When the Nonsense Rodeo Comes to Town

So many things. Sometimes you just have to breathe.

It’s the de facto state of being in Spain that things will take, at minimum, three times longer than we are used to in Seattle. Jeff and I adjusted our timelines, and our expectations, from the moment we moved to Valencia. It’s just how it is. And moving to Palas, and living along a Unesco World Heritage Path of Cultural Significance? Multiply that a few more times. <and we breathe, again>

We have submitted this form and that form, and these plans and those plans to the Concello, the Turismo, The Patrimonio. People are sick <i get that>, they are on vacation. They are too busy. Some are nice. Others? Not so nice. It’s the full meal deal. And it is exhausting.

Our Concello in Palas is amazing. We love them. Helpful and reasonable. But dealing with others boggles the mind. Is it really necessary to have a 10 kph speed sign on your own 6 meter long gravel driveway, that only you drive on? If you think I am kidding, you’d be wrong. And six dedicated parking spaces for customers who only ever arrive on foot carrying back packs? But, of course. The list goes on… and on. We can’t even install our new front gate without approval. A gate! Because the type of gate approved will depend on which driveway is purely pedestrian or for cars. But our purely pedestrian gate can still accept deliveries by truck, so there is no purely pedestrian gate. I’m in a Looney Tunes cartoon. To quote that wise sage, Bugs Bunny: Bubity bubity bup! That’s All Folks!

Today, our wonderful contractor, Diego, came to give me the latest lowdown on the the good, the bad, and the ugly. I thought my Covid headache was gone. Sadly, it made a reappearance. He is working so hard on our behalf. He wants to bang his head on the table.

‘It’s terrible news, Kelli. In a place where the main tourist attraction is The Camino, there are no distinctions for permission for Pilgrim camping and cabins. It’s crazy.’

But I reassured him. ‘It’s not terrible. Its just costing us time.’ Always the optimist, ‘What can we do while the Bureaucratic Nonsense Rodeo is still in town?’ I’m not walking another 40 day Camino to save my sanity while I try to open a business for Pilgrims walking the Camino.

Solar panel installation. That’s something we can do with minimal permission. The Concello is happy to have us installing renewable energy sources. It will be positioned more than 100 meters from the Camino. In that section of our property where the Patrimonio and the Turismo have no say.

The company has sized it. The system is Canadian. Built to withstand more extreme weather conditions. And we are putting it in an already fenced enclosure. To keep javalis from damaging the array. Just in time too, as we are being visited by javalis nightly these past few days.

Installing solar is very inexpensive in Spain, the Xunta will give us a grant to cover a significant portion of the cost, and we will save about €50,000 over the next five years – both from a personal, and a business perspective. Our dream of a Green Camino is possible. And we are closer to living off the grid. We would like the farm to be self sustaining.

And my food truck is just a couple of weeks away from being finished. The completion is held up by the stainless steel countertops. 🤞 They should be delivered by next week.

Things are moving forward. Never as quickly as I would like. I had hoped to have the food truck open by June 1st. Now, it’s looking more like July 1st. But I need to play the long game here. Focus on what is going well. Next winter, we will have a fire for beauty, rather than warmth. Our other home remodeling projects can now be built on a foundation of solar power. And so can all the solutions for power and water for the business. And our impact on the environment will be far less than ever before. Likely, there will be days sending power back to the grid. Doing our part.

It’s not so much The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, as it is The Eye roll, The Deep Breath, and The Heavy Sigh. We will get there in the end. But, at 10 km per hour on a gravel driveway, it just might take a little longer than we thought 😉.

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