The world has many religions in our world, each with their curious habits and props and stories. There are also philosophies that are very much like religions but don’t have a god or holy sites. It is often said the supernatural should be part of what a religion is, holy sites, reverence by the followers etc. To an atheist it always looks the same : People behaving crazy, responding to things you can’t see, honouring schedules and calenders that seem to have no or just practical purpose.
Where do you draw the line between religion and non religion? That it has priests, or prayers? I guess the best one is to look at the behavior and how it is triggered. Somewhere in the chain of cause and effect something happens that does not make any sense.
We underestimate how hard we need triggers to allow our behaviour. This is mainly because we are in sensible environments and have our thoughts to trigger behavior. But our lives would be total chaos if we unconsiously and spontaneously would start to do things we can do, it would become super dangerous. Its not due to a conscious effort that we restrict our movements etc. to what the context allows, the body doesn’t want to die as much as our mind. We are inhibited into our tried and tested routines most of the time.
It is also one of our basic functions to see if other people are normal or safe to be with. You could even say our automatic empathy and immitation of behavior is primarily to sense what other persons are up to. If they are cold and motionless and their eyes don’t seem to be freely attracted to whatever happens we quickly start to worry.
Religions have clear triggers and this seems to make sense, until you realize these triggers where made up. So to pray in front of Mary for fertility makes sense, but who made the first statue of her? Priests no doubt. If you take the behavior versus speech it also becomes quite confusing. It is most likely humans discovered the power words on minds not used to much words, minds who where not allowed to think outside the immediate practically usefull language (for fear of being accused of lying or being crazy). To me priesthoods, which descended from the village doctors and shamans, where always simply those that had more time to learn more language and meet more people, becoming able to predict and control others with words.
How would we describe a priest? Someone that knows behaviors that mesmerize people and trigger specific behaviors that ultimately serve them. A priest is like an evil psychologist. Its all self serving. The old testament is basically a how to priest manual. The main currency is fear and desperation, although it can also be love. Any emotion. Once you allow some dude or woman to tell you what the state of your world is, you live in their world.
Priests then form religions, I think that’s how it goes. Any remembered myth or habit is integrated into the religion, any new notable event is given a place in the religious bubble created. This bubble can be inclusive, exclusive etc.
We had a Apple/Microsoft religious battle in the 90’s. Now still a Microsoft/Linux battle. Both sides sort the positive and negative aspects according to the rules of their bubble, they listen to different priests. The discrimination can be totally justified objectively but then at other times not. Why the hell wear an Apple watch?
But to come back to the definition of religions, I think we should redefine it so it becomes “Any culture managed by priests”, culture being a collection of customs, habits, preferences, food choices etc. Priests being the people that weave a story from the past to the future, decide how we feel about what. You will always find the priests are doing great!
“Orthodox members are exempt from military draft and given a stipend by law”
Question then becomes with anyone you see in a visible leading role : “Is [pronoun] a priest?”. Soon you find that there are many many priests, from political leaders to celebrities. Every time they start to suggest you behave in a certain way, one that ultimately strenghtens your submission or the wallet of the priest. Kanye is a priest, Martin Luther King was a real one. Economists are priests. The reason is that in all cases there are things you can/could see, and things that you had to believe and you became different from other people. You marched to a different tune. This then can become a source of conflict, unless your priests tells you to be peacefull.
To an atheist the chaos created by priests is enough to ban all but the most basic priesthoods. Do sport, enjoy nature, share communal meals. Have feast for spring and other annual rituals. The problem is that many lives these days are more or less abstract, in the sense that people never really care for their own survival. The economy and cities makes it so people are removed from what sustains them. Its no accident. The further people are removed from what sustains them, the harder they are willing to work for money, the lifeblood of cities. The high priests of economism (a theory that is crazy because it never worries about replacing resources and only strives to increase numerical values), will tell you you have to be in cities, use every means to lock you in them, to then tell you you have to be usefull to the banks (pay a lot for your mortgage) or get thown out. You can see people in New York paying $4000 per month for an appartment and be proud of it. The city itself is the holy place sold by the real estate priests.
