Praia do Barranco is THE hippie beach in Portugal. Its peculiarity is extensively documented on the internet. Those who have mastered the 5-kilometer, muddy dirt road, which is paved in the lower part, from the nearby village of Raposeira to the parking lot on the beach, will find an alternative community of surfers, drop-outs and life artists who are not even bothered by police raids early in the morning. In addition to the various, partly self-built mobile homes, you will also find backpackers camping in tents on the beach, hidden behind bushes or in the caves above the parking lot.

The way of life is quite simple and reminds me to the Kraho Indians that we visited in the state of Tocatins in Brazil (see The influence of modern civilization consists of a few public dumpsters at the end of the parking lot. Because of the lack of toilets, nature’s call is discreetly relieved behind bushes off the parking area. Life takes place in the car park itself, on the beach and on the nearby cliffs, where you can admire the impressive sunrises and sunsets.

During my five-day stay, I met a few natives and the advertising writer Mike from Berlin, who makes his dream of working on vacation come true in one of the caves above the parking lot.

On the last morning, I witnessed a police raid. A patrol car arrived shortly after dawn and blocked the exit. The three police officers knocked on each camper van to wake their residents. Then, too conspicuous camping such as the erection of pavilions, tables and chairs was punished, and the correct parking order was enforced. I watched the scene from a distance during a dog walk from a cliff.

After the police had left the parking lot, I returned. A Dutch aborigine on the beach told me that the officers had also knocked on my truck. However, he told them that I only parked there to take my dog ​​for a walk. People just stick together here.

The rigorous approach of the police is very conspicuous compared to other places in Portugal. When I got a visit from a police patrol at a lake in the Alentejo, I was greeted with a handshake. Afterwards, the truck was admired during a cigarette length while we made small talk. Afterwards, the officers said goodbye, saying that I should not leave any garbage behind. The message at Praia do Barranco, however, is very different: accumulations of people who live a nomadic culture are definitely not welcome here.

Why, actually? The beach is miles away from any settlement in the area. The people who stay there for a long time leave behind only what the numerous goats grazing in the open spaces throughout Portugal leave behind. In countries such as Australia and Brazil, nomadic peoples get entire areas of land as a reserve so that they can live their culture. Why can’t a secluded beach in Portugal be left to an alternative community of nomadic people?

The natives, who are used to such police actions, were extremely unimpressed by the raid. After the officials left, the parking regulations were abandoned within minutes and people continued their every day life like before.

When you like to stay in abandoned places in Portugal and do walks with your cat, you need to observe the sky for possible threats to your pet. This encounter with a flock of eagles, most probably Bonelli’s eagles, happened during a late afternoon walk at the Barragem de Odelouca in Algarve, Portugal.

This is the cat that I successfully protected from the birds of prey:

Update: I met two rangers the day after that encounter and told them about the birds. They said these birds were vultures. I looked it up and the only vulture in Portugal is Rüppell’s vulture. These animals are even bigger than Bonelli’s eagle, but less dangerous for cats, because they feed on carrion.

I think much of democracy, consensus, personal freedom, individual rights, principle equality before the law, separation of powers, freedom of information, open society and a free education system. In my opinion, self-responsibility and responsibility for the environment is based on that. Our Western society seems to be well advanced in this aspect, if there were not something else that exists parallel to it, which drives the whole liberal, democratic and egalitarian construct to absurdity.

In capitalist enterprises, which almost all people depend on to maintain their existence, there is only little democracy, no consensus, little personal freedom and rights, no principle equality, no separation of powers and no freedom of information. As long as entrepreneurs, landlords and money lenders accumulate capital at the expense of their fellow human beings, as long as there is a systemic, increasing material inequality that results in not all being equal and having an equal impact on the decision-making of a society, the whole talk about democracy is more or less pointless.

There are two basic ways to deal with this contradiction. Either we ensure that material inequality decreases, so that the actual influence of all people on the decision making of society does increase. Or we can abolish democracy and reintroduce a monarchy or oligarchy. For the few people, who have tremendous power because of their material wealth, creating a social consensus through mass media is a painstaking obstacle, useful only as long as the vast majority of the non-rich are convinced of living in a real democracy.

My goal in our transition to an alternative life is to live in a model community where there is more material equality. Only in this way, from my point of view, can the contradiction that we experience in our Western societies be dissolved and real democracy established. In search of such a model community, we recently arrived at an eco-farm whose founders blatantly stated that they give a damn about democratic decisions and consensus, that they are unwilling to divest some of their land ownership to us to produce material equality, and that they rely on “natural authority” regarding decision-making in the group.

Sylvia wanted to give the community the chance to get to know it better, because their participants were very sympathetic. However, I am extremely glad that we have come to the consensus that such a project makes no sense if only one of us is backing it.

Portugal is awaiting anxiously the arrival of yet another big storm. Exactly one year ago, a similar hurricane in the Coimbra region, where we spent two months at the eco-farm Quinta Cabeca do Mato, led to a fierce forest fire that claimed 44 lives. This time the storm seems to turn north.

The Mediterranean region is a hotspot of climate change. The impact is much higher here than in other regions, even in Europe. A temperature-rise between 4 and 7 degrees is expected by the end of the 21st century. The Alentejo, the province we are in right now, will most likely become a desert. Already, the extreme drought is not only measurable, but also clearly visible.

According to satellite images, we are standing with our truck in the middle of a reservoir. But the water in the lake is now, at the end of summer, 10 meters below the highest level. The gras covered shorelines prove that the lake was not filled completely for years.

The abandoned farms show that in many places agriculture is no longer profitable due to the lack of water.

Climate change is, next to the danger of a nuclear war, the most important subject of our epoch, for the whole of humanity. What I do not understand, what I cannot get into my head, is the fact that an incredible number of people behave as if they were not involved in this phenomenon. As if the global weather change took place in another dimension. As if somehow everything well be fine, without having to change ones life and behaviour significantly. Actually, I have a pretty good idea, why people act thus schizophrenic, but that’s another story, which you can follow on

However, the climate politics of the most important polluters, the industrialized countries of Europe and North America, is currently failing completely. It is time to finally remove the incompetent politicians who regularly buckle from the power of economic interests. If that fails, one can always change ones own culture, and already live the way we will be in the not-too-distant future.