sunday 5 august, we held an anti-fracking workshop in Avignon square. While preparing dinner, T. held a Rhythms of Resistance workshop with recycled materials, pots and pans. We then joined up with the Serious Beans Project (a band who will join the tour so long as they can carry their violin, trumpet and doube bass amoungst other instruments on their bikes). They later gave us and the locals a free gig at the nearby campsite.
monday 6 august, we cycled south for few hours under light rain, then debated Degrowth and Food over lunch before asking local land owners for a place to camp. Luckily we found Fernando and Isabel, who let us invade their beautiful farm. We spent some time sipping portugese coffee with them whilst pimping up our bikes and making seed bombs, and enjoying the tallents of the Serious Beans who gave a free concert as thanks for their hospitality.
tuesday 7 august, with a group of 38 cyclists and 6 trailers we had a beautiful and breezy cycling day to Marseille old port. From there we cycled as a Critical Mass to l’Escalette where Patrick, our host, waited for us in his hut on the cliffs with endless musical entertainment :D
wednesday 8 august, after cycling back to the city, some of us visited the Velo en Ville workshop to repair bikes and prepare dinner. Whilst the rest prepared a Reclaim The Square party at a public square, with music by Serious Beans and Susannes. We introduced Ecotopia Biketour to passing public and handed out seed bombs to children as they danced along to the Beans. Returning to the workshop we had dinner and a presentation about the story and processes of Es.Col.A da Fontinha, a community squatted social center in Porto, Portugal.
thursday 9 august, after catching up on some sleep, we had a resful day swimming in the sea and preparing hummus and spreads for the next days of cycling where firing up the rocket stove could be more difficult. That evening we met in Marseille center and cycled towards Aix en Provence until it was getting dark, and wild camped in the zen city park.
friday 10 august, we cycled all morning passing by two ugly nuclear projects; the Cadarache and ITER nuclear research center but unfortunatly missed the chance to connect to the local anti-nuclear activist groups. At lunch we stopped by a waterfall for a swim and collective clothes washing on Le Verdon river. After a long and deserved rest we continued cycling north and found a great spot near the almost dried L’Asse river where Susannes presented us with a small concert of her rural, agriculture and anti-nuclear songs.
saturday 11 august, following the valley to Sisteron, we had a good swim at the city park pool and enjoyed a bounty of locally skipped produce. After resting, we continued a dozen kilometers further to camp near another small river where Miguel shared again his story-telling skills and leart beautiful campfire songs under the passing shooting stars.
sunday 12 august, we had a short day cycling throught the Gorges de la Méouge and 400m high to Éourres (950m) an alternative eco village where we were warmly received by the locals. We soaked up the strong community spirit before camping in a donkey field, who had to be scared away from our food store early next morning!
monday 13 august, was a full day. Palle, a resident of Eourres showed us his house built from natural materials (straw, hemp and clay) where he plans to hold willow weaving courses. After lunch Emanuelle presented the Sens et Autonomie project, a project promoting self built natural houses and an escape from the debt morgage cycle. They showed us round one of the house in progress, where they are experimenting with ecological plasters and clay, including a clay oven sofa! At 17h we met with people from the village to hear the history of this once abandoned town in the mountains where now around 150 people live. We also presented the Ecotopia Biketour and Alice gave a workshop on degrowth before inviting the village to join in with some traditional scottish dancing.