Do you think it’s a good idea to let people know you’re a naturist/nudist/naked person?
December 24, 2018 in Uncategorized
Do you think it’s a good idea to let people know you’re a naturist/nudist/naked person? There will obviously be times when it’s either inappropriate or irrelevant, funerals and political electioneering and the like, but the question stands for those more “everyday” kind of occasions. Is it relevant for everyone you know to know? Is it an integral part of who you are?
Perhaps you think it’s better to keep your nudity a secret, from the workplace, family and friends, etc. In which case how do you balance that with perhaps sharing your information with “like-minded” folk, online, in a club, on holiday. What if your boss found out? Your neighbour…?
What do you think?
Is naked hiking a solitary or a group thing?
December 6, 2018 in Uncategorized
Do we rather go naked hiking alone, or in groups? There may be multiple reasons for either approach, but the question remains valid.
Many of us who go naked hiking, whether in mountains or woods and valleys, certainly start off as solitary wanderers. Stephen Gough is a prime example, but to choose one man as a template for all of us would be wrong. I recall my (ex-)wife insisting that when I went naked hiking alone, I would definitely be “misunderstood”, so I should always go in a group. Then she wasn’t very happy when some of the group turned out to be female. Go figure.
For myself I can say that when I’m in amongst a group of “like-minded” (whatever that means) naked hikers, then I tend to be somewhat distracted by the chatter and the social interaction. Which is not to say it’s a negative experience at all, simply more social which can also be rewarding in it’s own way. When I go naked hiking alone I tend to have a more intuitive contact with nature. Actually this is difficult to describe precisely, but the entire experience tends to be more personal and more intense. IMHO. both approaches have their place.
What do you think?
Do you think people will become bored with naked protests?
December 4, 2018 in Environmental, Lifestyle, Naktiv, Political, Protest
Protests such as the World Naked Bike Ride, FEMEN and others, use nudity to attract attention to their cause. It’s possible that over time, people will become used to the nudity, it may become commonplace. If this happens, does the nudity lose it’s usefulness in this context?
Can social media be used to promote greater public acceptance of social nudity?
December 4, 2018 in Uncategorized
This is a wide-ranging issue, but an interesting one. Do we encourage people to experiment with social nudity by their seeing images and articles about naked hiking tours, for instance, or artistic events? Or do we put people off by showing them too much skin than they are used to in their daily experience? Does repeated exposure to the naked human body encourage or discourage participation? What do you think?
Devious Facebook censorship
August 25, 2018 in Uncategorized
I was banned by Facebook, and content removed, accompanied by the threat of a permanently disabled account, because of the above photos, apparently because I violated their TOS. This is simply not true, and I believe this is more likely to be a case of the morally hypocritical puritan minority imposing it’s views on the rest of us yet again. It’s not sufficient to lie down and accept the administrative choice in this case because FB says one thing and does another, all at the behest of somebody who decides to complain because they see something they disapprove of.
This is censorship of the worst kind. Let’s take a look at Facebook’s actual TOS: Facebook’s very own Community Standards includes this text under the nudity section: “…we aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance…” and here is the relevant section:
Nudity and Pornography * Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.
Setting the standards for style. In the two examples above, one is a hike in which I participated in the alps. This is documentary and surely of personal importance? The other image records a highly interesting Art installation by the photographer and artist Spencer Tunick, in the centre of the city, hosted by the opera house to celebrate the beginning of the Opera season in Munich. How much more related to personal importance and to modern Art is it possible to get, and still be regarded as pornography by Facebook admins?
Paul Rapoport has more of the same type of Facebook lying, and abuse of their authority with regard breastfeeding images, to provide shamefully filtered content, (where Facebook lies when they incorrectly say they do not censor such images), can be seen in multiple examples here.
Please feel free to share links to this page as far and as wide as possible, with a view to letting Facebook realize they need to accommodate the harmless views of their users, and to not impose a puritan minority view on the rest of us. If their mission statement, (Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected), then they are failing by engaging in such disgraceful censorship.
Stephen Gough finally makes it home after 7 years!
August 25, 2018 in Uncategorized
Stephen Gough finally makes it home, after struggling with the
judicial system for 7(!) years, and gets a welcome home hug from his
mum, now how cool is that:
The Naktiv Manifesto
August 25, 2018 in Uncategorized
Manifesto: This text is intended as a guide for all enthusiastic
Naktiv people and attempts to define the Naktiv community in a
meaningful way. Even the word manifesto is appropriate for the society,
as it means to make public, in latin.
