Naked Meandering Takes Time…

The last two years have been pretty intense, with a couple big projects that have required a lot of travel, and as a friend put it this morning, many instances where I could say “I worked two days yesterday!” That’s tricky for a blogger, given that the very nature of blogging is organized around a chronological sense of time and space. Challenging when neither is available.

I write this post from Skinny Dippers Naturist Retreat on Mallorca, which has the unusual feature of encouraging a sense of community as many (most?) of the guests gather around the dinner table each evening; where, of course, the lead-out topic of conversation is almost always, “Where have you been, and what did you think?” If that conversation takes hold, perhaps I will disclose that I am a naturist blogger, and the most enthusiastic among them will run off to grab his or her iPad to put – shall we say – a face to the name.

“So, you’ve written about this place in Hawaii? Or Greece? Or Brazil?”

“Well…” I say sheepishly, “I intended to get that done, but you know how those things go.”

But as of this writing, we are looking ahead to three more weeks of nakation, and there are few things sweeter in life than sitting naked on the veranda with a glass of wine and sharing your musings about past travel experiences. So whether you are a loyal fan of my blog, or you just stumbled in from the frustration of a web search where the term “nudist” pulled up all the images you weren’t looking for, here’s what lies ahead on the blogging agenda for the Meandering Naturist.

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On the edge of the big island, Hawaii

I wrote a couple posts about our visit two summers ago to Hawaii, but never quite got around to writing about the sweet little resort called Hangin’ Loose where we lived for a week in a yurt during monsoon season – or at least, so it seemed.

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The serenity of Playa Sonrisa, Mexico

And it seems that I’ve never shared much about our two visits to Playa Sonrisa, a quiet little resort so far down the Yucatan peninsula that you can (and we recommend that you do) take a daytrip by boat to Belize.

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Celso. The guy from Brazil with a naturist dream

And for that matter, I was surprised to find out that I’ve left virtually no trace of our visit to naturist Brazil whatsoever, despite the drama of the story of Colina do Sol, where we met the guitar playin’ naturist Celso to learn of the perils of the naturism business in 21st-century South America. So many stories to tell about that!

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Oriental Village, Thailand
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Near Lemon Tree Resort, Thailand

When asked if I’ve blogged about our visits to two naturist resorts in Thailand, (Oriental Village and Lemon Tree Resort) I had to search my own archives to realize that, “Nope! Those trips are pretty much missing from our travelogue.” Which is a shame, as I’m particularly eager to promote naturism in this part of the world most suitable for naturism 365 days a year. Thailand is most definitely that place!

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Walking to Tahiti Beach on Corsica

I knocked out a few posts about some of our travels last summer, but never really mused much about free-hiking on Corsica or our stay at the naturist resort Bagheera, let alone the subsequent visit to Vritomartis and a stunningly naked day on the tiny island of Gavdos – the most southerly point in Europe.

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At the end of the world, on Gavdos, Greece

I did, however, do a pretty good job in keeping up with the blog during our time last winter (summer, there!) in Australia. At least, that is, until we got to the last two stops near Brisbane at BB at Byron Bay and a local legend known as BoBrene. But that often happens at the end of a long trip, when you start gearing up for reality at home, and the diary business goes out the window.

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The view from the top! A naturist villa near Byron Bay, Australia

And finally, it seems I only gave a cursory glance to our long weekend at Paya Bay in Honduras, which I’ve taken to calling my new Caribbean Branch Office. Another case where we’re eager to simply get the word out about this little gem that has been flying below the radar of much of the international naturist community.

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My branch office at Paya Bay, Honduras

So that’s quite a lot of catching up to do, and as I reflect, quite a lot of miles we’ve accrued in getting naked on six continents over the past two years. Seems that our pacing may slow down over the course of the next year or two as life reinvents itself, but as any blogger will tell you, the best part of the process is living the trip over through the mind’s eye. If a confirmed or would-be naturist finds the motivation in these pictures and words to book his or her own nakation, all the better for the cause, quietly hoping for the day when clothing-optional vacations are as normal as a trip to Disney World. For this meandering naturist, they are most certainly a lot more fun.