We love our food to be blessed by someone who cares for us. This makes 100% sense, because what if the person making the food hates you? You could be very sick. The more a person cares for your food the more important you feel. This is almost a need for many people because people who serve the economic priests well are taught to look down on people who don’t (see the pattern?). So your life sucks, your friends hate you because you are poor, then you’d love to feel a bit more important by getting special treatment. There the food priests can help you, and you want to pay for it. In the end you are squeezed or squeezing. That is what the banks want “you fight, we take a piece of the spoils. ”
To maximize wealth, which is our purpose on this Earth, where wealth does not include money, but means to realize our dreams and live a comofortable life, we need to reduce the nr. of distractions and fixations that really do not serve to increase our wealth. No religious uniformity but religious freedom and irrelevance. No territorial completeness but territorial utility. Of course wealth itself helps people get along. It is very ironic money is invested in poor countries to supply them with weapons, while the same money could possibly reduce the sources of conflict.
To come back to the definition of religion, it is a distraction in itself. The first thing the priest will do is point away from [pronoun] self, so no thought energy goes into analysing the advantages and inequalities evoked. To demystify all priests, to ask them to show real world wealth gain, not profit, as a justification of revering their truths, makes a lot of sense. Historically this has gone wrong in a system we call communism, simply because whatever system you introduce it will develop priests, and if it tries to disown everyone, some of them won’t want to, or will just work to own in other ways. Once you have a totalitarian power structure, using it to serve your own desires is the easiest thing to do. You know what you want best.
So imho the best strategy is to have local centers of authority, and a constant process of trying to make sense of decision in the context of real world resources, desires, needs. To celebrate good fortune and know the people you ‘work’ for. To have no bank religion, no state religion, no ancient text recited or dress codes. To just keep to principles without some dangerous imaginary god or far out promise or desire to conform to ancient orders. All that is is insanity.
To boil it down for you : Oceans are warming because they can no longer shed heat through our atmosphere like before. They can be 5 degrees Celsius warmer than before and in places you will die of heat exhaustion if you swim in it too long. Today.
The economic respons is to retreat, to forget about it, go elsewhere, harvest, sell, destroy something else. Humanity does not have that luxury. Hot oceans are deadly to its ocean life, they are causing more sever storms and are also making land temperatures much higher, up to 12 degrees in the Horn of Africa. Today.
The Economy is Paralysing Action
Oil companies knew this was coming, we are here now. We have to find a way to deal with it. The problem we see with this is that every activity of nearly anyone in our world is immediately captured in a business model for profit if we show we really want to do them. This makes everything worth doing maximally expensive. It also makes it so we don’t do what is not profitable, and I have observed financial institutions hide, disappear, patent and own ideas that where impossible to make expensive or profitable for them. Carbon capture is a victime, Carbon trading is a victim of that. Carbon sequestration the same thing. It is not a problem to supress these things for the parties involved, because they don’t care about anything but money and control.
We need solutions that are ‘extraeconomic’ or ‘roboeconomic’. Ones that use initial resources but then only renewables or their own organic growth, maybe use waste or some plentifull resource, but not anything that has to be shipped across the globe, made in factories. At the same time the product will likely be valuable in today’s economy. Be it plastic, some kind of oil (to capture Carbon) or pure carbon (soot like or graphite). The economy and banks will come for it, to sell it and consume it.
Our universe was not measured until intelligence evolved on Earth (as far as we can tell atm). Intelligence is the ability to imagine two or more futures, and act to make the future more likely that enables it to persist. Human intelligence drove our species towards ever more secure arrangements (until the discovery of fossil fuels) and part of that was possible through trade, the exchange of resource without conflict. Essential to that trade was counting. Humans started counting items, volumes, weights, time. That was the origin of numbers.
Numbers where positive mostly, basically one amphore of olive oil was different from two amphore of olive oil. Symbols where invented to represent that difference. The reader of the symbols could imagine the amphores and feel the difference. Just like you can feel the difference between imagining eating one Burger King’s Whopper of ten Burger King’s Whoppers. Don’t throw up.
Zero did not exist. But empty store houses did at times exist, unused ship, dry wells, things that felt like zero so to say. It was added and was quite an invention. Later negative numbers where used. The art of mathematics took shape, as people tried to enumerate the stars and calculate the course of stars. Mathematics became a powerfull tool to not only recognize the present state of things, but also simulate the future.
If we stick to the basic intuitive functions of math, so addition, substraction, multiplication, division, we can see that these model events in reality. Addition : Combine stores, Substraction : Sell goods from store, Multiplication : Repeat labour with a similar result. Division : Share goods among a group. Even without any knowledge of chemistry, physics or biology this kind of symbolization and simulation of possible realities was usefull.
