From the green forest of Meltemi to the postapocalyptic landscape among hills above Marathon – quite a change in couple hours. This is where a small neo-tribe is building a future – or at least one version of it.
Spithari was among the first communities which answered my early emails. Since then I stayed in online contact with Kostas, who gave me a lot of help: pointed contacts, translated a summary into Greek, referred me to the hackerspace in Athens and cheered me up, when my spirit got low. Thank you – I will remember your support forever.
Naturally, I planned to stay there (near Marathon, famous 42 km from Athens) even for couple days. I managed only to stay overnight, but that was a very good night.
Left Meltemi in the late morning and hitch hiked quite easily to Marathon, where I realised my prepaid mobile is empty – not really know why.
Fighting a bit with Wind Telecom, which keeps sending me long system-generated smses in Greek (and no way to change them to English), I finally managed to call up Spithari, and two fellows came in a beaten off-roader to pick me up.
It is not really far from Marathon, but it is high in the hills and the overall impression is really postapocalyptic. Pawel from 2208.pl would love it for sure. Spitharians live in a small set of stacked sea cargo containers, with the more luxurious add-on in the form of couple camping trailers. Around ten adults, one little girl, dogs and cats – the whole minature community. In the very beginning of their history.
They are living on someone else’s ground, in the semi arid country of red clay soil, hot in the day and damn cold in the night. Harsh conditions for everyone. And this is their second year here – respect, as we say in Poland. 🙂
The water is pumped from a deep, over 20m well. The electricity is provided by wind, stored in two larged batteries. Food is partly grown locally, partly bought in the town.
When I arrived, there was an aquaponics workshop in progress. A pond and two tanks were constructed. Pond for the small school of fish, one tank for growing a duck weed to feed them and another to grow lentils for people. All system sheltered in a half-finished Bucky dome (obviously building a geodesic dome is mandatory stage for all alternative communities. 🙂 )
The whole thing was finished quite late and I am really honored by the fact that all these tired people still wanted to spend couple hours, listening to the stories from the past. We even had quite energetic discussion after that, referring to tribal approach as a solution for todays lack of social alternatives (hence the title of this story). I will be happy to visit Spithari community next time, just to spend some time with them and to learn more about their own stories. And there is a good chance I will do that.
See you on the Red Earth.