This is currently a work in progress, and the author/s appreciate your
feedback. Send your comments to: naktiv.manifesto naktiv.net.
1. To support and encourage naked activities everywhere.
2. To educate society that the naked human body is acceptable in all
3. To decriminalize the naked human body.
An isartal hiking blog
August 24, 2018 in Uncategorized
Hiking in the Isartal, southern Germany.
Just a minor blog entry, to see if everything is working again.
Naked at Castlerigg stone circle in Cumbria
May 23, 2018 in Environmental, Naktiv
We were travelling around the north of England, when we camped in the Lake District for a few days. The opportunity was just too good to miss, and we managed to get a naked visit to the stone circle at Castlerigg, near Keswick, in Cumbria.
This was promptly followed by a naked hike along the stone walls above Lake Windermere. Gorgeous scenery and simply oozing context.
Koversada naturist resort report
August 21, 2017 in Lifestyle
A week at a naturist camping resort in Croatia – sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Well, very nearly, however, and in the words of Robin Williams’ indefatigable Genie: “there are a couple of quid pro quos…”.
Let’s start with the positive. The Adriatic coastline around Vrsar, our camping destination, is quite simply beautiful. Steep Limestone clifflets, topped with a tufty layer of bright green and brown foliage, plummet into a clear blue sea. A small flotilla of differently sized, but mostly small, boats flit up and down the estuary, and between the pets-not-welcome FKK resort at Valalta and the pet- and dog-friendly FKK resort at Koversada. We have Polly the Collie with us so we opted for Koversada. The scenery gets a very good 9/10.
I won’t describe everything at the resort, you can read about the facilities on the well laid out website. Dog-friendly was, for us, most important, and so we were pleased to see an ample field for the use of dogs. Poo bags are one thing, but a sufficiently large and dedicated poo-meadow is altogether a bonus. Sometimes we even had the entire meadow to ourselves.
As far as the beaches go, the access is almost without exception across very steep and very sharp limestone. Looks beautiful, but one slip… There are actually a couple of beaches which have been purpose engineered with sand and families in mind, naturally dogs are not welcome there. There is also almost the entire coastline available for swimming, but you have to climb down a ladder into the water (because of the sharp rocks), or wade out along a specially built concrete pierlet. There’s not much to be said for or against this, it’s just how the coastline is, and on the whole I think the Koversada administration has done a reasonable job of making it available for the majority. However, provision for dogs in the sea is moderate to minimal. What this means is that there is one (1) beach which is appointed “dog-friendly”, which is well and good, and on the site map it looks quite large, perhaps 20% of the overal available beach length. Unfortunately it’s also the beach where the motor boats both moor and launch, so it’s either oily or banked by sharp rocks, or both. In practical terms, and for the entire 1 million sqm. campsite, the *accessible* beach for dogs, with harmless gravel, is actually only about 15 metres long.
So, yes, the naturist camp site welcomes dogs, per se. And yes, there is a dog-beach, kind of. The dog-meadow is indeed excellent. I know taking a dog to any holiday destination can be an issue, not least to a naturist venue where dogs are largely banned (from many or indeed most naturist clubs). Maybe I’m just being fussy, and would have to say 5/10 for effort, as I just feel they could do more, please.
The camp sites themselves are fairly good, ample space, with water and electricity where requested. And sufficient, and regularly cleaned, toilet and shower facilities distributed through the camp. We have a VW T4 Westfalia pop-top with a tent on the side, and were very comfortable. There’s sufficient privacy if you want it, with sufficient range for being able to chat to the neighbour if you like. This is about par for the course maybe, but I’d have to give at least 7/10 marks for the camp space itself. Very good!
Nudity? Now here’s a strange thing, we booked into one of the oldest sites for naturist vacations in the World, in Europe, in Croatia. Koversada boasts this loudly on their own website. It doesn’t matter how you define this, I’m expecting naturist=naked, NOT clothed! You’re probably with me so far.
