Odemira residents in panic as Rainbow Gathering threatens idyllic beauty spot

“Every day more and more trucks arrive, we’re told there’ll be as many as 800 people staying for a month”.

This is the message received from residents of the borough of Odemira as yet another Rainbow Gathering sees ‘nature-lovers’ arriving from all over Europe.

Rainbow Gatherings are all about ‘embracing nature’ and “living in the light”. 

Followers communicate via Facebook, and the latest event at Pego das Pias is bringing new arrivals every single day.

Residents who love their chosen environment are frantic.

Said one: “This is the kind of place that can barely take 50 people, let alone 800 for a whole month! 

“We’re talking a protected park with Rede Natura classification, rare species, species in danger of extinction – and yet when you call the park authorities, the GNR, the environment agency, no one does a thing”.

Our source agreed that GNR agents have responded to call-outs, but “the people are hiding in the forest”.

A quick consultation of European Rainbow Gatherings’ facebook page does indeed find a quip using a wink emoji saying: “in the forest there is no police” – and this is what is exasperating locals.

“What are the environmental police for, if not to protect the environment? If this goes on much longer Pego das Pias will be annihilated”, said our source..

The Resident hopes to get in touch with local environmental activists to see if they can help the situation calm in any way.

What seems certain is that more and more people will be arriving.

The gathering’s facebook page is peppered with users talking about how they are getting to Portugal and what transport they are using.

A comment posted in Germany early this morning says: “Germany to Rainbow Portugal: anyone doing the same trip?”

Updates to follow.

Since writing the above text, an appeal has gone out over the European Rainbow Gatherings’ facebook page. A member of the group has written the he “humbly begs” other readers “don’t come to this Rainbow gathering in Portugal!!

“I know this place very well” the post continues, “and I cannot imagine that even with the greatest respect for nature, it’s a good thing to receive this many people at once during so much time.

“It’s an ancient very special location!! And I’m afraid that it might leave more than a footprint, it will be a big big scar for a while.

“I already listened from local friends that is getting out of hand, cut trees, and way too many tents, cars and caravans everywhere.

“I like and respect the idea of the rainbow movement, but please think twice before going to this one as it’s just not meant to have so many people in it during so much time!!

“And if you’re already on it’s way and going anyway. PLEASE RESPECT every peace of grass, Water and living being!!! And do your shit holes properly as far away from the river as possible”.

The appeal seems to have cut little ice with other readers, however, a number of which say they are planning to turn up at Pego das Pias before the full moon…

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