The adventure park ‘Parque da adventura da Foia‘ has several level platforms. Two of which Lucio has already built. This time we started building the biggest one, 15 meters in diameter. Tom, the landscape gardener is experienced in dry stone wall building and mentored the process. Building a dry stone wall is like a giant puzzle – finding stones that fit together well, supporting each others weight and balancing and ankering it with the back wall soil, building it up layer by layer. It took us 2 working days to complete after the digger prepared a good base to continue by hand. At the end of the first day we had 1.5 layers (picture above). As the stones had gradually decreased in quality, the last part, furthest to the right was taken down again and rebuild. Well, the best way to learn is making mistakes! Check out how the wall looked just before completion. Beware the dust!
And here a 10 step manual on how to build a forest platform. It makes it sound easier than it was.
Lucio, from Alternativtour is planning to build up an adventure park close to Foia to be opened in 2013. The park is set into a forest and Lucio is striving to keep it as natural as possible – everything build from natural materials, wood and stone, and avoid the use of machines as much as possible which means sometimes hard labour to move soil in wheel barrows from one place to another. The park’s paint balling area is almost complete, it needs a few more trenches and a base for each team. The 5 meter tall indoor climbing wall and zip wire area is already finished and ready for use (picture above). The tree walk and children’s area are still incomplete. As the park is still over a year till completion there is still heaps to do in terms of construction as well as design in terms of service, marketing and information.
Tasks to help at the park:
- Finish platforms + build dry stone walls
- Put up painball net
- Design and build furniture
- Help visualise roofs and shelters for platforms
- Plan and detail children’s areas
- Help improve paint balling area with trenches, ford, tree house etc
- Help finalise pathways
- Help find sustainable toilet solution
- Help plan kids area
- Help build net tree walk
- Help with business plan, pricing and marketing
Alternativtour is a Monchique based adventure tourism company which organises hiking walks, mountain biking tours, canoeing trips and climbing tours around Foia, Algarve’s highest point. The level of the activities is normally beginner as most tourist want to get a taste of the activities whilst on holiday as part of trying something different. The company is owned and solely run by Lucio, apart from the occasional intern. There are quite a few aspects we could help Lucio with. On the one hand he is building up an adventure park with indoor climbing wall, tree walk, paint balling and kids play area. As he is building it up all by hand to minimise the impact on the natural forest environment he minimises the use of machine like diggers is possible. Hence most things are done by hand e.g. leveling ground to make rest areas, build dry stone walls with the rocks that are lying around in close proximity, remove logs and potentially dangerous sticks off the ground. Secondly Lucio would like help with his marketing materials, his website especially.