Smurf LandPosted: March 10, 2012
Day 123-XLIX, from Altamura to Toritto, 23 km.
Day 124-L, from Toritto to Palo del Colle, 8 km.
Palo del Colle, March 10
The walk from Altamura into the plains was the worst. Twenty kilometres straight along a busy national road in the rain. There is nothing we can do but push on at an elevated pace to get it over with.
Finally the last few kilometres we have the road all for ourselves. It’s not yet in use, so we’re able to inaugurate it with our shopping carts. The rain has stopped, and in the olives fields along the road our efforts are rewarded by the view of the trulli.
A trullo is a typical Apulian peasant house. It looks a bit like the homes of the Smurfs. I adore them. When I was only a couple of years old, I wanted to travel to find the village of the Smurfs. Unfortunately, back then I didn’t find it, but I knew that some day I would. And indeed, I did.
At about fifty kilometres further south from here there is a village which is almost exclusively made up of trulli. It’s called Alberobello. You should see it. It’s even better than Disneyland.
It’s already dark when everyone has reached Toritto, the first suburb in the gravity zone of Bari. Tonight we would prefer a place with a roof, but there is none to be found, so we take the square. The sole officer on duty makes a worried phone call and then leaves us in peace.
News from Athens is coming in. Our people on the spot have grudgingly accepted May 5 as the day on which ‘Agora Athens’ will begin. They would have preferred to start a week earlier, but in the absence of convincing reasons there was no way that our assembly would agree to change the date of arrival. With that, the hot issue of the date is finally closed.
Other more interesting news concerns the rumours of a German march which will start in Patras on May 2 and which will arrive in Athens on May 15. Then there is even talk of a bicycle march which will start in Holland to cross all of Europe and arrive in Greece through the Balcans. It sounds great, and I hope it won’t turn out to be just rumours.
Later on in the evening, people from the association Libera, which manages the real estate confiscated from the mafia, open the entrance of their building on the square, so that we can find shelter in case of rain.
Now, for me electricity is a daily necessity, and I’m lucky enough to find a place in the entrance where I can plug in my laptop. Today I won’t write any updates. From all the various fronts of the revolution, messages are coming in. From Jesus Christ, who is participating in one of the marches going to Paris for the French elections, from Spain, from Greece, from Holland. I want to answer them all.
But every now and then, people notice me and they gather around. They want to know everything about the march. How many people we are, where we are from, when the march has started, when we will arrive, what we hope to accomplish, etc.
I must have answered all these question at least a thousand times, and every time I put away my computer and I answer them again, with the same enthusiasm. Because I’m well aware that if ever I would say ‘Not now, I have other things to do’, I would have ceased to be a revolutionary.
So I talk to people all evening. I see the admiration in their eyes whenever I speak about our march. And when all the others have already gone to sleep, the locals bring their things to me. Late at night, when I finally finish my letters, there’s a pile of pizzas next to me, bags full of pastries for breakfast, softdrinks, cigarettes etc. I get up, and while I carry everything to the camp, a car stops in front of me, a window rolls down. It’s one of the people I met earlier this evening. “Hey Oscar, will you come grab a beer?”
“Thanks man, but not tonight. It’s really time for me to get some sleep.”