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The idyllic little naturist beach on the Island of Rab, Croatia

Individual trip reports to follow in a quasi-chronological order. In the meantime, I always enjoy conversing with other naturists, so if you can’t find it in the search bar of my blog, don’t hesitate to ask Naturist Dan.

Happy naked wanderings to you!

 

Nakation for Dummies

So I have made repeated mention in recent posts of my daughter and 20-something friends – mutual friends, I might add – who have become increasingly naturist-curious; a true bonanza for a long time naturist blogger who throws a small party every time he gets a new follower on his blog. This, in an age where nudism is frequently dismissed by Millennials as something my slightly deranged, post-modern hippie parents threaten to tell us about…

“Anyway, your father and I just booked on a nudist cruise to Aruba.”

“NOOOO!!!!! MOM, don’t tell me THAT stuff! Just STOP”

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Day-dreaming in Croatia

It’s strange to me, really. I was a late bloomer, who wasn’t even old enough to bloom during the Summer of Love. By the time I came of age, we were in the Reagan era, California was cracking down on nude beaches, free love was under fire from the emerging religious right, and the AIDS crisis was just about to erupt on the horizon. But the bizarre part of it all to me is the dichotomy of the strange relationship 20-somethings have with immodesty. I know quite a lot of people in this age bracket, most of whom are not especially religious, don’t think twice about a one-night stand (Do we still call this casual sex?), are as likely as not to make out with a new acquaintance at a party, frequently wear seductive clothing in casual settings, but would never consider going to a nude beach or resort. What’s up with that?

What’s up with that, says this humble blogger, is that we’ve made the whole thing seem damn weird and unmanageable! Try visiting a nudist resort in the United States and it costs a fortune (Like $50 for a day visit), and only that after you submit a full FBI check to prove you’re not a sex offender or puritanical ax murderer! Go to the wrong place in Europe, and you inadvertently end up at a naked geriatric center pondering your mortality in disbelief that skin could possibly have that kind of elasticity. Turn the other direction in France, and you might find yourself in Cap d’Agde, the most infamous of naked places in the world, where your inhibitions and misconceptions about naturism will turn into a nightmarish collage of men in studded collars and lesbian sex on the beach. (I know, Cap d’Agde fans – the place can be great for naturism, but send an unsuspecting newbie there? Yikes!)

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Family nakation at La Jenny

And thus, a few thoughts for the newbie naturist who finds the idea of no tan lines and swimming without wet nylon a least at bit alluring.

  • Leave the country! Assuming you’re reading this in the US of A, (or even in Great Britain,) you need to go someplace where people aren’t freaked out by nudity. The family naturist resorts on the southwest coast of France (La Jenny, Montalivet) are by far the most normal in terms of demographics, but they are difficult to get to, and the weather can be iffy. Croatia would be a good alternative, but the time and place means everything. If you go before school holidays, you’re back to the geriatric thing. Do your research before you go.
  • Go to a spa in Germany or Holland. Check out the website for information about FKK or Texteil Frei days, which for many of them is everyday. Elysium near Rotterdam or Therme Erding near Munich are particularly impressive, and draw huge numbers of young couples and singles who don’t consider themselves nudists, but don’t think twice about getting naked with others. It just feels normal.
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The view over Origan naturist camping in France

