long last the hot weather has arrived. This week the temperatures
have been above 25c and the nightime lows around 17c. Everyone in
the village has started getting up about an hour earlier so they
can get their work finished before the midday heat puts an end to
all serious activity. Then things start up again around 5-6pm and
keep on going till midnight or later.
have been working hard in our olive groves strimming paths through
the sea of wild flowers and grasses and pruning strategic trees
to allow us better views of the mountains behind the property.
week we drove up to the top of Mt Caro, which is highest of the
peaks in the El Ports range behind our ptoperty. While we were there
we took this picture looking down at the Mill. Our land is the dark
ground to the left of the water and starts above the pale ground
(cultivated olive groves) and arcs off to the left.
Sunday we drove up the Ebro valley to a Rasquerra where they were
holding a Goat Fair. This celebrates the times when the village
used to be a centre for goat herders and goat sales. Herds would
be driven all the way from Barcelona down to the village by their
herders who were looking to get the best prices for the animals.
a water diviner arrived to find the best place to drill for a well.
Using a pair steel rods, linked in a V shape, he walked across the
property parallel with the mountains behind us. For a hundred metres
nothing happened, then over a 2 metre stretch, the tip of the rod
leaped upwards in a series of very strong vibrating motions. At
that point his mobile phone started ringing. :)
the call, he continued on for another 20 metres without any reaction,
then turned and came back along the original path he had taken.
At exactly the same point the rods went wild. Having established
where the underground stream was, he put the rods away and cupped
his hands and went very still. After a minute, or two, he announced
that the water was between 140-150 metres down.
done the mystical bit, he then went off to check his findings using
modern technology. Out came a Garmin Etrek GPS system on which he
no doubt had a map overlay of underground water table data. A quick
look at that and he confirmed he would come back with his drilling
truck and bore a hole down which he would insert a steel pipe. A
specialist borehole pump can then be lowered down into the water
and will be powered by a 3 phase 400volt generator of around 4Kw.
May - The daytime temperature in the shade hit 30c for the first
time. It was 27c by 10am. The overnight low was 19c. Scorchio. Gentle
breezes helped the sweat dry, but hats are now essential. We are
having to water our flower pots every evening.
waiting for 8 weeks, our surveyor is going to come and survey the
Mill and the surrounding land. He arrived with a local architech
who had a good look around and agreed that the walls were in the
best shape they had seen on such a property. They are solid stone
walls and it should be easy for us to knock through the doors and
windows that we want to create when we start the restoration. The
surveyor only speaks catalan, but does understand spanish, and now
we have enough spanish words to allow some basic communication.
celebrated by going out to order a steel shed and pergola from the
local Ferreteria. We were expecting to be told there would be a
10 day delivery, but the jefe said "ahora" (now), so we
trooped off in the car with one of their lads to a warehouse on
the outskirts of Tortosa and the lad and his mate loaded a van with
the various bits and pieces for the shed and pergola, then followed
us down the road to drop the off at the Mill.
next day we went off in the van in search of a woodyard to buy some
plnks to form the footings for the base of the shed and the patio
beneath the pergola. After a bit of argy bargy, we came away with
twelve 5 metre planks and over a couple of days, scraped a area
clear and levelled them off. Then we were off to the local rock
shop where they crush sandstone into everything from sand to 60mm
stones. With 1/2 metre of 20mm ballast on board we collected 4 bags
of cement from the builders yard and went back to the Mill to mix
our first barrowload of concrete. A couple of barrowloads and we
had concreted in the stakes to hold up the pergola.
cement mixer is next on the list as there is no way that I'm mixing
the 5 cubic metres of concrete required for the footings in the