Friday, 26 April 2013

Life on the Hacienda (and by the Quinta)

     This is a little aside.  The OROG will remember the other day that we posted a picture of Alvaro (our mayordomo) working on one of the posts that forms the half of the anchor of the main gate of the Hacienda de la Vega.   That composite stone Spanish "muro" (Arabic) or "Castillo" (Latin).....pre-dates World War II.   It is kind of a "living" monument. 
Typical Cristero Battalion level bivouac scene
      When it was put in, the nearest paved road was 20 miles away.   It was the original Pan American Highway and even that had just been completed.  Mexico Firsters and America Firsters said that highway would be the end of national sovereignty and that before long the (Americans)(Mexicans) would eat the country and exploit the neighbour to ruin.

    There was  no electricity except for a couple of diesel generators within a two-hundred square mile area.   Smoke was just settling from the Cristero War (1926 - 1929), the disorders from the Agrarian Reform (1933 - 1934 in the area around the Hacienda de Santa Engracia), and even resentments from the not-so-distant Mexican Revolution of 1910 - 1917.  It was a daunting adventure....perhaps try to establish a property with essentially no infrastructure save for a very, very bumpy and easily interrupted by heavy rains road from Cd. Victoria.  That drive, in those days would essentially take the entire go 20 miles.


   There was another way in, but it was fraught with its own inconveniences.   But how in the name of Jumping Jehoshaphat all that was necessary was ever brought in to the newly formed property, ever made it to its intended destination, in 1934...El Gringo Viejo finds it all amazing.

    But, moving to the present, the grandson of the fellow who established the Hacienda de La Vega is a civil engineer.   He and my Man Friday, Alvaro got together and determined to  fix the list of the venerable stone column.  What El Gringo Viejo places here to the attention of the OROG is the detailed plan that was drawn up to show exactly how an 11 tonne column  was to be re-positioned.   While it brings a smile to most, it is serious, please also remember that this was done essentially by one person with a somewhat limited helper.   The excavation required went down four feet, and it had to be done by hand.  There were two back-hoes available but no one really wanted to have his back-hoe take on the 11 tonne  columnzilla.   To wit:

This is Alvaro digging out and adjusting the position of
the huge, round foundational rocks under the column.


This shows the procedure.  "Sacar piedras" means
"take out rocks".  Each step was dealt with thusly
and the whole job was done manually.  It should
be noted that, when done, the column plumbed perfect.



Thanks for putting up with this little, unexpected vignette.
El Gringo Viejo