  • Search the blogosphere for things written by naturists. A lot of it is rubbish, and you’ll know right away this is not going to be helpful. But now and again, you’ll find a blogger who gets it, knows where to go, and when to go there. Send them a message and see if they answer. I’ve found many of our favorite places that way, on the basis of personal recommendations, greatly reducing the chances that you’ll waste your time and money, while irreversibly damaging your psyche!
  • Read Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews before you go – not just a few, but drill down. Many people adore Gunnison Beach in New Jersey, as it’s one of the only substantial and recognized nude beaches in the entire country, but if you read enough reviews, you’ll also learn about some of the oddities of the place as well. In fact, American nude beaches have big issues with gawkers, which is pretty much a sure-fire way to get your girlfriend to say, “Never again.”
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Therme Erding near Munich

  • Decide if you’re an “all in” or “ease in” person. “All in” means you’ll be more comfortable if everyone around you is naked, and you just need to follow suit. “Ease in” means you’re seeking a mixed crowd where nudity is permitted by not required, but also means you put it out there while others around you may not. You can usually figure that out from the aforementioned trip review sites, but it’s an important distinction.
  • Go high-end, or go low-end, but beware of the middle. Though a bit counter-intuitive, you either want to stay at a nice naturist hotel like Vritomartis in Greece or Heliotel in France, or find a place with lots of tent camping –  not miles of trailer camping – but tent camping. Why? The places in the middle tend to attract the folks who parked their travel trailer on a plot in 1967 and haven’t budged since. Lovely people, they may be, but if you’re looking for a youthful vibe, seek out the tent campers. Check out Camp Full Monte in Montenegro, or Belezy in France. Valalta in Croatia seems to have struck a nice balance, but not so much before schools let out in early July.
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Naturist camping on Corisca

  • Beware of naturist/nudist message boards if you want to feel normal about the whole thing. Like the blogosphere, there are some very cool people out there who have a lot of helpful information, but receiving a nude pic from a lonely guy in Atlanta is probably not the introduction to social nudity you’re looking for.
  • Seek out resources geared to people in your demographic. Perhaps the best one out there right now is The Young Naturists Association (YNA) run by Felicity and Jordan out of New York. They have done more to promote a positive image for social nudity than anything I’ve seen on the web for quite a long time. I have yet to attend one of their events (I’m told I’m welcome, despite the fact that I’m not quite a young naturist anymore) but from everything I’ve seen, they’ve got it right, including a blog that is thoughtful, intelligent, and informative. My guess is the people they have attracted to the cause have similar traits.
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Naked feeding time in South Africa

Dunno! Perhaps there’s no rocket science to be found in this post, accept to say that a bad first foray into naturism is more often than not the last foray into naturism. We started young – just months after we were married (remember, our kids are in their 20s now!) so we’ve been at this for a while. To a large degree, our naturist travels have defined our relationship; when our naked travels have taken us to places we would never thought to have visited, where we have met people we would have never had reason to talk to.

Start young. Before you have children. Before life bogs you down. Have more questions? Ask Naturist Dan! We naturists love to advocate for our cause.

 

 

 

 

Naked Time is Here!

Having just finished an enormous project that has largely consumed the last two years of my life, I am happy to report that the Meandering Naturist is at it again! This time writing from the terrace of our sweet little apartment at Valalta Naturist resort near Rovinj, Croatia.

As far as naturist travel is concerned, it’s been a very good year for us, including our first visit to Paya Bay in Honduras, (Pictured above.) several naturist stops on the eastern coast of Australia, (some of which I have yet to blog about) and a few other diversions along the way that have afforded us a few precious moments of one-on-one time with the sun. We will spend most of this summer in Europe, where I still have a couple work projects to finish up, but there will also be some time to revisit a couple of our favorite naturist destinations, while discovering a few more – namely, those on the Canary Islands.

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The walking path on Ile du Levant

This is our second visit to Valalta, noting that there have been vast improvements to the place since our last stay in 2007. (We have made it to Koversada several times since then – literally across the way, by which I mean, across the fjord!) We’ll squeeze in a reconnaissance trip to a famous naturist beach on the island of Rab during our time here, before heading back through Italy for a brief stay at Le Betulle, one of the few naturist resorts in that sun baked country. We also look forward to returning to Ile du Levant for a few days – an annual pilgrimage of sorts while getting some work done in France.

