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Showing posts from May, 2024

Travelling by Train

The first time we went to this area was a little bit further to the north, during the summer holidays of 2021. We wanted to visit Araia, because Tibor figured out that we could reach it in one day by train. We were planning to do that in May 2020 when Covid threw our plans in the water. What we knew then, to be able to reach it in one day, we needed to walk from Hendaye station to Irun station (so from France to Spain), about a 30 minutes walk. That first time we found out that there was also a metro like train running from Hendaye to Irun and San Sebastian. Now we didn’t buy an abandoned village close to Araia, but a little further south. The closest station is 30 km from Bárcena, that is not reachable in one day by public transport from the Netherlands, because trains only stop there 3 times a day.  It  is possible to reach Miranda de Ebro or maybe even better, go to  Vitoria / Gasteiz, because you can rent a car there. These are the steps you have to take to get there by train (from


After the long journey , we placed the boxes in the container. Ready to be unpacked. Because I found it quite exciting, I waited for Maaike to do it together. I've done quite a bit with electricity before, but this was definitely more than I've ever done. We consulted the documentation and got to work, first checking if we had received everything listed on the packing list. That was quite a search, two things turned out to be missing. After texting, it turned out that they had already been incorporated into another device. From the off-grid center, we received two schematic drawings. We consulted them and tried to place all parts on the ground first. This seems easy with a schematic but was more challenging than expected. The colors of the diagram did not match the wires, moreover, there were labeled cables that we didn't need. Lastly, what was confusing was that the batteries did not need to be connected and that an extra fuse was provided for the generator that was not sh

The hague university

Before we are going to write about setting up our first power plant, there is one more blog that’s been on the shelf for a while. In spring 2022 Maaike’s family had a reunion, family being all aunts and uncles and cousins from fathers side. At that time our idea of buying Bárcena was still very fresh, but the idea was born so off course we talked about it. Cousin Joep, who works at The Hague University and the department of energy transition, was very interested in the project and said at his work they were always looking for projects for students and ours might be a good candidate.   In the year that followed we stayed in contact and when it became more and more certain that in September the village would be ours, we agreed to do a minor on the university on our project. The project being: what do we need to make the village have power all year long this off grid. So in September 2023 we had a meeting with four students who were going to work on the project. Therefore Tibor made a des