Nov 9, 2008
Week 1 - Clearing the site
Since we left here last spring, the grass had grown up, and the jungle behind had burst into a huge thicket. I first had the grass hacked down and raked it out. Then 7 cubic metre load of gravel was dumped which I put my back to work spreading to define our site boundries.
There are several grades of gravel used here. The 3 most common are Calica, (also called relleño - “fill”) which is a mix of fine gravel and a clay-like substance. It is always delivered somewhat damp and when it is placed and packed down, beomes cement-hard. It is the cheapest at about $10/M. For a better drainage you can use coarse gravel. Pea gravel is used for walking paths. They go for about $20/M.
Our site is one of three new palapas being built side-by-side. Next to us will be Bob and Dot from Gibsons, BC. They live on a boat all summer up there. And next to them will be Larry and Jen, from Calgary. We won’t all be Canadians in this new section. Our neigbours on the other side are Doug and Darla, ex-Californians, who live here full time. Then William, also from California, the Nelsons from Colorado, followed by three more Canadians families.
This section is on the edge of the park property and will be the final row of palapas going up. Thus we back on to the jungle green-belt. Last spring, we had seen some other palapas on the jungle side which had developed small back yards by pushing back the jungle and were looking forward to doing the same. However, over the summer, our neigbours to the north set a new standard of jungle recovery and had all cut back a deep swath and started some very nice gardens. So us three ‘newbies’ got together, hired a tractor and truck to clear the brush form our back yards. We were able to save a few decent trees so we have some shade already. Then we dug out the swampy mud, and replaced it with coarse gravel. I have been busy with shovel and wheel barrow, moving dirt and rocks, as Susan is trimming the bushes and planning her tropical garden.