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October 2022 visit

While we were waiting for the last negotiations we planned a new visit. We wanted to check the streams, the ground and the area. 

But first we planned to give a visit to the local attorney as we were expecting that we would need one for buying the houses and the land. This was in Briviesca.

Maaike spoke to them in Spanish which was difficult but she did a great job. Luckily because the lawyers, while being young and educated, could not speak a word of English.
They were really relaxed and did not think it was a difficult situation. We should view it as a simple house and land buying but just many times over. After the meeting we took some time to discuss the result while the little ladies were absorbed in their books.

The next day we went to Barcena for a hike. Of course we started with a lunch. Funny enough there were other people and it seemed that almost every time we were there, other people were there as well, walking around the ghost village. This time there were elderly people who wanted to view the tiles used in the houses. They made pictures of it and left. But not before giving us some nuts they had found on the ground next to the church. Really nice. 

We first followed a dry tributary, which flows through the village and should end up in the main small river. With our first visit in May it was running, in the summer it was dry and we hoped it would run now but it did not. We followed it upstream to see where it started. We ended up a hill which was made out of beautiful red dirt. I wondered if it could be used to finish the houses so I took a small sample with me. Riva really loved climbing she was by far the fastest. 

You can see that next to the river, where it is not possible to work the land and there is humidity, there are many trees.

We walked via the fields back to checkout the main river. This field was just harvested and you could see the rows in which it was planted and the mono-culture. Only the grain and nothing else. It is quite hilly so only the flat areas are being used. On the unused parts also very few plants grow. We wondered why. Could be that the trees have been removed to use it for wood.

As you can see the river itself was still in good condition. As the ground is made of soft rock the river has dug itself quite deep. So often you will see the river meters down below and it is difficult to reach. But next to the village the mine has mined about 50 to 50 meters which makes a nice plateau from which the river is fairly reachable.

We could cross the river with a small bridge made by the mine as they needed to cross it for collecting their mined rocks. Next to the bridge the river was so deep that someone (the miner?) made a little swimming pool for him self.
After crossing we climbed the mining area and crossed some fields.We knew Marcelino, the current owner, has a permit to collect water. And we hoped to find something which indicated where that would be. A well or pump or tap or something. 


Wandering around more fields I soon noticed the ground which should be soil but it was not. It looks more like the images I know of the surface of the moon than I expected to get my food from. There was nothing alive here. Only stones, sand, clay, chalk and other chemical components. But no insects, no fertility no earth. How we can get healthy food from this is beyond me and I hope we can change this for the better.

Wandering around we went back to the river and could cross it. We found something there. We did not know what to think about it but it was a trench. So we followed it. On one side it was connected to the river but was closed off. Walking to the other side we found fig trees planted which was surprising. After about 10 minute walk we found the end and it was on a field. Someone had made a little vegetable garden and even hang a big net to collect falling nuts above the river. Someone had made a little paradise form himself.


All in all it was a nice day in which we learned a lot about the place. We also took some dirt from the mine and the clay. I found it interesting... I will see what I can do with it.


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