After weeks of being told that the Land Cruiser was in the shop, it was finally repaired and ready to drive into the valley. The basecamp area was overgrown with weeds and desperately needed some cleaning. The Land Cruiser makes it easier to get into the valley, and much easier to transport tools needed to clear the valley. Chapo, the mechanic who fixed the Cruiser, tagged along for the ride. He made chains for traction, and upon getting to the end of the paved rode, showed Bradley Luna Wilson how to put them on the rear tires. It was a fairly smooth ride in because parts of the dirt road where freshly plowed and cleared of rocks. Other parts of the drive were slightly bumpy, but the Cruiser made it in like a champ![singlepic id=4261 w=320 h=240 float=left]
We got into the valley and were surprised by the how overgrown it was. Even in two weeks since the first time I had been there, the weeds seemed to have doubled in size. Last year’s basecamp, and the small settlement that had been created, was completely covered up. The directors would explain to me what was where; for example where all the tents were, the shower, the gardens, etc, telling me that at one point it was all visible from the main basecamp. In an old-school fashion, we set off with our machetes and started chopping away at the weeds, clearing the land. I never thought using a machete would wear me out so much, but between the action of chopping down weeds and the heat of the day, I was beat by the end of two hours. It will definitely be a difficult task clearing all the land. In two hours basecamp looked much better but was nowhere near being fully cleared. We did get to the gardens, though. I would have thought the natural, wild habitat would make the plants grow better than in San Miguel, but I realized this was the wrong assumption when we saw that weeds had been invading the magic circle and the plants weren’t nearly as large as the ones in the protective yard.
[singlepic id=4263 w=320 h=240 float=right]Back to the Land Cruiser, we attached a trailer wagon filled with materials that had been left at basecamp and started our way back to San Miguel. The terrain seemed more difficult on the way back, probably because all the hills that were rocky and bumpy were going downhill on the way to basecamp, and uphill on the way back home. Not to mention that the trailer wagon was an additional weight added to the car. Good thing Chapo was there because at one point, we got stuck going up hill and had to use the wench attached at the front of the car to get out. Bradley took the wench and wrapped it around a strong tree near the top of the hill. The wench winds itself in using the transmission, pulling the car out of the hole the wheels had created while trying to get up the hill on its own. Finally we made it, and it was a quite an adventure. I can see why the Land Cruiser is a key element in the beginning phases of the development of this property. Hiking in with all the tools and supplies would be extremely difficult, and probably impossible for some things!