So, I’m camping naked, I go swimming naked, I walk to the shower naked and walk naked up and down the entire resort, I fetch fruit from a stand at the beach naked, this is all well and good, after all it’s a naturist resort, right? Now, I go to the (small onsite) supermarket naked and get unexpectedly stopped at the door by a big sign saying “no naked!” Eh? Sure enough, you can’t go shopping naked here, it’s a naturist resort but to pick up your can of baked beans, or sun-cream, you have to get dressed first? WTF! I’m sorry, but this just threw me. We spoke to one of the camp regulars about this, expecting her to agree with our shocked surprise, but she just nodded, smiling, and said yes of course: “we don’t want to be standing in the supermarket queue with a man’s penis behind us, and another in front of us, do we?” I didn’t answer immediately, I was in shock. I’m in a naturist venue, and I’m not clear on this, you’re saying “we don’t want naked people…?” I’ve been to La Sabliere in France, (and other resorts), where you walk naked into their supermarket and they don’t have an issue of any kind with a man’s penis, front or back. But wait, there’s more.
So, I’m camping naked, I go swimming naked, etc, …, after all it’s a naturist resort, right? Now, I go to one of the onsite pizza cafe’s naked, (I’m hungry), and get unexpectedly stopped at the door by the waitress: “no naked!”. What? Yep, apparently, in this naturist resort, you can’t eat naked either. There was some guff about hygiene which is rubbish as I don’t sit on my plate when I’m eating, I sit on a towel and eat from my plate. (I don’t get what’s so complicated about this, it’s basic hygiene). Anyway, we also discussed this (briefly) with the camp regular above and her response was, yes: “we don’t want to see women drooping their breasts into the soup, do we?” I threw my hands up in despair, while my girl friend stalwartly pointed out that in other naturist venues it’s quite common to be naked everywhere. The camp regular smiled beatifically as she reiterated: “so was wollen wir nicht, gell?” translated as: “we don’t want that kind of thing here, do we?”
We have a naturist resort where you can be naked here, but not naked there, and here you have to get dressed, and there it’s ok to be dressed and there not, my head began to spin. Now you may feel I’m being unreasonable here, and I’d agree that every resort owner has the right to define their own rules. However, when you are boasting that the venue is “famous as the oldest naturist centre in the Adriatic” I’d expect some of those rules to be naturist oriented. Nay, naturist-biased I say. On my <a href=”/newt”>Naked European Walking Tours</a> we are quite often accepted as a group of maybe 30 fully naked people into a mainstream mountain Gasthof, and nobody has an issue with this. Having to get dressed to go to dinner in a naturist venue is quite simply beyond me. For nudity, I give Koversada 3/10.
There’s an island off the coast of the Koversada campsite, described as a nature reserve. It’s connected to the mainland by a short bridge, and dogs are, not unreasonably, not allowed entry, apparently the squirrels are rather special. It doesn’t really matter what’s the precise reason for the nature reserver designation, the concept is fairly simple. One would think cars would be banned too, and caravans, and tents, and tourists and cafes, …no wait, I’m getting carried away. Tourists have money and that’s why we’re here, I guess. So, we sat with Polly on the unbanned side of the bridge and watched the nature reserve for a while. The entire time, maybe an hour or so, we saw car after car, then camper vans, then lorries, then more cars, all crossing the bridge and doing battle with the poor pedestrians who were also struggling to get across to the nature reserve, and back again. Mothers pushing prams past lorries delivering pies to the fastfood cafe, campers impatiently trying to push past groups of squabbling children and bicycles. It was a scene like something out of Breugel.
Our curiosity got the better of us, and while I kept the dog in check, Sandra went across to check out the nature reserve. What she found there was some trees standing stark surrounded by concreted over sections of beaches, caravans and tents, and bare scorched, earth. There were some trees valiantly doing battle against the forces of tourism, but mostly the impression was one of commerce, not nature. No idea what the squirrels thought of it all. It seems to me that if you’re going to have a nature reserve, then you need to reserve it for nature. Naturally this costs some effort of will and maybe you even make a little less money (marginally less camp sites). It seems to me that Koversada is being disengenous, at best, by describing this travesty of a squirrel sanctuary as a reserve. It would be a, relatively, simple matter to ban all vehicles, caravans, tents, and to only permit visiting foot traffic. One could go further and propose de-concretion of the abused beaches and the closing of the cafes, too, or at the very least to limit delivery and refuse removal vehicles to 4 per day. Environmental awareness at Koversada gets 3/10.
