You know what? I am always in awe when I see what the people of Ecuador are capable of. Somebody should write a book of tricks and techniques, a "How To" manual of how to do everything by hand, fast, without sophisticated gear and with fun.

I had a few questions on my mind before they started the work:

  • How do they get these tall concrete posts that must weigh a ton each to the top of these mountains that have without roads, trucks and cranes?
  • How do you lift them to put them straight into their hole?
  • How do you drag the heavy high tension cable between the posts through impenetrable prickly jungle?

Well, once again they have impressed me. The photos below are a credit to Ecuadorian ingenuity, strength and also happiness. I have only seen smiles, a little less when I asked them if we could move one post after they were all finished with it, but a few beers later, we were smiling again and one day of hard work later, the post was moved to a new hole.

Lifting the 11 meter tall, one ton post using a tree and a hoist to put it on the small trailer

Manoeuvring the entrance bridge was fun, we had to take the trailer off the car and pull it by hand because the turn was too sharp

I helped a lot, they wouldn't have made it without me :-)

Up the road slow and steady, go baby go, careful not to tip it over on the side here.

Then up the hill by hand, using trees, ropes and some manual tool with a long handle like a jack, moving up one centimeter at a time. Takes 2 guys to operate the handle. This is hard work. I gave it a go for one minute. I must have lifted it 10 centimeters then I got a sore arm.

Time to dig some holes. We are talking about really deep holes (1m 50) !!


Then lifting the post and placing it into the hole using a metal pole and a hoist. Lots of concentration and experience here, one mistake and somebody dies.

After lifting the transformer using the same technique, it is time for the "monkeys" to get up there and make the connections

We are not finished yet. This was only the first post and first transformer.

More to come...