November - developments on the new land


The new hillside and rice paddy in the foreground The new hillside and rice paddy in the foreground

This gallery is really for those of you who have been to the farm, who'll be interested to see how things are changing; and for those with an interest in earth-moving and construction.

The record will be updated every few days when there's anything happening.

Our existing small house is off the picture, to the right on the ridge. The old land is over the summit and brow of the ridge of the entire hill from left to right.
New and old [1] New and old [1]

New, on the left; old, to the right, planted with teak and other trees, as you can see in the next picture.

This hillside is the one shown in the first picture from across the valley.

Our house is behind the photographer here.
New and old [2] New and old [2]

The old farm hillside, on the right, was as bare as the new hillside, four years ago.
Planning meeting Planning meeting

Chai and out architect from Phuket, Khun Suthicha, discuss the route of the new road to the summit of the land, up from the village track in the valley.
Marking out the line of route Marking out the line of route

High on the old farm hillside, the road-making team peg and string the route.

They were warned that dire events would follow the destruction of trees, and that any growing on the route were to be replanted.
Contemplating a steep, tricky turn Contemplating a steep, tricky turn

The road will come in from the right, and turn up this incline, near to where we plan to build the big house - eventually.
The first cut on the first day of work The first cut on the first day of work

The road begins to emerge from the hillside The road begins to emerge from the hillside



Moving a sapling out of the way Moving a sapling out of the way

I doubt whether many of the transplanted trees will survive (winter and the dry season are upon us), but the principle of not destroying trees is one I feel is very important to assert in this de-forested part of the world, where inconvenient vegetation is usually slashed and burnt.
View up the hillside from the village track View up the hillside from the village track

The road is 380m long from here to the summit. The incline is pretty reasonable all the way, except for two tight, quite steep turns very near the summit.


Cut and consolidated Cut and consolidated

Midday, Day 2, the first section of road is completed. This first section turned out to be much wider than we expected (too wide, in truth), but the next section across the old land will be narrower. Eventually, the road will be surfaced, but we are leaving it to consolidate further for one year, through a rainy season. We're hoping to find some surfacing materials which will allow some growth of grass through open-work paving of some kind.


Work starts among the trees on the old hillside Work starts among the trees on the old hillside



I was impressed how neat and precise was the work of this hulking machine and its careful driver.
Keeping an eye on progress Keeping an eye on progress

At this point, the road does a quite steep, sharp U-turn to join an old road, cut high along the hillside when we first bought the land (see next picture).

The team's ability to work on such steep terrain is remarkable - and they achieve a great deal in a very short time. This is just the third day of work, and we're well on the way to the summit.
The old summit road The old summit road

We've never used this, but for walking. It leads to a wide, flat area cut out of the hill where we once thought we might build. Now we're going to go higher, and spread on to the new hillside when we build - giving distant views from the house through an arc of about 200 degrees, possibly more, depending on the height of the buildings.

The bank here will be cut back a little further to accommodatre the new road.
Rich, friable soil with almost no stones at all Rich, friable soil with almost no stones at all

Ali keeps and eye on progress Ali keeps and eye on progress

Ali is the son of Sam, our working man, who lives in a house on the farm with his family.


The first steep turn near the summit The first steep turn near the summit

The rough cut turn on to the old road high up the hill. As it is in this picture (30 Nov) it's too sharp and will have to be widened.
Digging out the turn in the road in the picture above Digging out the turn in the road in the picture above

The final turn up to the summit The final turn up to the summit

This is a reasonable curve, but a very steep incline for the last twenty metres or so.
Looking down the final incline Looking down the final incline

The house will eventually be built to the right of this picture on the brow of the summit.
Making a start on the parking area Making a start on the parking area

This is at the start of the road, and will be outside the main gate, giving space for easy access and turning, and for parking if we ever have any large number of vehicles visiting.