At some point mathematics became a thing in itself, a world to live in. Its predictive powers and its conincidences motivated people to form sects when it was combined with philosphy (the precursor of al natural sciences). Quantity had alure. Big numbers still do, we see news of a billion dollar investment in XYZ, it registers : This is a looot of money (which most people confuse with resources or wealth). The game was turned around, reality is in its fundament mathematical, we just don’t know how to mathematically represent all of it yet! I don’t believe so. It is actually impossible to represent reality in mathematics, as I will explain later.
To see where the world of mathematics is diverging from reality we have to go very deep into physics, but let’s take a simpler example : Repeating fractions. What happened is that humans developed a process to calculate divisions. You take 10/3, you find 3 x 3 = 9 is almost 10. You have 1 remaining. Then you say I can divide by 3 but then I first divide 1 by 10. So that’s 0,9 and I represent that as 3.3, then I am left with 0,1 which I can divide by 10 and then by 3 again, finding 3.33, and this never ends. It never ends because I have the algorithm of division by 10 which keeps yielding something to divide. This all happens entirely in the mathematical universe (Mathematica), which is governed by rules. You could say it goes on for infinite digits. That is true in Mathematica, but the result stops representing reality pretty quickly. We can not keep cutting up a piece of gold in 3 repeatedly for an infinite number of times. This is no shock, the math was just a model to simulate possible outcomes, it is not reality.
We can also take a square root of 2. This is the length of a diagonal of a square with sides 1. The setup is already a projection, because you can make a perfect titanium block with two sides of 1 meter for example, but you use a standard, then you switch to perfect mathematica where you symbolize the length as “1”. You have a process of taking the square root which is a model of how you would go about measuring the length of the diagonal in reality. You take a piece of wire with one side to the ‘origin’ and the other having a pencil attached and you draw a circle segment until you hit the ‘x axis’ (floor), then you measure the floor length or estimate it. Or you go to maths, you take a number you can multiply like 1,4 times 1,4 which is 1,96, so you are left with 0,04, so it has to be more than 1,4. Of course you use the simulation tool for multiple additions to find out how close you are. If you take a piece of wood, you will be able to put the spot that is square root of 2 from one end in say inches or cm within an interval you mark. SQRT(2) cm exists. But its quantity is irrational, meaning the number never ends. Our calculator stops at 1.41421356237 or so but you can go on. Same with PI. Reality however very much ends. The fascination with irrational numbers is really a confusion because the endlessness of SQRT(2) comes from not stopping to calculate it. It is the (seeming) endlessness of a procedure. Humans make SQRT(2) irrational, the number itself does not exist, there is no place we can actually measure it in reality.
The above divergence between mathematica and the universe is largely ignored, which means we think things may be real but we are hallucinating them because mathematics predicts them. The validity of mathematics however is pure coincidence, literally a coinciding of the mathematical simulation born out of procedural execution of mutations with the real universe. We don’t have negative speeds or mass. We see processes that run into ‘limits’ that are real world impossibilities, but mathematically we can imagine a world where the limit is passed, and spend time exploring it. We are travelling inside our own imagination. To keep the coincidence mathematicians had to invent complex numbers and many other tools in their simulation tool box. Quaternions, complex calculus, all to improve the simulation and its outcomes. It proves highly succesfull and extends even to the quantum mechanical world, where the predictions are statistic and uncertain. You can see that if I role a dice and you give me a probability distribution of the outcome, you will never be able to actually predict a real outcome. The ‘intelligent’ use of the mathematics ends where you can make a choice for a better outcome based on your simulation.
The fundamental building blocks of our universe are not particles or waves, but the medium that wave is stored in and propagates in. ‘Medium’ is most likely a misleading term, because to us it may seem like a medium (in which you can make and detect waves). It is most likely a computational process which we simply have not found an explanation for yet. Pysicist think there are multiple media, or fields as they call it. Their math allows them to make predictions of likelyhoods of events in fields, which is fantastic. The math can never capture the calculation process that creates the dynamics of fields. You can say “but we can calculate the wave form of a electromagnetic wave”. No you really can’t because you can never use the information to actually capture a wave in its exact phase or something.
An example of the mental overreach of mathematics and modelling of physics is Maxwells Demon’s experiment. Its a thought experiment where we would have two rooms with gas molecules where we where able to open and close a -one molecule- door (controlled by a demon) so that we let the fast molecules move to one of the rooms and block the slow ones. This would create a thermal gradient between the rooms which could then be used to extract energy.