When we first arrived at the campsite, I was surprised (this was clearly a forewarning of what to come) to see a large notice banning naked people from the reception area. Again: this is a naturist venue, what are these people thinking?! Ok, I had to revise my ideas a bit, and accept the possibility that the Croation people (at this campsite) are uncomfortable with nudity. The point is that Koversada is a naturist venue and while the tourists are generally fairly ok with nudity, as one would expect, the staff are very definitely not. I should point out that I don’t really care if it’s a religious problem they have with nudity, or an “inexperience” with nudity, or a moral imperative, or something else. What I do care about is that when I PAY to go to a nudist venue, I can be nude. It’s not any more complicated than that. During our stay at the campsite, most of the staff did not look either of us in the eye, it was clear the majority were uncomfortable. There were exceptions, and we did indeed meet a number of friendly staff, with the proviso that one realizes one is on holiday as a paying tourist, and you’re essentially paying people to be friendly towards you. It seems clear that the core attitude of any company is driven from the top, and that the overwhelming majority of the staff at Koversada have little or no sympathy for the nudists who pay their wages. I’m not expecting them to be naked, but neither am I expecting the majority of the staff to look down their noses at me while I’m on holiday. I’m not marking points for this deal-breaker any further here, but this leads me to my final observation.
We were at the reception, paying our bill in readiness to leave early the next day, naturally we were dressed… I handed over some cash, and was mildly surprised to recieve substantially less than I was expecting. I mean, I wasn’t sure, what with the difference between the Croatian Shillings and the German Euros I’d presented, the exchange rate, etc. So I said: “I don’t think this is quite right.” and pointed to the bill and what I’d paid. And remember that this is the first time anyone in the reception area made eye contact. The woman behind the reception looked me directly in the eye and, without blinking or checking her figures in any meaningful way, said: “oh yes, I made a mistake, here.” and handed me a 100 Euro note. I don’t think I can give any marks for that.
Overall, while I find the scenery in Croatia beautiful, actually stunning, I’m not sure the other factors are able to rescue the case. Even so, although I’m disappointed with some aspects of the experience, a little tourist-fleecing is probably to be expected, and it should be said that we also managed to have a lovely week of naked camping on the Adriatic. On the one hand it’s a good thing (imho.) that there are still naturist campsites around, even if they are struggling to make ends meet. Running any tourist business may not be easy I can see several reasons why they’d struggle, and am impressed that they persevere, but disappointed at the same time. I hope that someone from Koversada reads this, and takes on some of our experience as a learning experience pointing to what might be improved.
Finally, in trying to make sense of all of this, I’m able to generate a final score. The points system I’ve used above is admittedly fairly arbitrary, and I based them on “impression from this context” while writing, so please don’t take this too seriously. However, this might still be useful for some. Using these scores, for the Koversada naturist campsite in Croatia, I get:
9/10 + 5/10/ + 7/10 + 3/10 + 3/10 + 0/10 = 27/60
Transcript of phone-in by Robert Malcolm Kay to BBC Radio Scotland's Kaye Adams Programme on 10-Feb-2016 concerning Stephen Gough.
February 24, 2016 in Uncategorized
Sourced via Bernard Boase in the Naked Rambler group on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/freestephengough/10153548394859403/?ref=notif¬if_t=group_activity
Robert Malcolm Kay phoning in to
The Kaye Adams Programme
BBC Radio Scotland, 10-Feb-2016
KA: Robert's in Kilsyth. Good morning, Robert.
RMK: Good morning, Kaye.
KA: Good morning. How are you this morning?
RMK: Great, thanks, beautiful morning.
KA: Yes, it's gorgeous. So, your thoughts on who should and shouln't be in the nick?
RMK: Yes, I was listening to the programme this morning, and the first name that popped into my head was Steve Gough who is well known as the Naked Rambler.
KA: Yes, we haven't heard from him for a while.
RMK: He's a fascinating character, and probably a one-off, but he's probably Britain's most famous prisoner of conscience. And just for listeners who aren't aware of the background, for the last ten years Steve has been in and out of Scottish and English jails. He hasn't actually committed an original crime in being naked, because it's not actually illegal to walk around naked, and lots of people do naked bike rides and so on. His only crime is to actually be in breach of an ASBO, and the ASBO is unique to Steve: he's the only person who is not allowed to walk around naked in Britain. So you or I could do it if we so chose to do (which I don't), but there's a fundamental issue of human rights here because Steve is unique in being the only person with this ASBO. I think he's a fairly harmless eccentric, and he's certainly never caused any offence to anybody that I know of.
