QuickPeek: Farm work. Measuring. Chopping. Digging. Clearing. Cooking. Animal Care.
The night was surprisingly warmer than I expected and I felt like I had a bit of too much layers on. Surprising, I suppose it must be because of the hard cycling done in the earlier part of the day. I woke up to gloomy skies and walked up to the river to wash up a bit before heading into Ricardo’s shack for a bit of b’fast. I made some oatmeal porridge and we waited for Carlos to show up. It was a rainy morning and we figured Carlos decided to stay back in Tortel for the night.
It was way past 2 pm when I decided to walk about and see if he was probably in his other house around the bend. Turned out he had arrived, just as I got there and we chatted a bit about his farm and his ideas. Turned out he had hoped that we’d stay at his farm for a few months and help to setup his new house and farm! Hmmm. I suppose it was a tricky bit, but he was such a nice chap that we decided to stay and help him for a little bit. I have a bit of a deadline with Chilean Visas and so we offered to work on his farm for a week and probably help to setup a volunteering network to help build up his place over time. I suppose he had picked the right people up to start the project and I hope that we can hook him up with the right set of websites and tools and also start the process of working in the land to get the project going!
Our work manager was Ricardo, a little deaf, impossible to understand and rigid in his ways, but always with a bit of a wry smile and something funny to say 🙂 The first part of the work was to measure out a quarter hectare and mark it. The place we were working was pretty dense Beech trees and there was no possibility of line of sight. We tried to work with a short rope, fishing twine and my iPhone as a compass to measure. We were reasonably ok and marked up some corners, but later turned out that the compass on the iPhone was highly unreliable (I’d be better off looking at the sun for directions) and we were off by a few meters on all sides, heh. No worries, we were building a pig pen and Ricardo’s comment was that the pigs weren’t going to mind :-p
The second part involved chopping some of the trees so that we could get a walking trail and line of sight for the different corners. I worked with a Machete and the others had some power tools and it was a bit of a work out getting the place cleared up. The issue was not just chopping, but also clearing the path – which was a bit more work, to be honest.
Once we had done clearing, we had to wait for a bit for Carlos to supervise the work and give an A-OK so that we could proceed. he came in one of the days and was happy with the work and progress and we started on the next phase: Digging a trench about a feet wide and deep for laying out tree trunks as a fence. It took many hours for me before I could come up with an efficient way to dig the trench. The work was slow going and not something that required much mental abilities, it was dig, dig, dig, shovel, shovel, shovel and repeat! I enjoyed it though! It was physical workout and the workplace was incredibly beautiful, at any time of day and any weather! Stunning indeed. We had our two faithful farm hands, Toby and Courage, the ever present dogs who’d put their noses right under the shovel everytime, heh. Was a good bit of distraction.
We stayed with Ricardo for a few days, and did some cooking in his wood stove and even tried my hand at making Pan de Campo (essentially farm bread). After a week or so, Carlos’s dog, in his other house, delivered a litter of 8 puppies and we were tasked to look after the doggies, a bunch of cats and about 25 chicken and 2 ducks too, heh. A proper farm job there.
Carlos would pick up supplies in huge quantities and we had shit tons of food to eat, as long as it came off of a package. The access to fresh veggies was a bit of a shortfall. Ah well, we still ate pretty well these days. Overall, it was an incredible lovely experience hanging out and doing farm work and being a proper Gaucho in Patagonia! Yay for that!
Track NotesExpenses: SG$ 0
Comments: It's a Gaucho Life! This is an excellent place for doing some farm work!