path. Luis is joking and asking us where we want him to put it. almendro is construction wood and can be used for siding or for anything else that is not in direct contact with the soil. Our plan is to move it to the side and later - once we can travel with the Jeep all the way up to the farm - come back with the chainsaw mill to process it. This tree will certainly end up as becoming part of the horse stable which is our first construction project on the farm.

The guys followed a bit too close the old trail. Luis is given instructions to make it a straight cut.

All it all it looks great. The road will be on top of the ridge. It has mostly an even surface and hopefully the water will flow away on both sides. At some points we even have a scenic view. In the background you can see Lake Bayano.