Upon arrival the garden in front of the cave looked nothing like it did when we came out four months earlier. In fact it had turned into a field so one of the first jobs was to clear all the weeds which were in most places up to 4ft high. The first "preying mantis" I found was quite large and then I found its mother, 5" long and quite intimidating to look at although harmless. An assortment of spiders and beatles that buzz at you then take off like chinook helicopters were also plentifull!
"Mucho barro, madre mia!" Having cleared all the weeds we had exposed the earth below and were left with 120 square metres of bare garden. When it rains in Spain you generally get two types, a brief light shower or a brief heavy shower. The first heavy shower we had came overnight and inside the caravan you could hardly hear yourself speak, we emerged the next morning to a mud bath. The soil in our part of the campo turns to sticky mud very quickly. Hiking boots are the way to go as wellies will just get stuck! you tend to come back from where you,ve been about 6" taller because it just sticks and sticks to your feet. However as usual it is wise to observe the locals in simple matters like this so carrier bags tied around your shoes solves the whole "barro" issue.
Living on site has many benefits particularly if you have to employ builders. Firstly you can keep an eye on them! although to be honest we couldnt fault our team in any respect. You can also observe them and the Spanish techniques that they use (ie yeso) When renovating on a budget it means you can also act as a labourer as I did thus saving yourself an extra mans wages to pay. It is also a crash course in learning the lingo too!
Waking up on a muddy building site is not everyones cup of tea but we saw it as a challenge and it also gave us motivation to "crack on"
We have a fantastic photo album and video footage of all the works carried out, we have been nervously peering out of the caravan door as the arm of the JCB digs trenches only 12" away, helping to offload 20ft long steel rsj,s from the flatback lorry, plus our little boy had Andalucias biggest sand pit to play in for a good few months! It was good to get involved, drinking beer at 10.30am with the spanish builders (as they all do) was a small part of getting used to the culture too. Looking back we would not have done it any other way even if we,d had the choice.