KA: How long did he spend in prisons during various different sentences?
RMK: The total is pretty much most of the last ten years, which is incredible. I mean that's a sentence which is equivalent to murder or life.
KA: And cost to the taxpayer of somewhere around £300,000 because it's around 30 grand a year.
RMK: Yes, horrendous. What's more, a lot of that period has been spent in solitary confinement because the prison system refuses to allow him free association with other prisoners on the basis of the fact that somehow his nakedness might corrupt them, I think, which is quite bizarre. So it's not just that he has been in prison, he's actually been subjected to what I would regard as a cruel and unusual denial of his human rights of association.
KA: Where is he now, I mean his is a name that for a few years we heard on a regular basis but we haven't heard from him for a while. Do you know where Steve Gough is now?
RMK: Yes, Steve was released from Winchester prison just shortly before Christmas and has been spending some time with his Mum who is quite elderly and with other family members. So he has not attempted, as far as I am aware–or if he has he's done it fairly discreetly–to go naked walking. Maybe the weather has something to do with that as well; it's been a bit cold.
KA: But if he does again, then presumably he will again be arrested and likely end up in jail.
RMK: It's the classic case of breaking the butterfly on the wheel, Kaye, it's absolutely awful to think that this decent, dignified and rather simple man has a very straightforward mission in life which is to try and tell everybody that the body is not evil or wicked or essentially ugly. That we all have one; that we're all born with one, and that we all die with one. He's almost like a kind of religious person, in a sense, a monastic person, who is content to carry on suffering to try and get across a simple educational message that there's nothing wrong with the body. And I just feel every day that Steve is in prison offends me as a human being; it makes me really upset.
KA: Robert, thank you very much for your call. As you say, Stephen Gough the Naked Rambler, as many people will know him, is a very kind of unusual example, but in terms of what prison does for people and whether or not it is a blunt instrument. Well I guess it kind of tells that story in fairly primary colours.
FKK as synonym for brothel in Germany?
January 21, 2016 in Uncategorized
This article was pointed out to me on the apparent slide from nudist to FKK to brothel in Germany. http://www.newswise.com/articles/clarkson-university-professor-speaks-on-shared-culture-of-nudism-in-unified-germany
Ok, I've finally read this piece of misleading and uninformed rubbish.
"In my talk, I traced the history of FKK from pre-war Germany in the early 19th Century to its present state as a euphemism for prostitution.”
The article "slides" from one definition of FKK to the next. You need to separate the 2 uses of FKK. The early 20th century FKK movement more or less defined traditional naturism. The reunification of East and West Germany,
certainly brought more eastern nudists into contact with their more Americanised (and consequently puritanised) western fellow nationals, but there is nothing nazi-ish about any of this.
Some bright spark then had the idea, to start calling strip clubs "FKK clubs", or "nudist clubs". These, in Germany, are essentially strip or swinger clubs, which are going under the name of nudist clubs. However the use of "club" is
easily misunderstood here.
You need to understand the difference between "club" and "verein". In Germany a "club" is like a "bar", and a "verein" is like a "group". So, when you see "FKK club", you can read it as "Strip bar". And when you see "FKK verein", you can read that as "naturist club".
I think the German FKK federation simply ignores the errant use of the term. Everyone over here knows what the terms are actually used for, when used in context. The author in question is perhaps a puritan academic who doesn't know
the difference between her ass, and being one.
Newt 2016 status update
January 2, 2016 in Naktiv
to keep people up to date on progress/status: at this time the NEWT 2016 hut is full for the coming summer hiking tour. If you've not heard from us with a confirmation yet, then essentially it's too late for the main hut. We do maintain a waiting list for any places which become available at short notice, so please register your interest all the same. There are also a couple of other possibilities, (read on).
It is possible we will organize a second hut, but this is not certain yet. This depends on a number of factors, not least of which is keeping a reasonable gender balance. What this means is that if you want us to arrange a second hut, then you'd encourage us to make that effort far more if you are a mixed contingent. This is not so very complicated.
Additionally, <a href="/nakedrolie/">Roland</a> has kindly been suckered, sorry I mean kindly volunteered of course, into leading a more independently roving tent group. If you'd like to join this, please contact him directly.
