After just over a month here, we’ve made some decent progress on our mountain resort project. Patrick has been working at a frenetic pace to get all the necessary tasks completed so we can start building in December after rainy season ends. So far, so good, and, remarkably, we’re still on schedule (in a country famed for its loose sense of time!). So far, we have:
* Decided where our house, restaurant, spa, bungalows, and pool will be located on the property;
* Met with our Costa Rican architect who will oversee the construction of the project to determine what steps need to be taken before we break ground;
* Met with a topographer who will make a contour map of the construction sites and segregate the housing lots;
* Arranged with our American architect to come to Costa Rica in early September to design the various buildings;
* Met with a builder of suspended bridges and identified two large trees for hanging walkways;
* Received preliminary construction permits from the local municipality;
* Had our water source tested and determined safe for drinking;
* Started leveling construction sites with a bulldozer (once the truck that carried the bulldozer to our property became un-stuck from the mud in our entrance way—a three hour ordeal involving two Mack trucks and a chain that could have restrained King Kong...)
* Received quotes for gravel to put on the roads to the housing lots and mountain retreat;
* Bought 250 saplings from a local reforestation project for planting later this month;
* Decided upon an entry-gate design and contracted our local carpenter-friend to build it;
* Began negotiating the price of wood to buy and store until December;
* Identified a new car for me (Kate) that will also help transport customers to the resort next year.
* Started thinking about a catchy name for the business. Petit Paradis Mountain Resort and Spa is our current favorite. We’re open to thoughts and suggestions, though, so please feel free to comment!