The reasoning about this experiment is imho quite shallow. It goes into what the demon thinks etc. The problem is how do you see a molecule at high speed coming when you have this door. Part of the answer is, well you can’t. Its between all the other molecules in brownian movement. The demon can not control a door to let it through because it can’t see it coming. At the same time you could spontanously select the fast molecules. This happens when you suck a vacuum above water. The fast water molecules can escape the mutual attraction (van de Waals) and enter the thin air and become water vapour.
The above shows that you get better results in trying to simulate the actual reality as is, (at the scale that is persistent enough) than to look at mathematical or abstract information processes based on formulas. The confusion and expansion of the imagination caused by wrongfully overlaying a simulated world (mathematica) over reality can be quite large.
The computation that I think happens to create our universe is one between ‘nodes’ pushing outwards. The pushing creates a spherical form that likes to have a volume in a non dimensional space. The space has no dimensions because it is too dynamic to measure a straight distance in. Also the spherical space is just a result of enough mutual pushing between nodes. The nodes can collapse (two into one) under ‘pressure’ from other nodes. The mystery is how they find each other so they can push on each other (with a single point or line of contact). Energy is the ability of a node to emit more lines. A node can thus contain all the energy in the univese and take up zero volume in a zero dimensional world. The result of these nodes and their constant pushing is a liquid, that has similarities with a real liquid or an ocean of tiny spheres unver very high pressure (I wrote about this before). This all happens on the sub Planck scale.
An electron is a complex swirl in a node liquid, a photon is a collapse of nodes that propagates accompanied by wave distortions of the liquid of nodes.
It seems particles in quantum dynamics form from dynamics of this liquid, swirls and interactions between the creation of new nodes and the pushing between them. It is possible to imagine flows of the nodes which do not interact, forming barriers which can be of complex shape. energy (the pushing) can not cross through these barriers because it is always directed perpendicular to it. There is nothing else at that scale. Dimensions do not exist, but the flow of the nodes and their fields can regularize into a grid that can only be traversed along three directions, hence our three dimensional world. It is a result of the computational preference for pushing at short distances in a spherical direction (although I don’t know exactly how you come to a limited 3 dimensions that way). Waves, particles all exist in this liquid of nodes (or liquids if you believe the physicists).
The above view means you can’t count the nodes, you can only interact with them in the aggregate. We don’t really understand the calculations that could underlie the pushing outward against other nodes, where it starts. We can look for ways to make the movement of the nodes more macroscopic, like to create a worm hole, but that as we all know requires massive amounts of energy. This is because these nodes never stop trying to push against each other.
Maybe quantum computation becomes a way to model this fundamental level of reality, but maths is unfit. The fact mathematica has to be adapted and extended to facilitate simulation of every more detailed reality (with a bit of cop out when probablilities are used), means it should not be believed at face value. It is not the basis of our univers, although some process of calculation seems to be. I claim that the expansion of our universe is because the nodes push out against ever less counterpressure, as more space is created. Eventually all the nodes will be some what equidistant, but you can easily see that the dynamics of the calculations (especially below the level where it radiates through the node network) may never seize.
More of this kind of thinking can be found with Thad Roberts and others, but he doesn’t want to speculate on the nodes level.
Just a page to allow you to download the PDF booklet about the Roboeconomy. It is version 1.0 of only 10 pages, so easy to read. The core message is we need to focus on wealth creation, which is not related to maximizing profit or money accumulation. The factors that are important are discussed and I will extend the explanation further in future updates.
(14/7/2023) I did a thing, I rented an electric camper in Holland which is build by a company called Fixxter.com, from another company called Leavv.com. This had been an idea of mine for some time. It is not cheap. I however say an opportunity in it as a way to draw attention to AlbedoEnhancement.com which is increasing the reflectin of Earht, land and sea to cool down our planet. At the same time a guy called Peter Lukursky, a carribean sailor from Australia, was promoting the elcanoworldchallenge.org and hoping to build a new type of catamaran in Greece. I convinced the owner of Leavv this would be a good opportunity to promote the camper, and he gave me a discount.
Money wise I had some reserves and wanted to do someting interesting.
The plan was to drive the camper to the South of Italy, then take the ferry at Brindisi or Bari to Greece. Drive to where Peter was building the boat and then drive back through Albania and Montenegro etc. To do this I thought I needed about 42 days. I did not know how often or easy I could charge the camper or how fast one can travel with it.
