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Life

DAY 3
From Funcho Reservoir Lake to Messines.

São Bartolomeu de Messines is the town associated with the writer, educator and legal expert João de Deus Ramos, who was born here in 1830 and went on to gain nation-wide fame at the time with his educational programme for children and adults. He studied law in Coimbra and died in 1896 in Lisbon. This is what I read when I reach the Casa do Povo, the House of the People. Carved in stone. I might be wrong but I’m under the impression that Messines wants to be more than just one of seven communities forming part of the former …

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DAY 2
From Silves to Lake Funcho

DAY 2
From Silves to Lake Funcho

Waking up, I turn on the light and find myself in a 45-euro room in a guesthouse that will accept my dog: the landlady is charging five euros extra for the privilege. I don’t receive a reply to my question whether this includes breakfast or not. But bringing pets, she says, is allowed in principle. So I’m using the remote control to consult the comrade on the corner up where the wall and the ceiling of the room meet, to call up the weather forecast. No change in sight. It will remain hot and dry. Fabulous weather for tourists, bad …

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Nº 122 – Emission-free cooking and baking: for free and outdoors

Saturday the 15th of January 2022. It happened in 2016 and in 2018, then again in 2020 and once more now in 2022: every other year Faro hosts a meeting of the International Community of the Friends of Solar Cooking and Baking, by the name of CONSOLFOOD. This time the meeting is taking place between Monday 24 January and Wednesday, 26 January, and this time under the conditions of a global pandemic the event is held online at www.consolfood.org. Many people in developing countries still burn wood, charcoal or even rubbish on open fireplaces for cooking. The reason they do …

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Nº 121 – Empathy

Saturday 8th January 2022. Our dear friend, Bal Krishna, is dead. Bal just made it into the new year, before dying in the evening of the first day of 2022 at Portimao hospital where he’d already had to spend nearly three weeks. We are mourning a great, sensitive human being with a big heart. Whenever I visited him I felt accepted. Generous, modest and humble, he  often reminded me of the great Mahatma Gandhi. He loved to go swimming in the Atlantic sea at crack of dawn. A quiet and calm man, he was a pioneer in lending his calling …

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Epilogue – In the South: Journeying on foot

One early morning on my Algarve trail I keep thinking about a dream, a story I‘d still like to tell here. The dream is about a group of young people who in their village along the trail start planting a small tree, then a second, a third… They agree that every day they will plant another tree together along the trail’s edge, so that those still young trees may, one fine day day in the future, when these trees have grown to be tall and strong, provide shade and offer up free fruit to their children and their children’s children. …

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A New Home in Salir

It’s a small house with two bedrooms in a quiet valley. Casa da Avó, which was once a ruin, comes together with a small permaculture area, the sheep Debbie, two chickens, and a sense of a “green” mission undertaken  by Margarida Almeida and João Spencer, a couple who found their “paradise” here in 1996.   Margarida (and João) used to live in Lisbon. How did you find this place, in Salir, here in the midst of nature? João was born in Mozambique, I was born in Brazil. My father was a traveling salesman, who was in partnership with an Italian …

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“What I really like is versatility…”

Versatility is one of his favourite words, almost as if he believes that, once we have come into the world, we are ready for anything, for whatever the Universe wants to put in-front of us. That is why, from writing for a newspaper, where he spent nine years as a translator, Igor Duarte has moved into the hotel business and spent five years at the reception desk of a hotel. Today he dedicates body and soul to a new challenge: the kitchen of the A Villa restaurant in Salir. In this restaurant run by Mónica Matias, his sister-in-law, it is …

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In the South: Journeying on foot
DAY 1 – Thirst – an unexpectedly great one

DAY 1 – Thirst – an unexpectedly great one

On a Sunday in October in this warm and dry year, at the tail end of a summer that shows no signs of wanting to end, I pull the door shut behind me, lock it, shoulder my backpack and start walking east, with my dog for company. I‘ve taken a week‘s time out for myself: a week with no computers, a life without Internet. In reality I want to take the track starting right behind my house, a trail leading into nature or, well, what is left of it after the great forest fire of 2018. After a few kilometres …

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Nº 109 – Reality

Saturday 9th October 2021. Who actually determines our future? Children pass through different stages in their lives where the future becomes an everyday reality: it becomes their normality. But what becomes of our dreams? Who actually gets to realise their dreams and how do they go about this? We come into this world and are taken to a nursery, then we are put into school, maybe go to university too, and of course we are issued with report cards, pass exams, do our best to ride the learning curves that only adolescents are subjected to. What are they really learning, …

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Nº 105 – Minimising the Risk of Forest Fires.
An essay by Uwe Heitkamp

Saturday 18th September 2021. By now every serious democratic candidate has been given the chance to air their views on the forest fires in a 30-minute unscripted interview. Their replies to the question of what they are intending to do to break the cycle of forest fires in Monchique, or to stop them altogether, makes it look as if they didn’t really have a solution in mind. José Chaparro, Bruno Estremores, João Duarte and Paulo Alves are the four candidates who all want to become mayor, and all of them still have a real chance to make this happen. Unless …

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