The pool is finished. Now it is time for the landscaping, a big job to say the least.
Alfonz and Adrian work their asses off trying to get it all done. First, they built the wall with blocks. Buying concrete blocks from Bricoman, they dig down and ensure it is level, and place the blocks in a line two high and cement them in place.
They decided on a two-step high landing around the pool, followed by a one step landing after making it very pleasing to the eye.
They fill in each area with dirt and level it out by hand, making it ready for the next step.
They rented a machine from Oliver, the owner of the Chantier up the road, that pounds out the dirt compacting it into a solid surface. On top of this goes a load of rock, which Alfonz rented a truck from Oliver to pick it up at the Bricoman. They backed up the truck as close to the terrace area as possible and then unloaded it wheelbarrow load by wheelbarrow load. They hand carted it to the fill sites and leveled it out with shovels.
The rocks are there for drainage purposes. With heavy rains when it does rain in the Languedoc, drainage is very important. If done incorrectly, within a year the surface would be uneven and you would need to start again.
Once that step was finished on top of the soil went a load of sand. They rented the truck again and went to Bricoman to pick up the load of sand. After another pound down the tiles, weighing 15 pounds each, are loving places in line on top touching, making a solid terrace surface.
It has been a backbreaking process and each day they have been completely haggard as I serve them dinner.
I feed them, hydrate them and then Alfonz and Adrian sleep and start again.
After 3 days of day in and day out work, Alfonz pulled his hernia and Adrian hurt his tennis elbow, stopping progress in mid stride. When you do not listen to fatigue and push through sometimes your body makes you stop.
Alfonz decided to take the break as an opportunity to ride his motorbike to Germany and visit his aunt and uncle near Heidelberg in a town called Mosbach.
We got word he made it safely through 42-degree bumper-to-bumper traffic and hit a storm on his way. Today he heads towards Budapest to pick up our EU health care cards and is taking his drivers tests to have a valid drivers and motorbike license in the EU. He should be back within 2 weeks, giving him a well-deserved break after 5 months of renovation.
Adrian has left us too, continuing his own adventures. Thank-you for all your help my friend, we could not have done it without you. You are missed. Visit soon!
With business taking off, I stay home to run the apartment rental and the B&B room. I love my time with the kids, and enjoy learning our new business. It does not feel like work when you love what you do.
We are nearly a year into our adventure and have already set up our dream life. I could not be more pleased.
What is next you ask? Morocco, Italy, business, fun, learning French… The list never ends.