Our groundbreaking trip was at the end of May 2010. We packed up everything into the Beast and hit Route 68. I remember I had had a little too much wine the night before and was feeling pretty uneasy and actually physically ill as we started up the curvy, fog filled road into Laguna Verde. After arriving in the pueblo of Laguna it took us an extra hour to get to our property because we had forgotten how to get to our new place. The roads were (and still are) basically dirt paths in the woods wide enough for a car and a horse to pass each other, but not wide enough for two cars to pass eachother. With the determination of new landowners, we finally found a road we knew and arrived at our destination. The dirt path ended before our house so we had to extend it another 100 yards with a hatchet, a branch saw (for those of you who no nothing about such things, this is not the appropriate tool for the job) and cuss words.
We spent the first afternoon making our road and putting sticks in piles. This is what the entire property looked like in the beginning.
After a full day of physical labor (with a hangover no less) it was time to set up the tent and make dinner. I had never camped before so this was a lesson in patience for my husband for sure. We dined on greasy sausage and at night I had a panic attack (also a first) that I think was prompted by the fact that the reality of our situation was sinking in. I would actually be living in Chile indefinitely and building a house in the woods. Oh and I had just gotten married too. Husband was filled with excitement and I had this lingering feeling of extreme anxiety. Not a great way to start a project. Thankfully he sensed this and took me here:
I felt better after that.
We spent the next couple weekends out in Laguna clearing the property. Then it was time to lay out the footprint of the house and break ground. We had to mix the cement for the pillars of the house on plastic tarps and pour it ourselves. That was a challenge.
This is what we ended up with. Unfortunately, Winter was coming. The floor and roof both had to be completed before the rains came to the coast. But that’s another story all together.