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Public Road Fixed… Sort Of

It might sound as a minor thing, but the city finally fixed the public road to the farms around here, sort of. The last time it was properly done was 4 years ago. To keep the dirt roads around here in proper condition they need maintenance once a year and an overhaul every two years. If that’s not done, then after about three years they become impossible to drive on for normal cars. Rainwater coming down erodes deep gullies everywhere. Even with our 4WD Montero we could not use the road going up anymore during the past year, because it had holes of almost half a meter deep. That left only one route available out of here: the road going down.

So we were happy to see the machines coming in some weeks ago, although the timing was quite a surprise, right at the start of the rainy season… First thing done was reshaping the road, to create a more of less flat driving area and channels for rainwater on both sides. Then we got some severe rain, turning large parts of the just redone road into such slippery mud that we’d almost slide into the ditch, leaving deep tire tracks totally fucking up the work just done. Great, now it was even worse than before.

But the sun came back and so did the machines. Damage was fixed and they now started to cover the road surface with something like gravel they dug up higher on the mountain. It’s not actually gravel but a mix of fine clay and stones. After a week of sunny weather that fine clay has now partially turned to dust.

This evening, while I’m writing this, it’s raining. We know this dusty fine clay is again going to turn into slippery mud, but over time it will wash away, leaving the gravel and the rocks in place. One day the road will stabilize.

This is a bit of a window into life in Colombia. Things get fixed, but slowly sometimes and with a strong dose of improvisation. It keeps things adventurous and you learn to deal with problems. We’re not thrilled with all these cheap fixes, but we are happy that at least the profile of the road is fixed again. We’ll be good for another two years after the dust is gone. Life is never boring at EcoGay!


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