So on april 21st I picked up the Peugeot e-Expert, which looked perfect inside and out. I have not really travelled much by camper, not at all actually, so I could not judge. I lost about a day because of a miscommunication about the pickup. I had to drive it to my home, load it with clothes, guitars, camera’s and demo material on Albedo. I made banners to stick on the side, but they where to large for the camper.
To warn you, my philosphy is that if I drive a camper, I do not have to go to a -camping-. It is legal to park and sleep in a vehicle in most european countries, Holland and Belgium are excluded and some municiplalities will not allow it. Otherwise I have travelled like this for years through Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland. It is really cheap, allowing a daily cost of about 10 Euro if you work at it. My last trip was to see the Biennale in Venice, september 2022.
I brought with me my Nikon D3300, A Sony ZVE10 (which I believed I needed) and my trusty Galaxy S9, which makes great photos and has a one of the highest screen resolutions. I don’t think I’m a great photographer, I did travel around for years making promotional pictures for my twitter channel @Climatebabes
The main drive of the first part of the trip was to get South of Rome, terra incognita (mostly) for me. Also to make cool pictures of the camper and organize the meetup with Peter in Greece. And make videos about Albedo to cool buildings and cities and hopefully the world.
I will add some along the way pictures just for the curious. The driving with the e-Expert was easy to get used to. It has a forward, revers switch, it has several modes but I mainly used ECO. I tried to stay below 100 km/h in terms of speed.
Getting used to charging wasn’t the best experience with the locations I visited first. I used the Chargemap app and had several charging card options. Most locations accept chargemap, so its not a bad service.
Its become clear that there is now a preferred charging tower that is rolled out across energy ‘brands’ of which the highest capacity I came across is 350 kWh/H, but there are still early variants from different manfacuturers with varying ergonomic qualities.
I visited Paris many times, but liked the idea of a shot of the van in front of the Sacre Coeur or Eiffel Tower. As you can see I was carrying my bike on the back. This changed later due to the risk of theft. My carrier had no lock.
I of course had to learn about the range of the vehicle. It wasn’t 330 km as advertised, more like 290 max. This wasn’t an issue however, if you think about it, its not the range that matters but the maximal charging speed. I was effectively charging 50 kWh every time I stopped. The max charging rate of the camper was 50 kWh, so it took me an hour to fill it up. In the end it is the charging speed of the vehicle that limits your travel speed, because in most places to start or stop charging takes less than a minute. I have to add this is at DC charging spots, do Direct Current, straight to the battery pack charging. The alternative which is ony relevant for very slow charge speeds, is AC or Alternating Current.
I found that to get ahead just pick the next charging location, make sure you have 50 km of charge left when you arrive at it. This is because the DC place my not actually be there (!), (The Chargemap app should only be trusted when there are pictures, otherwise you may be disappointed). If the DC charging spot is there you lose as much time as you would if you drive further, so it doesn’t matter if you charge early or just in time, because of the vehicles charging speed.
I did not stay long in Paris, because I did not know how much days I’d need for the round trip. I choose to drive South and enter Italy via a tunnel at Frejus. Its 50 Euro to pass through the tunnel. Tunnels are great for EVs, evey efficient. This was ‘making miles’, drive, charge and nap, drive..
I found this route fast and easy, it is longer, but I got to see Paris.
Its a bit different traveling with a camper EV than a car EV, because you can’t sleep easily in a car. With the camper I just had the bed ready, so at every charging station of when I got tired of driving I could take a nap.
Turin is one of my favorite cities in Italy, its like Milan but quieter. It has a large pedestrian area, beautifull architecture, good food. It was a pass through thing though, but I decided get a shot at a monument the Fontanella, which is on a hill with a good view. You can see the snowy peaks of the Alps in the distance.
I decided to take my (new) bike and go ride through Turin. I carried my laptop, two cameras and phone with me. I was unlucky, it was a monday and my favorite restaurant was closed. I checked out the city between 15pm and 17pm to return to a ransacked camper. I had parked it at an unpayed spot, this was a mistake. I decided to do that because I visited Turin many times with my cars and never had a problem.
