Friday, 27 November 2009

at 09:46 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

We were dropped off at the train station in Perpignan, not really sure where we were going next. We had a few options marked in our guide book and we tried to call the ones that were somehow on our way.

"Why not today..", a guy named Dodos or something, replied, and gave us directions on how to get from the train station at Robiac to their place by foot.

We said goodbye to Nolwenn and Wayne who went to check out a different community, and took the next train. After a few transfers, through Ales (the closest city), we were in deep French countryside.

And so we marched in the sun, loaded with our backpacks, from one small village to the other, following the sketchy directions. After some time and a picnic, a car pulled next to us and the driver asked us something in French with "La Valette" in it. He dropped us off at a car and truck graveyard, and after a few minute walk on a gravel road and a sign with France crossed out as in 'exiting-France', a whole village of ruins was revealed.

This is where we're staying - built from a box of a truck, old windows, and bottles. A family lives there some part of the year, so Omo eis enjoying some underground comics and things to play with.

The natural abundance of this place is overwhelming. This is not just a flat-share, it is a real village! With real streets and stone buildings, and fig trees everywhere growing out of the walls. They produce their own electricity via photovoltaics and have their own spring. Food comes from the gardens and from the waste of the local produce market. Main crops were potatoes, peas, beans, tomatoes, and greens, mostly very well mulched, and many are watered just by rainfall. They also have goats, sheep, geese, chickens and one pig for various non-vegan practices.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

at 08:32 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

"... You will have a great time here because the house is situated in countryside of breathtaking beauty and the people are lovely and everything is so tranquil and peaceful. ..."

This passage is from an email sent to us by a WOOFer who was staying in a Vegan commune in the mountains. We decided to make it our first stop in France, on our way north.

The name of the commune translates to 'Friends of Gentleness and Harmony', and though it was never a problem being vegan in other situations, we were happy to be in a place which is vegan by definition, where we never have to ask questions and verify ingredients, and where the usual diet related conversations and jokes could be skipped.

After a few hours ride from Barcelona, we got off the train at Perpignan. Waiting for someone to pick us up, we spotted a man carrying in a self-made sling (from two rings and a piece of cloth, similar to ours) a diaperless child and a cloth shopping bag... Hmm.. he must be going where we are going... and indeed once a truck painted with doves showed up, we all approached it.

We found many things in common with Wayne, who with his family is in search for a suitable community to settle. He was very progressive in his ideas of how he wanted to raise his daughter and live his life, and many things we talked about were new and eye-opening for us. He was also vegan and his daughter was born at home, just the three of them.

After a stop at an organic produce distributor, getting wholesale organic fruits and vegetables(!), we started the ascent to the Pyrenees mountains. El-Faitg (pronounced El-Fatch), the name of this farmstead, is 850m above sea-level, 60km north from the coast. It was indeed breath-taking to stand there, and look around - snowy mountains, huge forest, no neighbors to be seen or heard, just birds, singing all day long.

The house was huge and we've probably only seen half of it. There were many rooms and levels, each one painted differently, usually with bright colors, doves, long-haired people holding hands, and words of virtue such as compassion, order, humor, honesty, etc. The house even came with its own chapel which they converted into a Christ-free spiritual place.

It's been quite comfortable in our room because we could leave Omo locked in the closet for the whole day (we don't carry a play-pen) and she was such a happy girl once we opened the doors!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

at 08:08 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

Tonight is our last night at Falkon Blanco. Here are some phots from the last few weeks. Next stop - France!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

at 08:04 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

This time we used virgin olive-oil that expired in 1998. The recipe is pretty simple as you can see.
First we opened 178 bottles of olive-oil into a barrel, and with mirrors heated the barrel up to 60 degrees C. We added a little caustic soda (lye, which Ramon ground with a mask) and little methanol and it is all mixed together for a while.
Then you let it sit overnight, and the next day it is ready to fill up the van and forklift.
There are many websites and email groups about how to make your own fuel and gas (alcohol, hydrogen gas, wood gas, etc.) saving a lot of money, often reducing pollution and using renewable resources, and of course, playing with explosive stuff!!

Friday, 13 November 2009

at 07:58 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

We've been enjoying life at Falkon Blanco for two weeks now.

Everyday, the yellow van, running on bio-diesel (fuel based on vegetable oil), goes into town to collect wood pallets from supermarkets and food distributors, keeping and eye open on trash bins and waste spots for anything usable. A business can not just throw the pallets with the rest of it's garbage, it is in fact taxed for every pallets thrown away.

The FB Van therefore provides a service for these businesses and in exchange, they give all of the wood pallets (including ones that do not require a repair), and they put aside any product they would throw to the trash - this includes expired food products, produce that is rotten or which only has a few days to go, damaged packaged food and cleaning products (i.e. one broken jar in a box, and they give the whole box).

It is amazing how much food goes into waste, some days the van comes with boxes and boxes of cereals, perfect bananas, hard red tomatoes, chocolate, jars and cans... Once the van returns, we sort the pallets and later process the broken ones, we sort the food, whatever is bad goes to the compost (where else can you see compost full of chocolate bars and gelatin powder??) and the rest is for the community (humans and animals) or sold to people who are looking for a bargain.

Oil is used to make bio-diesel. Alcoholic and sugary drinks (a lot of these come in), are waiting to be distilled into ethanol to replace the methanol in the bio-diesel process. We found ourselves using all kinds of products we would never buy, suddenly since a product would go to waste anyhow, it doesn't really matter that an oppressive multi-national corporation such as Nestle has it's name on it, though we did draw are lines and did our best to choose the most ethical and healthy choices.

Here you can really understand how affluent society is, so affluent, that with little effort you can live at no cost off the waste of others and have everything you wish for, even make a good income.

Here is Omo in her new highchair...

And us building our new ineepee...