…like pulling teeth

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…but less malodorous. These photos depict a well-honed local skill being put to work.

The back story as it came to us:
Nearby in Skopelos there is a building being used as a stable for a variety of ruminants (goats and a cow, I hear) and a couple of mules. The stable is being “rented” for the price of the manure regularly produced by the tenants. About once a month the landlord collects the rent. Due to difficult access, the collection process has taken many forms over the years; by filling individual tsouvalia τσουβαλια (sacks) with a shovel and loading them onto a truck, by filling wheelbarrows and running them up a narrow wooden ramp to unload in the bed of a truck, by a Bobcat driving into the stable to scoop the stuff and then exiting to dump it into the waiting truck. What we see in the photos is the newest variation.

Like an endoscopic surgeon skillfully extracting a gall bladder, the operator uses a hydraulic telescoping arm to lift a flexible intermediate bulk container (‘FIBC’ capacity 1000kg) from inside the stable, to float the bag back through the stable ‘door’ and, once clear, to lift it up and onto the bed of the truck. One false move and the stable could come tumbling down.

It is a tight spot and the crane operator, one of the Manganas clan, does all of this with a remote controller. Clearly he is an expert. As always there are helpers about to instruct the expert on how the job should be done. Good work!

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