(soon will try to upload some pictures to this post also)
sunday 15 july, we said goodbye to our kind hosts of Can Piella in the morning and followed a nice road to San Pol de Mar, Iago arranged us a place to stay, the Poliesportiu municipal, and in the night we met with a orquestra band from the town and some friends of a known poet Perejaume to talk about comunity living and degrowth while we cooked our first dinner on our rocket stoves at the beach.
monday 16 july, we continued following the sea, by a beautiful scenic road, and stoped by a small wild beach to lunch, have a swim and a circle. After lunch we continued to St Feliu de Guixols and took the bike route Ruta del Carrilet where a nice neighbour allowed us to camp on his field.
tuesday 17 july, after waking up early, we continued following the Ruta del Carrilet, a deactivated old train line converted on a green bike lane, till Girona. We all met at Can Rusk, a beautiful anarchist social center, squatted 6 years ago, with a small garden and vegan pizzas every sunday to help finance political projects. After lunch, some people went to visit Girona with a local friend of David and others went to visit Kan Kolmo, a squatted social center in the city center with a nice DIY bicycle workshop opened every week, TronxaCadenas Taller bici.
wednesday 18 july, the day started with a short route to Can Prim, to meet Iago and Bett in their beautiful house with a view of the surrounding mountains. After a long morning with some problems, we cooked lunch there and had some time for a long biketour circle, with some new faces and animated by some nice games. The meals were cooked on our fabulous rocket stove and we had some time for sunset yoga too (even the puppies joined in!). We danced a Scottish Celidh into the night and felt energised and peaceful.
thursday 19 july, we left early to Figueres where we visited the weekly market and met people from the VERT group, a network of people who live off the land, exchange services and ideas and have a critical view on growth and development, they meet every week after the market to share stories and food. We had lunch at CSOA El Taller, where they explained about the project, how it started and the indignad@s movement. Sadly, we had to leave after lunch and cycle nice small roads to Can Torres, an organic wine producer connected with some consumer cooperatives. Barbara and Joan welcomed us warmly and taking us on a nice tour of their land to see their vineyards and some paleolithic dolmens and menirs – at diner we also had the chance to tasted their yummie-wine.
friday 20 july, we had the chance to return back to the coast and cycle between vineyards and the sea. We crossed to France before lunch and met François again in Can Decreix. He and Filka gave us a tour of the project and the house, showing us the 5 toilets available (3 compost dry toilets – seating, squatting or with a view to the mountain – and 2 peeing toilets – standing and squatting :D) we also talked about the severe erosion that wind brings to this region and discussed ideas to make the soil more fertile and protected. Before getting dark we all walked to a wild beach where with some friends we celebrated the end of 2nd week of biketour and Filka’s birthday (and had our first ever naked sea ceilidh).
saturday 21 july, we woke up with the sunrise on the beach followed by a nice swim and full of energy for work day at Can Decreix: some people cleaned the weeds growing near the vines, others prepared some walls to be ready for clay insolation in the future and others prepared hand-grinded gaspacho and vegan tortillas. After lunch we had an inspiring workshop on Degrowth and decorated one of the trailers.
sunday 22 july, with the transmontana wind blowing straight in our faces we left Can Decreix and kept on pedaling to Villeneuve de la Raho, where we met some people from Vélo en Têt, a bicycle association in Perpignan. We were able to visit their bicycle workshop, tune our bikes a bit and meet other cyclists in the center of the town, almost duplicating their normal critical mass number, and having fun pedaling the city in a big group blocking the streets. The tall-bike opened many smiles across the city. At the end of the day we were welcomed to Claire and Olivier’s house where we stayed the night.
monday 23 july, after packing up, most of the group met at a big shopping center for an invisible theater action – consuming-zombies flooded the shopping center chanting ‘buy more’, ‘discount,’ ‘2 for 1’ and throwing as many things as they could into the trollies. It had a good public reaction and gave the group experience of working together in an action. After that we had a really stunning cycle route by the sea, near the end we crossed a sand desert which was a really strange and amazing experience. Finally we all arrived a bit late to Laurence’s place, a small permaculture farm, near Sigean, where she grows veggies to sell. We were warmly welcomed and shared many stories and ideas about permaculture.
tuesday 24 july, we had a relaxed morning visiting Laurence permaculture garden, she is a wonderful teacher and we absorbed loads of information from her. We compared the soil from the nearby vine plantation with her 15 month old garden planted in concentric circles and it was incredible, so much more dense and moist. So much is growing and it was great to learn how different plants and insects support each other’s growth and nutritional needs. We then cycled to Narbonne and followed some bicycle routes along the canals to Minerve. Randomly, while visiting the town, we met Collectif Minervois Contre le Gas de Schiste a campaigning group against fracking gas extraction, they were screening Gasland and having a debate with the local population about the plans on fracking the area. Just when we thought we were almost there and it was getting late we discovered that we needed to climb an endless (10km) hill that continuously obscured the sunset! Most of us ended up arriving to Le Maquis – Cravirola in the dark. Despite the epic climb some of us were still able to see some activities of the Festival de Le Maquis and Alice was, amazingly, able to find a last remaining reserve of energy and managed to cook a yummy dinner that enabled us to recover some of our energy after our tiring day.wednesday 25 july, most of us woke up later than usual and late in the morning we met with the people at the Le Maquis – Cravirola collectif to talk about their project and how they organize their life in a communal way, from money to education of their children. We also got to learn the history of the project (which begun over 30 years ago). And made a small presentation about the biketour, and how we function as a sharing and caring community on wheels. The facilitation group made up a plan for the day and the first workshop – french language basics – started while cutting vegetables for lunch. We then had a nice extended biketour circle followed by an informal talk on history and how the organization of biketour happens from year to year, a yoga and stretching workshop, a presentation of Boodaville project, and a relaxing collective stars observation.