Wednesday, July 17, 2019
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Blue Gold

When I moved into the countryside, I fulfilled one of my dreams: back to nature; to clean water, to good air, pure earth and self-sufficiency. That was the original plan. I had had enough of cities; of noise, stress, traffic chaos, of concrete, rubbish, bad air, so many people in such a small space. I moved into the mountains near Monchique. It had a spring, the source of a stream, which became a river as it headed for the coast and flowed into the Atlantic. Since I have been sensing nature again with its seasons, I delighted in the water. …

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Must we prepare for water rationing?

Teresa Fernandes, head of Communication and Environmental Education at Águas do Algarve, the company that is responsible for the region’s water supply, admits that there is a possibility of a water shortage in the medium to long term. However, even if it doesn’t rain, she guarantees that there will be no lack of water for the local population, at least before the end of this year. Is water becoming a kind of “blue gold”? In my view, water is more important than gold, absolutely anywhere in the world, because it is irreplaceable. We can’t live without water, which is fundamental …

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The sad river

It was a Thursday in January when I saw a mayor of an Alentejo village crying for the first time. The head of the civil parish is an experienced man, a skilled tradesman, and in office for many years. But now he’s at a loss. Since early last summer, the boreholes in the village have been empty. Like other neighbouring parishes, his village gets its water delivered by truck from the Monte da Rocha dam on the river Sado. But it’s empty; even last winter it was only 23% full. This means that the quality isn’t as good either. For …

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Every kilometre tells a story

José Júlio Brito’s story began in 2010, on the day when he left his home, in Vila Real de Santo António, with his rucksack on his back, and set off looking for the answers to his inner search. His original intention was to walk without any particular destination and to face up to the limitations that he had placed upon himself, fleeing from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, after ten days’ solid walking, he found that his route had taken him to Fátima. Along the way, he earned the nickname of the ‘Algarve Pilgrim’ and every kilometre …

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Travelling on foot through Western Europe

Oh Europa

And then one morning, the time had come, Jürgen Kahlisch recalls. On a cool April morning, he left his friends’ flat in Berlin and closed the door behind him. The hiker took a deep breath and shook the night-time frost out of his bones. Now lying ahead of him were six months and 4,000 kilometres from northeast to southwest. Travelling on foot through Western Europe was something he’d wanted to do for a long time, and now, with every step, the plan was increasingly becoming reality. It was April 2007. Through the Harz and the Rhön mountains, past Frankfurt am …

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We are belatedly living the American Dream

We are belatedly living the American Dream

At a time when directives are increasingly calling for the use of environmentally-friendly energies, how many electric vehicles does Eva have? Just one. Our investments in the fleet haven’t – yet – been made in electric vehicles or ones fuelled by natural gas, for two reasons: the possibility of investing in environmental measures announced by the government was limited to public or semi-public transport companies: Carris, STCP, Transportes Coletivos do Barreiro… and the National Association of Heavy Road Passenger Transport Operators (ANTROP), which represents us, promptly published a letter setting out our position… And, when it comes to buses used …

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Breaking down taboos and barriers

Breaking down taboos and barriers

You covered some 3,500 kilometres between Lisbon and Athens. How did you travel? We left Lisbon with a rucksack on our backs. We walked and hitch-hiked. What route did you follow? We caught a ferry from Lisbon to Almada. From there, we started walking in the direction of Évora, and we also hitched lifts. After this came Madrid, and then we changed route and headed for San Sebastian. How many days did it take you altogether to reach Greece? We set off on 9th July and our goal was to reach Athens by 15th August. This was the date we’d …

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Finding Oneself

Finding Oneself

Could you introduce yourself briefly to our readers? Henning Vogt: I work as an educator in child and youth psychiatry in Lübeck. I learned two professions, firstly as a joiner and then as an educator. While I was doing my second training course, I knew that I would go travelling as a journeyman joiner. I set off on 2nd January, 2006. What is your speciality? Building furniture from real wood with classical associations. When did your time as a journeyman start and how did it go? In Bad Oldesloe, in Northern Germany. That was also the centre of the area …

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We are sitting on a powder keg

We are sitting on a powder keg

There are ever more movements appearing linked to sustainable mobility and the pleasure of being amid Nature.
Do politicians also take walks in the forest? I enjoy walking, yes, and I go hiking, above all, in the Serra do Caldeirão, beginning in the area around Alcoutim and passing through Corte Velha, on the Via Algarviana… How many kilometres would you say you walk per year? Lots. I go walking every day. I do about 10 kilometres, either walking or running, as part of my personal training. I don’t do many walks in the forest specifically… I’d say about 100 kilometres a …

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Are walkers also tourists

Are walkers also tourists?

For me, every walker is also a tourist. I notice that especially at this moment as I am walking through Romania. This country and its culture are so unfamiliar to me that discovering them becomes almost as important as walking in nature. And this slow form of transport makes this discovery easy. In my own country, this tourism aspect is of less interest to me – I’m already familiar with it, Christine Thürmer tells ECO123. Hungary is already behind her and she’s on her way to Bulgaria. Seeing the world through new eyes. For ten years, Christine Thürmer has been …

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