Jeah happy birthday sweet Tho! Today (29th of July) he turned 30 years old. But he’s pretty relaxed under this. In the morning we got some cake from the best vegan bakery in Barcelona, La Besneta! With Tho’s mother we had some lovely carrot cake and after that it was time to say goodbye. It was a strange feeling, since we don’t know when we’ll see each other again, but we really enjoyed our time together.
We arrived in the afternoon in Caspe and got right to work. Tho worked more on the electrical installation and I dug deeper into the hole trying to find the water pipe. No luck as of yet, but my back is really tan now. We’re also sleeping in the shed, since this is going to be our house while we renovate the other part. That way we won’t be bothered by dust and debris as much, and this way we can live there faster and see what is necessary to live comfortably.
This afternoon the concrete footers were delivered by the construction store. As close to the place we need them as possible since these weigh in at 80 kg each. This wasn’t completely possible since it’s a bit inaccessible, at least for a truck. So we moved them one by one with the trolley through the sand, not really easy but necessary so the solar panels don’t fly away. The way we want to secure them changes every time since it’s not that easy on the rock.
Friday morning we place the structure for the panels on the rock. The original idea was to place it on the blocks we ordered, but these proved a tiny bit too small. So we’ll be placing the blocks on top of it to hold it down, which looks ok for now. Since it was getting a lot hotter we decided to visit our Spanish neighbour. He has a swimming pool so we took a really refreshing dip with the two dutch kids. We enjoyed it a lot, especially with the cold drinks he provided. We wanted to stay all day but went back to work later in the afternoon.
We connected all the electrical wire from the structure to our house, we had to pull these through a conduit first which gave us some trouble since it was quite some length. After this I dug a ditch for the conduit along the road so the car can pass without any issues.
At the back of the shed is a small entry for cats (we think) which we used to pull the cables in. We want to use this for the incoming and outgoing water supply as well, and we’ll close it then. We ended up working until late but still had energy to make a real meal. Lidl had some delicious vegan pesto here, so we stocked up and made some tasty pastas. It can be difficult to cook a good meal without a fridge, but now we can get some fresh vegetables in the morning and eat them later that day.
And of course we could not stay away from the hardware store, this time we found a very comfy chair! Where you can put your legs up and lay down. And of course for all the little things we need or forgot. Luckily the employees are super friendly and always generous with their advice. Tho had the idea to buy some thick iron wire to fasten the structure for solar, so we needed that and some connectors and pins.
Once home it was nice and overcast so we could work hard all day through. The structure is partially dug in and I made a ditch for the water to flow past. Tho will write a blog post some day about the solar installation since it’s just too much to describe here (and too hard for me to understand haha).
We agreed to visit the neighbour again, but around 7 it started pouring. Since we have a corrugated roof this sounded really cosy, but Luna was a little anxious. So we stack around to keep her company, which turned out to be a great idea. At some point we noticed water coming in via the doors of the shed, these are in the front of the house and really big. But there are also big gaps because of that add some wind and water came in through those. So we placed a bunch of towels to keep the water from running in, successfully so. However, we turned around and noticed a lot of water in the back of the shed, the water was gushing in via the hole for the cats. The water could not run down correctly so it all went in there, so Tho ran out in his underwear and dug some trenches. In the meantime I was running around with towels to stop the water and get it out of our house. Luckily the roof was almost completely watertight so we didn’t have anything major there. I switched with Thomas after a little while and added some blockades in front of the hole.
We were lucky though, nothing was damaged. Even though the electric parts were near the hole we already have a nice rack that fits everything. We checked the house as well and everything was completely dry there. Like I said we were really lucky, we were there to stop it and it let us know where to fix things.
So Sunday morning we started in the morning with the closing of all the gaps and holes. We made some mortar ourselves and had some ready mix for these types of fixes. We closed all the holes on the outside of the windows and all the bigger cracks on the wall. All the holes where the roof meets the wall are closed with expanding foam, and it was really good to see all the places I did before hold up well. We’re also going to add a gutter next to the house so the runoff doesn’t enter our place, but that’s for another time.
All of this made us realize work is slower than we expected. We plan to do or fix something, but it requires a lot of smaller steps to even do that work. Add in all the trips to the hardware store, travelling back and forth to Barcelona. We’re also taking our time for all the electricity, Tho wants to be as safe as can be and I’m helping where I can. But safety is first, making things take a little more time. So we decided to move all our stuff from Barcelona, and permanently live here in the next couple of months.