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Herdeiros da Revolução

Heirs of the revolution.

Hiking signifies a return to our roots, to our innate speed, and to an original form of life. It will repeatedly remind us that it is only for a short time that we are guests on this planet, which we have subdued. Wouldn’t we do better to see ourselves just as part of the whole: with nature, the forests, the animals, with all our earth’s resources? We also go walking to see with our own eyes how the countryside develops from year to year. When we go walking, our thoughts become sharper. All our senses are awake and feel, see, smell, hear and taste nature. We notice how we become one with the mountain stream in which we bathe, and when we sit down on a meadow of flowers for a snack.

Walking has become an important part of our lives. We look forward to it and think about where this life will lead us in the future. We meet other people: farmers, shepherds, beekeepers – and we find common ground in conversation and by sharing a meal. We made a film about this footpath and this life. In it, people who we have met during our walks speak about their lives in nature, with animals, their work and their lives …

… for example the family of Henrique and Maria José in Furnazinhas, a village that we come to on the second day of walking. We spend the night at the Casa do Lavrador (lavrar terra = plough the earth) a former farm. 74-year-old Dona Olivia, already retired, prepares a traditional breakfast for us: with honey, her own jams, fresh goat’s cheese, ham and chouriço from the Iberian pig, oranges and tangerines from her garden and lemon verbena tea from the tea bush. Why does Dona Olivia still work, we wonder? Only with patience do we learn more about the people, their village, their traditions, we learn about their very personal stories, which come together to create a picture.

We meet the hermit Manuel Teixeira in the village of Ferrerias. For nine years, the 83-year-old farmer has been living alone with his 14 cats and his donkeys. He plants his field with potatoes, onions, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, and other vegetables. We spend the night at a guest house, the old man lives next door with his animals. For 63 years, António da Encarnação has been distilling his brandy in the hills of Monchique. António Santos presses his native olive oil in the old style. We meet the shepherd Manuel António Violente with his animals in the heathland close to the southwest cape.

We must get out of the city and back to nature. While we are planting young cork oaks and chestnut trees, we feel good. As we walk along the old pilgrims’ path to Europe’s southwest cape, we discover Portugal anew. The path is the goal.

About the author

Uwe Heitkamp, 53 years old, started working after university in daily newspapers and from 1984 on in public tv broadcasting companies such as WDR (Collogne), NDR (Hamburg), SDR (Stuttgart/Baden-Baden) in the ARD (first programme), wrote several books and directed the cinema movie about the anti nuclear movement in Germany in 1986 (Wackersdorf). After emigration in 1990 he founded 1995 the trilingual weekly printed newspaper “Algarve123”  and later the online edition www.algarve123.com. Heitkamp lives for 25 year in Monchique, Portugal. He loves mountain hiking and swimming in streams and lakes, writes and tells stories of success from people and their sustainable relationship between ecology and economy. His actual film “Revolutionary Roads” tells the 60 minute story of a long walk crossing Portugal. 10 rural people paint a picture of their lives in the hills of the serra and the hinterland. The film captures profound impressions of natural beauty and human life. Along which path is the future of Portugal to be found? (subscribe to ECO123 und watch the documentary in the Mediatec)

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