Los Barriles, Baja - El Torote Hillside Development
Casa De La Montaña
November - December 2018: Palapa And Fence Construction
We arrived in Los Barriles on November 19. We were dropping the trailer off on the lot, meeting with our builder Chepy and then heading into San Jose del Cabo to spend most of our time.
Our lot is 1/2 on flat land and 1/2 on the hillside. This picture is from our hillside looking down at the lot (truck/trailer) and a the view of the Sea of Cortez. The orange column on the left and the blue truck on the right is our lot.
This is from up on our hillside. The reddish house on the left is the house that Craigs' Mom Russett built and lived in for 3 years, then sold. The green house to the right is the house that Russett and we built in 2006 and sold in 2010.
When we arrived at the lot, this is what it looked like. Our power monument was in place. The next steps were:
- Visit the power company in San Jose to establish and pay for our electric contract.
- Visit the water company in Los Barriles to pay for our water contract and water connection.
As we started working on the lot, we were asked by the city water people, our notary, and others "what is the name of your property". In Los Barriles, we do not really have a house number or even a street name, so the house name is your identifier. We named this lot "Casa De La Montaña which in Spanish means "House Of The Mountain".
The Palapa is the first thing to be worked on. The main posts are in the ground!
Once the general framework is completed on the palapa, they started building the fencing. We put a solid wall on this side to help with any future runoff, privacy, noise, or dust.
They are ready to put the palm fronds on top of the palapa for the roof. They water the palm frongs down so they are bendable
The palapa, wall, and fencing are complete! They still need to finish the water and power connection on the wall once it is painted.
We had a mix up on the paint color. Instead of referencing the color by name and number, it came off a cell phone picture and turned out a light purple. Although it was a good color, not the color we wanted for the wall.
Next is the upper support beams.
For the solid walls, they dig down 4 feet and put cement blocks and then stucco over the blocks and then paint.
The first layer is being put down. Once this layer is down, they bend them over the edge and then put the next layer on. The repeat the process and nail each layer as they go
This is the underside of the palapa. It is a work of art! Now they will spray for bugs and then lacquer.
View from up on our hill looking down at the palapa and fencing.
We put a solid wall only behind the trailer. For now we are keeping the rest of the lot (on the road and up the hill) with fence post, wire, and barb wire. This will keep the cows and goats out for now so the vegetation can grow. Once we build a casa, we will then put a solid wall on the lower section by the road and side, we will leave the hillside fenced with wire.
Tawny The Travel Trailer fits perfect under the palapa and the correct paint color is completed!
This is one of our resident cows. They cows usually come through the neighborhood each day looking for food. Some evenings they bed down on the lot beside us or on the road. We also have a herd of about 30 goats that like to come through. Yes...Holly has started leaving our food scraps (veggies and fruit) for the little buggers!
January 2019: Misc Projects On The Lot
Our condo was rented for the month of January, so we moved out the Los Barriles and the trailer. This gave us an opportunity to work on a variety of projects. Below are a few of them:
When we had the electric put on the lot, they were only able to put a small connection. We wanted the ability to have 30 or 50amp for the trailer so Craig had our friends Chris and Sharolyn bring down a box from the States. Craig then ran new wire and rewired the new box with a 20amp, 30amp, and 50amp outlet. We can now run most anything we want!
When the builder put in the septic line, we had them stop at the 1/2 way spot on the lot. Then once the trailer was in place, Craig extended the septic line to the back of the trailer. We kept the center connection so we have the ability to hook up two trailers to septic if needed.
Of course, Holly was going crazy because she has been itching to plant cacti for years. Our friends Chris and Sharolyn were in town, so Holly, Sharolyn, and Janet went to a neighbors across the arroyo and picked up some Agave and Aloe Vera for free. Then came the fun of plant it around the lot. Keeping in mind that we will do construction at one point and the plants cannot be in the way of that.
These are the Aloe and Agave that we got from my new friend Beth. Ya...I went a little over board : )
I planted the three largest Agave on the outside of the fence. Once the plants are establish, the cows will not bug them. However, before they get established, the cows like to pick them up and toss them to the side. So I built 'cow cages' around them. Basically, it was fencing rimmed with barb wire and rocks. This should keep the little buggers out!
This is the "Nursery". Any cacti I find up on the hill or around that are in the way of construction or possible trampling are moved here temporarily. This area should be safe from building and once we build a casa I can plant these around teh lot.
Odds are these will need to be moved because we may build into the hillside. Guess I'll find out soon enough.
Of course every landscaping project involves rocks! I took the truck up the hills one day and collected grey/black/white and red rocks. The moto is...if I can lift and carry it, I can have it ; )
April 2019 Update
Well, I was right....the plants and rocks I collected and planted all need to be moved : ) Now that we have sold the condo, we are working with an architect/builder to design a house for this lot. Since construction will start after we leave the Baja in April, this stuff must be moved. So....I spent a few days moving everything up the hillside out of the construction zone. It's great exercise right?