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Walking near Es Trenc, Mallorca

But once I log off for the summer, we’ll head for the islands of Spain. First, back to see our friends Grant and Jordi at Skinny Dippers Resort on Mallorca, then a scramble through several airports to make our way to the Canary Islands, or more specifically, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and Gran Canaria. This is all new territory for us. A bloggers dream, methinks!

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The new bar at Valalta

I think that all adds up to about six weeks of livin’ with nothin’ but the radio on, interspersed with pretty intense work projects along the way. But I am optimistic that this will afford me some serious blogging time as well. In fact, I’m a mere 30,000 clicks away from a half-million hits on my blog since I first got started back in 2013. Don’t know that there’s anything like a Tony or an Academy Award for that, but I do love to write, and it’s especially pleasing to hear now and again that my naked meanderings have helped even one more person figure out this naturist thing. To that end, I will always be indebted to a guy named Don from a “Compuserve Board” (Remember those?) who first pointed me to a place called La Jenny during my desperate search for a place to take my family on nakation.

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The “swimming pool” at Charco del Palo

And for that matter, I just reconnected with a guy named Chris who responded to a message board inquiry years ago to tell me about nudity at Therme Erding near Munich. We were there just yesterday, as that has since become a ritual every time we come to Europe.

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A promo photo from Gran Natura Hotel

So there it is. On one hand, the internet makes it increasingly tricky to out yourself as related to one’s naturist proclivities. But on the other hand, this little corner of the internet has served me well in finding those who care deeply about preserving and promoting naturist values, while at the same time – I hope – demystifying the whole thing to the curious and eager to be clothes free.

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Naturist bliss at Paya Bay, Honduras

Given the time I don’t have to spend putting on and taking off clothes in the coming weeks, I’m hoping I can use that time to catch up on a few more blog posts, and maybe even touch off another debate or discussion that typically always leads to the same conclusion: “You have one set of body parts or the other. So what’s the big deal?”

We’ll keep you posted on that. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gourmet Naturism at Twin falls

I’m finally getting back to blogging about our naturist journey down the eastern coast of Australia, which included a day visit to the remote, but beautiful resort known to locals as Twin Falls Nature Retreat. With a bit of trepidation about negotiating the last three kilometers of dirt track with our little rented Hyundai, we were duly rewarded with Ian’s dry humor and Yolanda’s gourmet cooking.

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Located about an hour inland from Port MacQuarie, I had read several reviews with recurring remarks about two things; the lovely (naturist) walk to the falls – an thus Twin Falls – and the treacherous dirt road that means you gotta want to get there. As our timing coincided with a sustained dry period, it turned out that negotiating the entry road was not so bad. Though in the same breath, when there is no water, there are no falls!

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We arrived just a few days before Christmas to find only one other guest on the grounds that day – an enjoyable fellow named Martin who has been coming to Twin Falls for years. He, Ian, and Yolanda seemed like family as they chided and cajoled one another fueled by Ian’s quick witted remarks. Soon enough, Yolanda appeared with heaping plates of an Asian chicken chow-mein. A lovely afternoon dining naked on the veranda.

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While I think this is a popular camping destination, there are two B&B rooms to be had, which looked lovely at a glance. A quiet refuge in the midst of the wilderness and tropical rain forest. And unlike SO many naturist destinations, the WI-FI was fast and efficient due to Ian’s business needs for broadband internet access.

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After lunch, we made the trek up the forest path, Ian leading the way pointing out various plants (including a couple that could totally ruin your vacation), dragon lizards, and spiders while clipping low-hanging vines in preparation for the busy summer tourist season. It was perhaps a fifteen minute walk up to where the falls might have been; but today, we found a small pond nestled in the rocks. Another trail leads up to the ridge where one must don clothing should he wish to make the entire trek. Not exactly a rigorous exercise circuit, but a wonderful opportunity for a naked walk in the woods.

