And the story is finally continued . . . Paving a road in Sri Lanka

But they dumped piles of rock, otherwise known as gravel here, back on the second of January. Yup, no holidays for these guys. But to Sri Lankans, that wasn’t the real New Year’s anyway – it’s not until April. And that’s when they REALLY party.

But meanwhile, and back at the ranch, and Lo and Behold! Gravel was dumpedeth on our road back on January 2nd.

And then nothing.

Nothing at all.

Nothing happened. The gravel just sat on the road in huge piles, and cars and trishaws and bicycles and motorbikes and pedestrians all had to pick their way through the piles of gravel.


February 3rd.

When more guys in more trucks with more gravel showed up and shoveled all of that gravel out of the back of those trucks onto the road.

I’m also gonna tell you that it was REALLY REALLY LOUD – UNBELIEVABLY LOUD, IN FACT. The cats were terrified. They both ran to the kitchen to hide under the kitchen sink, but me, knowing what they were about to do, chased after them and hosed them down. I know, I know, they’re scared. I sympathize. I think I might’a wet my pants a little, too . . . 🙂

Yeah, just kidding. I haven’t reached the age of loss of bladder control yet.

Finally, Tellulah tried hiding behind a pail. What, like that’s going to protect you?

Silly cat!

And the story doesn’t end yet.

They shoveled the gravel around in a nice even coating to make a flat surface. This is quite an accomplishment. Some of those potholes were a foot or so deep. And there were hills and . . . Well, let’s just say that a vehicle could easily get hung up on them there potholes. Like a cop car in the middle of an Edmonton winter getting hung up on the snow piles in the middle of the road when they lose control in a car chase.

So there’s bits of road all flat and nice, and bits of road with piles of gravel.

And me, the persnickety foreigner, wonders if it’ll be another month before it’s finished. Or is it?

Is this all they do? Or do they tar it? The shape of existing roads is mostly poor to extremely lousy – with the clear exception of the main roads, which are, oh, let’s call them good. Not excellent, you understand. But good.

I have no idea. Maybe this is such a minor side road that no one cares and this is all that’ll happen. So I wonder.

Then a day later, literally, this thing shows up. Large wheels. Designed to crush the rock and flatten the road. Or something like that. And it drives up and down the rock, back and forth, back and forth, and when I thought that dumping the rock was loud, I obviously didn’t know what I was talking about, cuz this was way way way worse.

And the noise just went on and on and on and on and on. My cats ended up hiding under my skirts. Again, literally. The skirt I was wearing was full enough that it hung down and created a tent of sorts when I had my feet up on the other chair, and both cats cowered under it. I nearly stepped on them when I stood up, which they didn’t appreciate. The standing up part, not the stepping on them part. Honestly, I think they would have been glad of being put out of their misery.

Two days later, February 6th, another truckload of rock shows up. And a bunch of labourers. They dump this rock out and shovel it out over the existing flattened rock and again drive up and down it with the big round metal wheels thingy to further flatten and crush the rocks and to terrify all life in the surrounding area.

Eventually, they’re done that bit, and it gets quiet.

What are they doing now?

Pouring tar over the rock. Liquid tar in metal gardening cans. Dagnabbit, but I wish I had a camera with me in time. . .

Keep in mind that none of this is being done according to North American or European standards. Oh no. Are you kidding? No. This is done on the ultra-cheap.

Later, another truck arrives with sand. Why? Oh, good grief!

To cover the newly tarred road, of course!

Yeah, I’m being facetious again. I have no idea why they covered the newly tarred road with sand. Not a single idea. Except ones that are, to me, patently absurd.

And now we’re at February 9th. Another truck shows up along with a couple of labourers. And what’s in the back of the truck that they’re dropping off this time? More gravel.

Why? Are they doing a second layer?

Oh no. Nope.

This is for filling potholes on otherwise sorta okay roads.

Make sense? Yeah.

Now take a second look at the back of the truck, on the gravel right behind the driver. That’s on the right side of the truck.

Notice anything? Like, say, small yellow fruit tossed on top without bothering about a bag or anything like that? Yep. That’s jumboo – sorta like a cross between a crab apple and a Japanese apple-pear – not dense, a little sour.

One of the labourers was munching on it – pick one up, munch away, and when he’s done, he’d throw the empty core at the other end of the truck. Better than a meatball sub dripping all over the gravel.

And then, on February 27th, what happens? Any guesses? C’mon, you can do it! 😀

Yeah, you can’t. Not even possible. They come by with a load of sand. To spread on top of the newly tarred surface. And the spread it out so it’s in an even layer. And they go home.

Don’t ask me why. I don’t have a clue.

It rains days later, and half the sand washes away. Was there a point? If so, it’s lost on me. And on the sand.

And that was it. No more tar, no second layer, nothing. That’s all she wrote.

Author: LMAshton

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