Looking forward to the coming hiking tour!
Naked European Walking Tour 2015 – Friday
October 31, 2015 in Naktiv
For our last walk of the week, we joined forces with hut group-A, and Pascal brought his team down to our end of the mountains before driving up the valley and parking at what turned out to be a fairly busy car park. We set off up the valley, hoping most of the people would stay near the flashy hotel, cafe and ice-cream, and postcard stalls. We skirted the long Vorderer Gosausee lake, watching the steep rocky mountain faces on either side rise hugely and vertically around us. After a couple of kilometers we left the lakeside and joined the main valley trail where most people had turned back, so we stripped off here as soon as was practical and continued the rest of the day naked. The path wound it’s way steadily along the valley bottom, past a lake where we stopped for a pleasant splash and to enjoy the seriously impressive scenery.
We continued up the long valley, following the gently winding trail through the trees at the base of huge vertical crags to either side of us. The valley opened out as we reached the upper lake, and we began to meet people returning from the hut at the end of the lake. We sat down for a while to soak up the scenery some more, and paddled about in the clear water. Horst watching on as small fish nibbled his toes. Then we headed to the head of the lake, where the Gasthof proprietor had declined the offer of a naked hut visit, but waved to the grass fields all around and said there was no problem with being naked between the hut and the lake, so we made ourselves comfortable.
After a bite and some swimming, and gazing in awe at the huge valley spread out before us, we headed back down the trail once more, and returned to our various transports and respective huts. This was the end of the week, and our last day naked hiking in Austria. It had been a sterling experience, not least as we had three naked hiking groups underway for most of the time, and had experienced positive feedback from the vast majority of the people we’d encountered. We’d had interesting people, fascinating landscapes, and great weather too!
Naked European Walking Tour 2015 – Thursday
October 30, 2015 in Lifestyle, Naktiv
Most of the hut group-B drove around to join Pascal’s hut group-A team on a hike near their hut. I drove Sandra to the station, as she had to leave mid-week, and Polly and I spent the rest of the day mooching around the hut.
We took a tour around the local lake, checked out the local supermarket (as you do when you have a quiet day), and then set the fire to cook an evening meal for the team when they returned later that afternoon.
Naked European Walking Tour 2015 – Monday
October 29, 2015 in Naktiv
The start of the week was a tad anti-climatic, as Sandra and I had to take the day off, and let the rest of the hut group head off with the tent team ably led by Roland. We spent the rest of the day chilling at the hut, taking a tour of the lake, and making ourselves comfortable in the basic but comfortable wooden alpine hut.
Right next to the main road, and slap bang in the middle of the mountain range, it was an extraordinary spot. We lit the fire, watered the plants, and settled in for a comfortable day throwing sticks for the Polly and Susi, while waiting for the rest of the team to return from their hike.
Naked European Walking Tour 2015 – Wednesday
October 29, 2015 in Naktiv
The day dawned bright enough, and we continued to be lucky with the weather. We started by heading up the hillside in the same region as on Sunday, but a tad more eastwards. The forestry trails opened out as we gained height and passed a small but amused mountain Gasthof in the higher raised valley. The path struck out in front of the nearby crags and Polly and Susi negotiated their away a flock of enormous brown and white mountain tigers, before turning sharply and ascending the steep slope behind.
A rather bemused looking group of French people leap-frogged past and alongside us on the steep trail, before we headed directly for the green and rocky summit. The views from the top of the Höhe Scheibe were truly magnificent. All around were alps and valleys and clouds and sunshine and forests, and we sat for a while, and enjoyed our lunch, and soaked it all up.
We headed west along the wide ridge, which descended into the first sporadic and then rapidly dark forest, route-finding becoming more uncertain as we weaved through the trees and broken valleys and short ridges. Finding the hut at the corner of the forestry track, exactly where expected was a minor relief, and we descended easily the rest of the way down the easy trail, and back to the hut for dinner and music.
Naked European Walking Tour 2015 – Sunday
October 28, 2015 in Naktiv
This year was a special year, as we had three (3) separate groups of naked hikers under way in Austria, all at the same time. One group was led by veteran Pascal from France who managed the larger group at a hut half-way up a mountain side. My group was based at a valley-level hut Gosau. Roland from the Netherlands ably led the mobile tent group. Our first day was a joint hike where the tent team walked together with us. We took a diagonal zig-zagging trail up through the thickly wooded mountain-side, after a while going up an almost completely forgotten and half-used trail.
