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 –Β  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.

 

 

 

 

A Boatload of Naked Germans

So that’s a thing!

When we were here at Valalta ten years go with our teenage children I remember seeing a flyer for the “FKK Fish Picnic.” FKK, of course, is the German nomenclature for naked (Usually naturism, but be careful – sometimes sex clubs!) But at the time, it seemed pricey, and a day floating around the Adriatic – naked – was not getting high marks from our adolescent offspring.

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Swimming at the Fish Picnic

But now, the nest is empty, so I say, “Let’s give this a whirl!”

Seems there must be a few regulars on this excursion as the boat was packed by the time we got there about 15 minutes before departure, mainly with naked Germans. Clearly, I have no issue with naked, and I have many friends who are German, so the only reason this is noteworthy is that there is most certainly a propensity of Germans at the naturist resorts on the Istrian Penisula of Croatia. Simple math when you think about it. A drive to northern Croatia for a German is roughly the same as a drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles, or Washington DC to the Outer Banks. The only difference being that when you make that trek in Europe, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be flanked in nakedness, whether that’s your cup of tea or not.

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A naked friendly island off the shores of Rovinj

This particular excursion was operated by Valalta resort, which meant you could walk to the boat naked, be on the boat naked, and once we arrived at a remote little island past Rovinj, wander the island naked – which we did. The advert boasted Croatian music along the way, which consisted of an accordion player serenading us with stuff you would likely hear in the Paris Metro and scarcely pay attention to, but there was no getting around this guy. From polkas to John Denver, he was in your naked face for much of the journey. Romantic and introspective? No. A really good time as the Germans on the bow got to their third or fourth drink? Absolutely!

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Fish picnic done – Scraps go to the food chain!

The second port of call on our six hour journey was in the sweet town of Vrsar, across the Lim Fjord from Valalta. We know the town well, having stayed several times in Koversada; just a stone’s throw away. The captain told us (explicitly in German, then in an abbreviated version in English) that we were entering the harbor and to get some clothes on. Was hoping it might be naked day in Vrsar; alas, no. But we still made it to our favorite little wine bar at the top of the hill in the shadow of the campanile. About the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

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Who doesn’t love the accordion guy?

Valalta runs several “FKK” excursions each week in the summer, and I’m hoping we’ll take one or two more during our stay here. Sea breeze + no clothing = a very nice state of being on the Adriatic, which makes you wonder why anyone would bother to wrap themselves in wet nylon when the defacto rule is, “No clothes. No worries.” We made a pass each direction past Koversada Naturist Resort on the way to Vrsar, but there were plenty of other islands decorated with naked bodies where the inhabitants waved vigorously when they realized there was a boat of naked humans floating by.

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The Blue Bar on Koversada. No “Cover Charge!” πŸ™‚

Wouldn’t that be something if a boatload of naked humans was not actually a thing?

While there’s still a ways to go, Croatia is most definitely leading the pack on this front.

 

 

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. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seclude! It most certainly is.

Hey! Wouldn’t it be fun to make our way from Cairns to Brisbane by Train? There must be a naturist place half way in between to break-up an otherwise 24 hour journey. Turns out there are a couple, but the one that caught our attention is called Seclude. Why, might you ask? Well… it’s secluded!

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So secluded, in fact, that the options for getting there are actually quite limited, especially if you don’t have a car. Tony and Yvette set up this beautiful little Garden of Eden on nearly 200 acres nestled in the hills between Proserpine and Airlie Beach. So when I saw the train stopped in Proserpine, I thought, “Great. Get off the train. Rent a car. Drive 20 minutes, and drop our gear!”

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Turns out there’s only one place to rent a car in Proserpine, and that’s at the airport. And essentially, only one time to rent a car at the airport – shortly after the arrival of the afternoon flights. Which coordinates with the train schedule (which doesn’t really run on schedule) not at all! So Tony kindly booked us a car to meet us at the train and drive us up the long dirt road to his idyllic little retreat.

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Turns out Seclude has three self-contained (and stunningly gorgeous) little chalets, (not that little, actually!) and two distinct identities with corresponding websites; one that markets to naturists (which Tony and Yvette are deeply keen on), and the other marketed to people who simply want to get away from it all, but without exercising the option to get naked. The first unit booked sets the rules for the ensuing days. Never will you find naturist and textiles sharing the property at the same time.

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Tony designed each of the three chalets; each ultra modern, beautifully designed, and with verandas overlooking the surrounding mangrove and rain forests. Air conditioned and equipped with an extensive movie selection through Apple TV, you could settle in for a month to enjoy the seclusion. What they do not have, however, is an over-abundance of WI-FI, as service comes through a satellite hook-up with a small monthly allotment and a narrow bandwidth. Despite my attempt to adhere to their urging to limit internet usage, I fear I may have left the legacy of burning up their monthly allocation. In any event, achieving full seclusion was not a challenge.

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As it happened, we booked first for our time period, extending over the New Years Eve week-end, which meant I got to attend my very first Nude Years Eve party. With three couples staying at the resort, and our lovely hosts joining us poolside, only 75% of the crowd made it to the new year. I was there!– and I’m happy to report that it was quiet, but memorable!

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Should you choose to visit, be sure to ask Tony and Yvette about the development of their bucolic little resort, which began with a shed and an outhouse that were both nearly consumed by unrelenting landslides during one of the rainiest winters on record. You would never know that today, which the charming chalets, carefully manicured lawns, and thoughtful layout of the entire grounds that allow each visitor the seclusion they are yearning for. In fact, Tony tells us that’s the biggest difference between their naturist and textile clientele. The naturists seek to socialize with one another. The textiles, once arrived, become all but invisible.

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Fortunately for us, Yvette prepares food hampers and BBQ kits upon demand so one really never needs to leave the property to find food. The portions were generous and the ingredients were fresh and creative.I would have regretted missing a single meal there.

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Would I go back? Absolutely – but maybe spend a week… with a car! Tony and Yvette are wonderful hosts, and deeply passionate about the naturist cause. I would hope that one day they might become a full time naturist establishment, as high quality clothing-optional establishments are hard to come by, in Australia, or anyplace else. Call them up, make the first booking, and drop your gear. You’ll be glad you did!