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When we arrived, Yolanda was busy at work in the pool area already making preparations for the upcoming New Year’s Eve party – apparently one of the main events of the entire year. So much easier to bring in the “Nude Year” when December 31 falls in the middle of summer instead of the middle of winter.

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Well worth the effort to get there, next time we’ll make it a point to settle in for a few days and enjoy the serenity and solitude of this beautiful property. Yolanda has an extensive menu, so maybe we’ll have to stay long enough to try everything once.

Thanks for a great day Ian and Yolanda!

Nakation Chronicles II: France and Corsica

This gallery contains 22 photos.

Installment number two of my attempt to chronicle our naturist travels as I go about sorting through the thousands of photos we’ve collected over the years… Two big events in 2004: We bought a new digital camera (our first Canon Digital Rebel), and we got away for almost two weeks without the kids to explore […]

Mallorca Hospitality – Grant and Jordi Style

This summer marked our first visit to Mallorca, but most certainly not our last. Having read about Skinny Dippers resort for years, we finally found our way to this beautiful little hamlet near the south shores of this island in the Balearics, off the Spanish coast near Barcelona.

IMG_0178Of all the naturist places we’ve visited, I have to say that this one is truly unique – in a good way – largely defined by what I came to refer to as the “Grant and Jordi Show.” Grant and Jordi are the owners/innkeepers of this classy little resort “for the discerning naturist,” now in its second edition. They began with a smaller inn down the road, but expanded to this property with twelve rooms a few years ago. Apparently that is going so well that one’s failure to book a year in advance may well mean you don’t get your dates, or maybe, you don’t get in at all. There is clearly a devoted following that makes this their one stop nakation destination each and every year. Now we know why.

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Famous map by Grant

Most of the rooms are in a beautiful two story finca that was originally built as a home for a guy long on money, but short on time to absorb the qualities of the simple life in the country. That, along with a few adjoining apartments make up a lovely selection of beautiful apartments with unusually spacious bathrooms. Perhaps the nicest accommodations we’ve had in a naturist venue anywhere!

But what really makes the place unique is the innkeepers themselves, attentively looking after each guest with humor and charm, eager to personalize each guest’s holiday experience. Grant is famous for his hand drawn maps to local naturist beaches and various tourist attractions, usually doodled on the back of a scrap of paper, but acutely accurate. (You can read about our naturist outings in a previous post should you wish.)  If you desire to dine in, meals are served on one of two verandas where guests dress – or not – according to the evening temperatures. Into the new trend of gourmet dining au naturel, skip London and Paris and head straight for Mallorca.

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Beach combing

Over the course of our stay, the communal meals made it nearly impossible to remain completely anonymous, unless you should choose to dine elsewhere or alone. We made many new friends from Great Britain, along with those from Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden as well. Lots of lively and convivial banter in the midst of Brexit and the US Presidential Election. But what truly impressed us about Skinny Dippers is how our hosts worked so diligently (and discreetly) to maintain the calm and welcoming environment that creates something of a familial sense about the place. In fact, during our stay, there was an incident where guests had arrived that were not quite in sync with the ambiance of this particular resort. (You’ll need to read between the lines on that one.) This was handled quickly and discreetly, and suddenly, they had chosen to make an earlier than anticipated departure. What Grant and Jordi have created here is something very special in the naturist holiday realm, and they are most definitely committed to protecting that investment for their most valued clients. No wonder their customers are so loyal.

IMG_0177So we have already made our reservations to return next year. Pool gravity made it difficult to get dressed and get out to see as many sights as we might have hoped, especially if it involved donning clothing. My only reticence about talking up the place on social media is that I suspect it will become increasingly difficult to book a room with each successive year. To that end, it seems there are plans underway to reopen the original resort, this time as self-catering apartments. Staying there means you’d miss out on the Grant and Jordi Show, but I suspect it will be fabulous in its own right. I can’t imagine any endeavor put up by these two naked entrepreneurs to be anything less than first rate.