I was pretty calm under the circumstances, I was annoyed but was focussing on getting the trip completed, getting South of Rome. The police came. I lost a very nice guitar, a wifi speaker, boxes with small electronics, backpacks with clothes. I did not worry too much because I took out insurance with Centraal Beheer Apeldoorn. This later turned out to be a mistake as well, I guess one really needs to read the small print. These days ‘easy to steal items’ are no longer insured.
I spend a couple of hours getting the right documents for insurance purposes nonetheless, could have saved myself the hassle. Good thing I took the bike, Now the damage was about 2500,- Euro. It stayed that way, because Centraal Beheer Apeldoorn did not cover it!
The window could not easily be replaced, Carglass was designated as the repair service, but they don’t stock the windows, so that would take a week. The owner/Leavv.com could not do much from Holland so I decided to drive on with a covered window, which was fine as the weather was kinda nice.
I should have shown more of the inside of the camper. You see a raised part of the bed, under it, in the back, you can store cables and other stuff. The cupboards on the side are ok, they can slide open when you accelerate, there is a fountain, gas coocker, fridge, but to me this was not the ideal setup.
Ideally these functions are close to the doors or even possible to move outside the camper. I did not go for the chemical toilet option. This is a more or less standard design from Fixxter.com, they have not asked my review. 😉 The simplest way to improve the design is to imagine the requirements if it was all on a yacht.
The best features imho where the fridge which kept working no matter the weather, and the big tray between the front seats, where you could dump whatever and keep your camera ready. It wasn’t water proof though. Think yacht!
Maybe fun to talk about Google Maps for a second here. It keeps track of all your movements if you have it installed on your Android phone. You can go back years and see exactly where you where on what day. This is both a privacy concern and pretty amazing. Strava was in the news because it showed the live location of a russian army general who was easy to kill. I had use of this functionality to return to places I know, for example a Pizza place near Florence I enjoyed.
At the same time Google Maps sucks balls. It plots a route and does not know anything about the road quality. So you get send up the most incredible roads (which Italy has), made for donkeys or the typical narrow tractors. In cities you get send through streets that are barely used. It seems Google could do some datamining, rating the road sections based on usage, and vastly improve its directions. I damage the camper the first time due to Google Maps sending me up a way to steep incline.
The route I took was a bit challenging for my camper, I took the road SP69 from Campo Ligure, which is a beautifull winding road through a nature reserve. As I was rising over the ridge that separates Liguria from Piedmont I saw the range drop precipitously, from where it was plenty to reach the next charging location to where it was about 16 km short.
The way I found out it worked was that Peugeot shows you how much km you can still go if they where of the same ‘intensity’ as your last five minutes or so. That means if you have 50 kWh for 200 km range and you drive at a 25 kWh/h intensity your range will be 200 km, but if you then go up an incline and your intensity becomes 50 kWh/h, your range halves to 100 km. If you then go down where you use -zero- kWh/h your range goes up again.
Google Maps provides a way to (roughly) see the inclines/height differences on a route, which then inform you what to expect. That piece of SP69 went up about 500 meter (330 feet?). The range picks up going down not because your recharge the battery, but because the range estimation uses the near zero kWh consumption to reestimate itself. So Google Maps, navigate as a bicycle, and you can see what the ‘intensity’ of the route is. I don’t think this whole effect is known to most EV drivers, who for that reason can be surprised by a sudden drop in range as they don’t notice they are going up a hill.
To be continued..
15/7/2023 I still had my broken window, and after calling around and talking to the lease company and a local Peugeot dealer I managed to arrange they would fix it, they could get the parts in a short timespan. This was near Sistri Levante, which is one of those nice bays that show the promise of the italian coast. The beach was lined with dead molluscs though, not sure why. It was very hot.
I spend a day cycling around the area, it was still pre-season so the beach was mostly empty. The italian coast is very rocky in many places, which is what I love about it. I decided to hike a bit but then wanted to try my new bike. This resulted in me carrying it over a rock outcrop to avoid a tunnel..
I was hoping to not travel alone but it turned out this way, and if you do then the trip gravitates more to enjoying architecture, food, landscapes and sports. This was my inhale moment because I just love the unpolished nature of Italy, fresh air, stunning vista’s. I also realized my less active winter existence meant I should not walk a tight rope along steep cliffs before I got a bit fitter again 😉
The window got fixed, I payed the bill and moved on to the South. I decided to stay close to the coast, not sure the exact route I wanted to take. I skipped Cinque Terre and kept Florence for another time (still assuming I’d cross over to Greece). Talking to Peter however he told me the boat build did not move as fast as he hoped. He was worried there wasn’t much to see, there wasn’t a factory and he had to stay in Albania to save days on his visum.
