Thursday 30 April 2015

Early Spring Update

After the wettest winter in the living memory of everyone I have talked to at last the rain god is appeased and the spring sunshine has arrived. With the ground so wet everywhere is green and the wild flowers are out in abundance.

As mentioned in my last post the access track to the plot was inaccessible due to the sheer volume of rain and the resulting land slides. After a couple of weeks of dry weather trucks and vans have been able to make it up the track to the top of the plot but it has been declared unsafe for the forty ton concrete lorries needed for the next stage of the build.

Early April snowfall on "our" mountain.

Strong Spring sunshine starts to melt the winter snows.

Spring flowers enjoying the spring sunshine.

More exotic spring flowers.

Way back at the beginning of December I managed to complete the purchase of a small plot of land (approximately 1500 sq. m.) adjoining the bottom of the plot. This extra plot means that there is access from a track (that is in good condition) that leads to the tarmac covered country lane. The long term objective was to cut a way across this additional piece of land to provide an easier, less white knuckle ride access to the finished house. However, in the light of needing to provide a way for the concrete lorries to bring the industrial flooring concrete to the house - the next stage in the build - I decided that it made more sense to spend money to make the new access rather than an indeterminate amount that would be required to stabilise and reinforce almost a kilometre of goat track to enable the lorries to gain access.

The new plot of land.

Topographer at work!

The topographer worked closely with the boss of the excavation team, Gregorios, to devise a route through the new plot of land for the access to the bottom of the main plot and a route up the steeply sloping plot to the house. As previously the route had to avoid major rock excavation (that would destabilise the terrain and incur extra cost!) and to minimise damage and destruction to existing trees and stone wall terracing.

The eventual route devised unavoidably required the removal of one of the old olive trees on the new plot of land. Grigoris could see that I was unhappy with this so offered to replant the tree alongside the new track. Although there is the risk that it will not take I decided to take the risk in order to have a more conventional access in the knowledge that if it did not take I would utilise the trunk somewhere on the plot as a garden seat, art installation or furniture in the house or some other useful function.

To their credit the combination of Grigoris' direction and the digger driver's expertise resulted in the tree being very carefully moved to its new position.

Starting to cut the new access.

Start of moving the old olive tree to new position.

In transit.

Located in new home.

It was an exciting moment when the digger cut through onto the original plot and then proceeded to form the new access route to the house plot.

Breaking through onto the house plot.

Looking down the new track to the country road.