Thanks Grant and Jordi, for such a welcoming introduction to Mallorca. We look forward to the food, the wine, and the laughter again next year.

 

 

 

 

Nude Beach combing in Mallorca

So I suppose the first thing the geographically challenged naturist would want to know about Mallorca is that it is one of the Balearic Islands, which happily enough for naked people, is part of Spain. Despite the explosion of expansive naturist centers in France, and the mass exodus of naked Germans each summer to the Istrian peninsula in Croatia, Spain has been moving into the lead as the place where it’s essentially “legal to get naked anywhere,” as long as it’s not offensive to the general public. Apparently, this policy gained such widespread publicity that the good people of Barcelona finally had to make their own policy, forbidding people to walk around Las Ramblas in the buff, as it seems too many were exercising their rights while frightening the tourists. (Mainly American tourists, I dare say!) I suppose that’s where naturism ends and exhibitionism begins, but alas, that’s a different post.

2016-07-19 11.18.00-2In the meantime, one’s license to make any beach a nude beach seems to be the common doctrine, especially in the more remote places found on say… the Balearic Islands. We were staying on the southern corner of Mallorca near the town of Campos at the exquisite Skinny Dippers Naturist Retreat, (That blog post is coming soon!) where we had the expertise of our lovely host Grant, who knew all the best spots to bathe naked in the shimmering turquoise waters of Mallorca. Our enthusiasm for the world famous Es Trenc beach was a bit more fervent than that of our host, though he was kind enough to guide us to the best parking lot that would provide the easiest access to where we’d be likely to find other naturists.

2016-07-18 11.22.18An early arrival at the parking lot was well worth the effort; (early, meaning before 10:00 am) then a fifteen-minute trek past all the beach bars with locals and tourists packed in on top of each other. But then, near the old bunkers left over from WWII, the naked people began to appear. With shallow waters that allow one to wade 100 meters into the sea, it truly is a remarkable place, and there were plenty of constituents in the naturist cohort, and as many again who were happy to go topless. We were there with another couple from the naturist retreat, and indeed, nobody seemed to notice that some people had swimsuits and other did not. So much so, one couldn’t help but wonder “WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE WRAPPING YOURSELVES IN POLY-PETROLEUM-NYLON WHEN WHAT YOU’RE WEARING IS, IN SO MANY WAYS, MORE REVEALING THAN WHAT I’M NOT WEARING?” But most importantly, Es Trenc is a place where naturists and textiles can easily co-exist – and, in fact, do so every day!

2016-07-18 11.49.20But the real find was the seaside path to the south and west of Es Trenc. Once again, at the advice of our host, we left the car near the lighthouse at Cap de Ses Salines, walked 50 meters out toward the sea, doffed our clothes and headed north. We made this walk twice along the seaside – once in the morning, then a few days later at sunset – each time finding a few other walkers along the way. The first beach we came to was broad and sandy, with a shallow shelf and more turquoise water; the second consisting of a rocky shore around a stunning bay where boats like to drop anchor and while away the day. Few of the people we encountered along the way were naked, but again, nobody seemed to care. According to our friend Grant, tourism is the heartbeat of the Balearic Islands, known for a laid back attitude to begin with. If the tourists are happy getting naked, and that means they’ll stay longer and do more for the local economy, bring on the naked people!

2016-07-19 17.30.06Though we were on Mallorca for about nine days, we found the “pool gravity” at Skinny Dippers Retreat to be incredibly dissuasive from getting our naked asses out of the resort and off to the seaside. And it occurs to me that we have only scratched the surface as to where one might commune with the Vitamin D gods on this beautiful little island. So to that end, we have already booked our return visit for next summer at which point, I’m hopeful additional “research” will lead to the discovery of a few new places to bask in the sun.

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