A naked hike in south-east Bavaria

Driving east along the A94 from Munich, I passed the town of Altoetting and arrived at a south-running spur of the river Inn. I parked alongside the road and set off walking along the river bank, immediately stripping naked and putting my clothes in my rucksack, as I went under the road bridge. The weather was cool for September, and although the skies were a light blue there was a wintry coolness to the air, particularly in the shadows of the trees. This appeared to be an impromptu FKK (nudist) zone, and there were several single guys sunbathing naked along the river, on the gravel banks, or walking up and down pushing their cycles alongside, naked and with a towel over one shoulder. The area directly under the bridge seemed to be the family-zone, where there were several mixed groups of naked people lounging about.

I followed the river along a faint track through the undergrowth, which ran parallel to the flat running water. The sound of the road drifted into the distance, and I after a short while all I could hear was the water gurgling across the gravel banks. The track became quite narrow, and was clearly not frequented. Nettles leant towards me from both sides occassionally as if to say that naked people were not expected in this neck of the woods. I pressed on, carefully, and mostly avoided their stings by attempting to glide diaganally past their gentle but bristly caresses. There were some bugs buzzing about, but the cooler temperatures, and the fact I was creating a small wind by continuing movement, meant they mostly left me alone. For short stretches I was able to walk along the river banks, on the gravel, but mostly I continued along the parallel track, through the light shadows of the trees. I found it a bit cool in the shadows next to the river, when I stopped, so it was more comfortable to just keep walking to maintain an ambient temperature. I met no-one at all for a couple of hours, until I finally reached a shooting lodge, with a small car park, near the village of Emmerting. I slipped my shorts on briefly to pass through the car park and to wander around the main road until I reached the relative obscurity of the forest, and could continue naked once more as I turned and headed back north.

I passed through an area dedicated to learning about the forest flora and fauna, with occassional signs describing the kind of tree standing here, or the many types of animals which may be seen around there, if one were lucky. There were also several wooden sculptures, and an interesting collection of tree trunks which had formed themselves into possibly anthropomorphic shapes and been given a special place of their own.

The near silence of the forest was only broken by odd twitterings from the woodland around me. The path now took me along the edge of a raised escarpment, and although I was still surrounded by trees, on the one side I had dark green and brown trunks beneath the canopy, and on the other side it was light green and bright blue shining from behind the foliage, lighting my was as I trudged the long trail northward back towards the busy road where I had parked my car. Interestingly, on this quiet Saturday in September, during the entire days’s walk, of six hours or so, I saw almost no-one at all once I had left the road bridge by the river, except for a couple of cyclists. I guess everyone else was out shopping, while I’d been enjoying a pleasant walk in an idylic forest.

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