Friday, 2 October 2009

at 07:04 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily

Andrea, a German women who over the past 5 years had been visiting Rosa and Valerio, and had recently decided to move in with them, invited us to come with her to visit the commune she had been living on for 2 years - Avalon - for a few days.

We rode there in her van, which has plenty of items hanging everywhere, pots, clothes, musical instruments, she has everything in there, and Omo was mesmerized by all of them on the way.

Avalon is part of a network of 6 eco-communes with over 200 members all in the same area. All the other communes are accessible only by walking for a few hours (or a day). Their goal is to be completely self-sufficient, with some of the communes using solar panels.

At Avalon there were 6 members and about 15 'guests' living in a two story house on a mountain with a beautiful view. The hillside below they was all terraced and so they had a different garden on each terrace, each with a different vegetable. They also had many olive trees and so they produced oil for all the other communes. To make money the members of all the communes travel the festival circuit in the summers and sell pizza.
You learn to appreciate things while being there - there is no gas for cooking or heating, if you want to take a warm shower, you need to chop wood and feed the boiler, same goes for laundry; there was no electricity; and the W.C. is a shovel and a bottle of water outside.
We slept in a loft in the room of the oldest member, the founder, on the second floor of the house.There was also another baby there, 5-month-old Nina, and she and Omo enjoyed each other's company.
The commune was a bit too 'shantipi' (grungy, stoned on couch, 'back from India') for us, but Andrea said the other communes are more serious, with mainly hard working families, but they were farther up in the mountains and we decided it was too far to go.

When we got back to Rosa's and Valerio's the ground was covered in snow (first such snow in 10 years), so we had a few days where it was just too cold to do any work besides chopping wood.
Today is our last day with Valerio and Rosa and tomorrow we are heading North to Cinque Terre.