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Categories : - yurt building
floor recipe : old beams from the tip, bits of ceiling board, old wardrobe and luxury pallets nailed on. and a few carefully chosen rocks wedged under the dodgy bits. 1000 nails = $4.85 euros 25 nails = 1.25 euros and then i used a shitload more than i thought i would. i’m starting to think that i can do things pretty well myself, it just takes about 5-10 times as long as a pro – but i’m gettling pretty nifty with a chisel.
tomato growing recipe : compost, horse manure, a layer of wet newspaper and a mound of earth. straw from the cowboy ranchero who lives in the next valley (i reached new depths of skanky when i shovelled horse shit into bin bags and loaded it in the back of the van :0 ). a proper shitload of water like 50 litres a day for the first couple of days, and a very poorly constructed duck tape irrigation system which doesn’t work. i was pleasantly surprised to see the veggies surivive gaps of four to five days in between waterings. but these three weeks i’m in the uk may be pushing it
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Categories : - eco tourism holiday
you’re going to be sorely disappointed by the lack of photos of this trip. there’s 1. but canyons are very wet and there’s just you, a 1980s wetsuit, a helmet, and shoes.
looking as wonderful as we do in the photo, we hiked for 20 mins to a cave, and struggled into our neoprene. one person ended up back to front but the strain of sorting that out massively outweighed the inconvenience of being back to front for the whole trip. we zipped up and jumped in. then jumped in again and again.
you feel pretty invincible with all the gear on – bobbing over boulders and stumbling your way through narrow corridors of rock. the water gushes or trickles or sits in deep blue pools, and every now and then the guide wedges you in a gulley and pushes you off to slide down with it. like most of the jumps, you don’t really know what you’re doing till you’ve done it and got a face full of water.
i found swimming under rocks embarasingly tricky. being geared up and buoyant i couldn’t get underwater and my head bounced along the underside of the rock while the guide dragged me under. i got better the second time and didn’t do myself any more damage until i strained my shoulder overexcitedly attempting to scale a waterfall.
the last jump was the real test, and phil was the only one to pass. there were two options, climb down and jump a couple of metres with the waterfall or climb up and take a one step run up to clear about a metre of rocks. me and alexis did the first, fran did neither and phil climbed up. i’d have talked any of my friends out of it if we weren’t with a guide and he did look genuinely scared, i wonder how many times this has gone wrong in the past. but on the second approach he went for it and didn’t even scream like a girl. (that’s a lie, he did. but you probably would have too)
i don’t know about the others but i was full of pins and needles and bruises on the way back to the van. must do better next time
(practical stuff : we went with esgambi sports based in horta de san joan, els ports are the mounatins and it cost 33 euros each)
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Categories : - eco project
someone told me that if i made tiny holes in a plastic bucket, put only proper composting material in, and kept it tight shut i would be able to compost on my balcony in barcelona (hopefully without arousing the suspicion of my housemates)
i only put in raw fruit and veg, egg shells, and tea bags. everything went mouldy then blackened and after a couple of months the expected skanky liquid was gathering in the old frying pan under the bucket.
eventually i had to deal with the liquid. the stench when you got close to it would probably have put most people off the whole experiment right there, but i was thinking of it as liquid plant magic.
i collected it every month or so and took it in a plastic bottle to the trees at the land. i didn’t throw stuff in for a while so i could see what was forming…. it was black, mushy and soggy, but very composty, didn’t smell too bad, the white bucket had a few black splodges where bits had stuck to the side
after 7 months and a new housemate who chucked out the kitchen bin and the curtains because they were too dirty i decided to investigate more closely and see if i could get away with continuing the expermient. the black splodges were now completely covering the sides and the inside of the lid and on closer inspection realised they were some kind of living flat non-moving worm type thing.
the sad ending to the tale, about 2 mins after the discovery of the creatures, is that the whole experiment frying pan and all, got wrapped in black bin bags and hurled delicately into a dumpster.