And atlast a sneak preview of my temporary abode in the dusty village of Coronado where I have been and will be living throughout the construction. Not quite the 'eco-luxury' that PuraVidaEcolodge will offer but all quite cute and charming nonetheless..anecdotes to follow...
The other photo is of Playa Arco, just one fo the idylic and very rugged beaches on our doorstep...
With the diggers work eventually complete and the mountain deciding to behave whilst the workers install the iron 'placas' that will be the 'armaduras' or skeleton of the concrete foundations, we are well on target for being 'mas o menos' ready for pouring the foundations. That was until we discovered a leak in our water supply which led to a distinct change in terms of progress. Our water at the project currently that comes from one of 'la quebradas' of Tres Rios. A couple of kilometres trekking up through the mountains, crossing various cow fields and then onto denser jungle, it becomes clear that the rubber pipelines had become loose, probably fitted with far too much 'mas o menos' philosophy, means the initial bodge job is in need of quick repair. With Kika giggling away with her new 'work' camera phone in hand (no further publicity required), Gersan and I wrestled to attach two out of control slippery tubes together without slipping down what was a scarily close and seemingly endless ravine.
Back at the site, the tank slowly begins to fill up and spirits rise all round at the prospect of actually having a regular water source with which to cook, clean and mix concrete with!!! A few last minute measurements, a couple of engineer inspections and checks that the armaduras and columns are placed correctly and the pouring of concrete can eventually begin.
Marvin, our 'JC faithful' Tico contractor arrived 'mas o menos' on time as I was toying with my first bread purchase in 6 weeks from our passing 'panadero'. We had spoken the night before and agreed to meet this morning to go through the construction contract.
We head for Uvita, the nearest 'reasonably built up' village or commercial hotspot (relative) eventually locating a computer and printer in full working order so as to be able to print the draft and read through together over coffee. After some good humoured last minute haggling, inherant of Costa Rican culture, and some reasuring words about his team and start date of the 2nd January, we were all signed and heading back to Coronado. Amazingly it was lunchtime already, the last task of the day being to get to 'La Muni' to deliver what will be the 19th (and final) requirement stipulated by the amazingly overly beaurocratic 'local municipality'.
Having experienced an often bizarre plethora of contrasting social systems & tendencies on my travels, even the massively out-dated red tape of India and the complete lack of choice and creativity in Cuba, never left me as bemused as a typical day in Costa Rica, carrying out 'tramites'
It starts with the air con on full, extreme cold, freezing even the slightly larger people also waiting. Upon entering, one is encouraged to take a numbered ticket, supposedly indicating an order. After an hour of waiting however it becomes clear that this 'number order' is again 'mas o menos' (more or less), besides the machine above the desks clearly has one of the numbers stuck as it noisely ticks from 53 to 63, quite annoying for the person who had number 54 in their hand (me).
After some gentle humouring of the security guard in charge of keeping some kind of order (who quite unecesarily is armed up like Rambo) i am jumped to the front, just as the office closes, 7 signatures and 11 stamps later we. OFFICIALLY have the building permits. Happy Christmas PuraVidaEcolodge!!!