Being vegan and a hedonistic Taurean my memories of a place are often defined by the food I have eaten there. This pic sums up the simple fare I have enjoyed in Greece and describes my last supper and breakfast in Argostoli.
Tomorrow I will cycle the 70-odd kilometers to the ferry port of Fiskardo and sail to Nydri on Lefkada. From there I will ride to Igoumenitsa and then take the bus to Thessaloniki. My destination is Asprovalta and the Tree of Life Festival.
Argostoli has been beautiful and surprising – it is not an obvious tourist destination. We are just ahead of the summer season so it is still quiet, thankfully. Besides giant beans, my abiding memories will be of people sitting about in the shade of dried palm fronds and grape vines, talking and yawning, drinking coffee in the day and raki at night.
Each time I cycle past a particular restaurant on the edge of the sea the waiter shouts, “beep, beep, beep” and waves. That’s because the first time I passed him I honked my horn; so now I have to do that every time I ride by.
When I think of the busy-ness in most people’s lives, and compare it to island life, it is hard to make sense of why we punish ourselves so in our daily grind. I gave all that up eight years ago and I haven’t looked back. I don’t own much. I don’t need much: just a good bike, my panniers, simple vegan food, love and friendship.
Greece is a really good place to be if your needs are simple and you want to opt out.
I just rode my first 10km after injuring my knee. Every time I take to the road there is a reward waiting for me. Yesterday, it was the flight of a green woodpecker passing right in front of my eyes as I slowly and gingerly cycled down a country lane near Flatford Mill.
Other rewards are the feeling of the sun on my face, the smiles and sometimes comments from passers-by when they see my fancy dress, the scents from the flowers and trees, the breeze on my skin, the anticipation of what is around the next bend, the honesty farm stall where I buy my dinner, the gratitude I feel when I see so many others who can barely walk. Cycling, like many outdoor pursuits (not sports–what I do is not sport) brings you into the moment. No past or future. Just the experience of now.
I look inside the cars next to me and feel elated that I am not imprisoned. No matter that their occupants probably feel sorry for me. And then, I laugh out loud with joy.
“I feel short-changed,” a family member said to me yesterday. At first, I didn’t understand what she meant. Then I realised it was because we haven’t got any further north than Johannesburg since we set off on our bikes from Cape Town on November 1st last year. Not only that, but in a few weeks time we will be boarding a bus, with bikes and panniers, and returning to our starting point… albeit temporarily.
Cape Town. This time, it is not your magnetic attraction, your mountain or beaches, our families or our friends, or even the active and compassionate vegan community that is pulling us back to you. It is one incredible man and his amazing wife: Will and Madeleine Tuttle.
Will Tuttle is the author of the The World Peace Diet, an Amazon best-seller. It is probably the most important and all-encompassing book about peace and its link with veganism. You only have to read these reviews to begin to get an idea of the power of this book. I would recommend that anyone who cares about the state of our planet, the sad plight of our farmed animals, and the continuation of the human race, read this book. It is written with such intelligence, such love, and with compassion for all beings, animal and human, vegan and non-vegan.
So, if you fall into any of the above categories, don’t miss Will’s lecture tour. He will be giving presentations in Greyton, Western Cape from the 1st January 2016 to the 3rd. In Cape Town from the 4th January to the 8th. In Durban on the 9th and in Johannesburg on the 13th. We will publish the details of this tour on our Facebook page when we have them.
This also ties in with the Veganuary initiative. “Veganuary aims to reduce the suffering of animals by inspiring and supporting people across the globe to go vegan for the month of January.” Their website explains how it all works and offers an amazing support package for anyone whose new year’s resolution is to go vegan.
We will continue our PEACE cycle to Ethiopia in the new year.
See you on the road.
Did you know that the 1st November is World Vegan Day? And November is World Vegan Month. Here is the official definition of veganism, coined by Donald Watson in 1944:
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.
So, on this day, every year, we commemorate the foundation of the vegan movement. Yesterday, 1st November, Sven and I celebrated with a group of passionate vegans and activists from Durban. We had a pot luck with delicious and varied food, which was clearly prepared with love.
The 1st November is also the anniversary of the start of a new life for Sven and me. One year ago we began a cycle trip that will eventually take us to Ethiopia. We have cycled 0ver 2,000 kilometres together so far, from Cape Town up to Port St Johns on the East Coast. Next Friday, we will put our luggage on the train to Johannesburg where we will begin the second leg, cycling up to Zimbabwe.
Our goal for this trip is to spread the message that peace begins on our plates. We cannot have peace in our lives while continuing to support a meat-and-dairy-based diet and lifestyle. Our audience is threefold: our followers on social media; the vegans we encounter along the way; and the people we meet who are not yet vegan but are inspired by our message.
If you’d like to follow us you can do so here:
If you’d like to offer even the smallest amount of financial support, you can do so here.