Pisa has a coastline which is quite low key. This part of the coast does not have a lot of rocky outcrops. The city itself is of course abuzz with tourists and a nightmare to park in. Near the beach there’s a nature reserve with wild boar. Below a picture of the last time I stayed there (september 2022). They are being fed so not super wild.
The people where very happy to see me there, being one of the first tourists of the season. It seems Pisa could do a better job being a beach destination, but then again it would make people fly more.
Next up was Sienna. Doing the driving and charging had become routine by now. I was trying to figure out how to work with my new Sony ZVE10 camera, which doesn’t have a viewfinder and an LCD (so not very bright) screen to see what you’re doing. The result is badly framed pictures.
I did a couple of comparison shots with both my camera’s The D3300 has an 18-55 F1.35-5.6 lens and the ZVE10 has a 18-50 F 2.8 lens. The camera world is one of infinite detail, while most of my use of it is point and shoot, don’t think to much about it. It seems the ZVE10 did a slightly better job, keeping the colors more noticable but also lighter.
Camera detail is really not what I am interested in though, because if you don’t watch out you will be obsessing over bokeh and dragging along a cartload of lenses. I really like the fact the Nikon lens can be compacted, and it seems the Sigma people took the hint so that lens is very light, albeit a bit boring.
Here’s another camera comparison.
I had grown curious about the Tuscany coast, so I decided to check out the peninsula of/near Orbetello. I drove straight to it. It has a number of small harbours, some of which are actually used for fishing. I wanted to try the AC charging on the camper, and I found a parking spot with a charging point in Porto San Stefano. The small pilon had a screen and RFID scanner, all went well it seemed.
The routine is quite simple, you scan the pole, then you can put in your AC cable, which you can also plug into your EV. Then the pole and the EV exchange data, and if all is well the plugs lock in place and the vehicle starts charging.
However, soon after it seemed this process had started I noticed the screen of the pole had switched off, and I could not bring it back to life with my RFID card. This must have been when I blew a fuse of the AC charging circuit of the camper that would cause trouble later. Before that I got a call from the owner of Leavv.com they got a notice from chargemap I had spend 300 Euro’s (15.000 km worth) of charging at that charging point. I think I neutralized that claim, but I can’t be fully sure.
There was nothing for me to do but to store the cables and drive to the nearest DC charger.
Driving further south. There are a lot of ‘strata bianca’ in the region, meaning ‘white roads’, made of calcium rock that look inviting to cycle along. So I looked for a photogenic place to park, so I could try that experience..
The Google maps app is interesting imho because it sucks quite a bit. Yet it doesn’t fail to track you. From the advice it gives me however I do not get the sense it uses much of the data it gathers to actually improve navigation! So its clear to me what the priority of the app is.
Cycling on the strata bianca you soon realize you may want front wheel suspension. I thought about a remark of someone that people of my age pick up cycling on mountain bikes, then break their wrists and give up. I came close. The landscape was a good compensation though. I figured I’d keep to asphalt for a while after this.
In full tourist mode, just looking at suggestions of what to visit, I noticed Calcata Vecchia, a walled city build on a rock in the middle of a nature reserve.
You could argue these places are impractical to live, but are they really? Just put some Starlink dishes up and you can populate it with the cream of whatever yuppies are called these days 😉 I loved the zombie appocalypse resliance of the place.
Next stop was Rome. Another amazing city to visit. I was a bit traumatized by Turin however, so I decided to park in a garage, which turned out to be a nightmare to get out of, but no images of that proces. It would have been a lot harder backing up two stories up spiral ramp in an ICE camper, which would had meant a lot of gear changing, a boiling transmission and having to do it in a cloud of diesel exhaust. I was very very happy I didn’t get trapped (due to my own stupidity) in an ice camper.
I’m not a foody but I love to find out what people like to eat wherever I am. I look for places with low ‘economic pressure’ meaning not touristy, but also not neglected. I found one in Rome, basically what one would call a Traitteur, although it says Pizzeria on the outside. I accidentally order Tripe, which is made out of stomach, while trying to order an artichoke, that’s how stupid I am 😉 But contrary to what is commonly assumed it taste great, with a consistency of pasta, quite enjoyable. I would not mind living close to this restaurant 😉