Our move to Zapata

Any of you who have been out with us over the last few years will know of our long struggle to build our new home at the bottom of the big spine to the East of Piedrahita.   3 years ago the first constructor ran off with a large portion of our funds and went into insolvency.  Last year, another company (Marinenclaves s.l) took our money, and although we recieved the building materials, they contracted a bunch of cowboys with apparently little idea of how to build and no idea how to read plans.  Last July we were left with the external walls up (though out of square and incorrectly sealed) with the rest of the material strewn across the field.  Marinenclaves decided not to honour their contract  (having already taken the money) so it was up to us to finish things alone.  We had some expert help from Art, who came across from the US company to frame the roof, and from then it has been Juan Carlos, a local builder and his assistant Dani and myself working to finish things off from last October untill now.

Thing have gone quite slowly although I have worked about 10 hours daily every day since then.  Just when I was starting to despair, Brian Hindle from the Malverns club generously offered to come across and help for 3 weeks in March.  I have no real experience in building apart from basic DIY and carpentry skills from making chicken houses and bee hives.  Brian has a lifetime of building experience and his help in the more complex work such as building the staircase was essential.  He sorted me out regarding lots of finshing details and by the time he left us the upper floor was finally in a state close to being habitable.  Thanks so much Brian, and likewise to Pat for letting us have him for those 3 weeks.

After Brian went back, Peter, our driver came out from Madrid and has been helping out for most of the time since.  At Easter Paul, our webmaster, also lent a hand.   Due to the Volcanic ash disruption, Paul ended up helping us for a bit longer than he expected.

We vacated our old house in Piedrahita when our first group of guests arrived at Easter.  Although we are still very much living in a building site, bit by bit we have been getting those essentials…electricity, water, WC.  At the start of the Walkers week we finally got the hot water going.

So far this spring the flying has looked really good…….though with so much building to do I have done little other than watch the skies and do the odd commercial tandem.   I was looking forward to getting back into the sky next week with our first group for May.  However, the weather has messed things up and we have re-scheduled those pilots for other weeks so I have another other weeks or so to dedicate to the build and the flying will have to wait.

Posted: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 at 14:14 by Steve Ham in Gossip.

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One Response to “Our move to Zapata”

  1. Lee Says:

    Aha, I’ve found your building status; but things must have moved on since then. How about some pics (or are they posted under a flying cat’ somewhere) ?

    So, more building contractor nightmares; I suppose it’s no consolation if I say they aren’t uncommon. We got extremely lucky with our house-shell build – done as planned in 2 months – but the price did rise somewhat. Anyway, I hope you’re installed comfortably now … ?

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May 2010