After some time we gained the main ridge and walked along some wooden duck boards, to help stop the trails widening through the mosses, and reached the lake, perched high in the middle of the broad-backed ridge. At the lakeside, we met a group of friendly people who appeared pleasantly surprised by the naked horde which descended on their quiet gathering. The views were astounding of the ridge on the other side of the valley mirrored in the shining water.
Once we’d slaked our appetite for skinny-dipping, and devoured our luncheon we headed back down the hillside, past a high farm settlement and then followed the trail contouring slowly downwards towards the valley head. We found a remote Gasthof in the middle of the forest, and the proprietors were quite ok with us enjoying our coffee and beers and cake, naked at their table-side. Friendly all around and a lovely end to a lovely day.
Naked European Walking Tour 2015 – Tuesday
October 28, 2015 in Naktiv
We set off for a gentle hike into the woods of a nearby alp with low cloud brushing the treetops. First we followed a forest trail, zig-zagging steadily up the hill side, getting warmer as we gained altitude. After some time we reached a high farm, and behind a large clearing. Settling down for a short lunch break, we were greeted by a small herd of somewhat over-friendly horses. Their huge muscular forms pressed with gentle power against our small naked forms, and with our cautious uncertainty, we gained the knowledge of a certain humility in the face of raw nature.
Leaving the horses behind, we climbed higher up the wide open green slopes, pausing again by the tree line for a chat and to enjoy the gorgeous alpine view of high pastures and trees, below and all around us. Next we headed up into the steep forest to try to force a route across the ridge and down to the path in the next valley. The going was too strenuous, especially for Mira with one eye covered by her medical patch, so we turned back and took our original route. While my preference is always for a circular route, sometimes one has to be pragmatic and enjoy the rest of the day. We descended the forestry trail once more and returned to our hut to cook up some nosh, storing energy for the next days’ hike.
Naked European Walking Tour 2011 – Friday
February 20, 2015 in Naktiv
Friday dawned with some grey clouds and a forecast of storms in the afternoon, so we headed across to the area behind Wiesbach where there was a low-lying area of good forestry trail hiking to be had. Setting off from the car park naked we found the easy trail steady as it gained height evenly through the trees. Bernard G. was cold enough to wear a jumper, which event, for anyone who knows him, is fairly unusual. It was some time before we began to gain enough height to begin to appreciate the peaks soaring into the thin grey cloud above. We emerged from the trees onto a pleasant plateau with a scattered hamlet of mountain dwellings and summer alms, as we walked through we heard and saw waves of delight from one small party at a nearby hut. We kept going and arrived at a small lake where we sat for a short lunch stop and soaked up the atmosphere of our nearly remote spot. The sun came out unexpectedly and the day stayed warm and sunny until the evening, we couldn't quite understand the weather but were glad of it all the same, sunshine is of course the perfect weather for naked hikers, although one has to be careful not to get too much, as with anything. People began to get restless and Bernard B., wanted to get to the top of the ridge above us so we set off at a pace which Mira couldn't match. Mira and I peeled off and went for a coffee and hot chocolate at the mountain gasthof just above us, while the rest of the group kept on up the hill heading for the ridge. A little later we walked back through the hamlet together, with Polly, passing some cows coming in to be milked. I was naked again by the time we got to the other side of the alm and we walked steadily back towards the singular "bench with a view" we had seen earlier, before meeting the rest of the group descending towards us. The group was now complete once more, and we descended together through the forest, taking in the nature trail at the base of the valley which led us nicely back to the car park. Another glorious day, short but perhaps just right for the last day of the week given the long drives everyone had ahead of them on the morrow. The evening was spent doing battle with Gilles and Jerome's laptops, various cameras and USB sticks as we struggled to share all our photos in the most practical way possible, before having to fall back to the internet when we all got home.
Naked European Walking Tour 2012 – Monday
February 20, 2015 in Naktiv
Monday July 02. Away by 8.45 and gathered everyone into various cars to drive down the long forest track and around to the town of Pichl. Parking next to a tennis court we walked up the road until we found the base of the ski-lift. As we walked through their paddock, a pony took an intense dislike to Draco, and chased the poor dog around and out of their field. It was only funny because it wasn’t Polly, who would have been seriously unnerved had she noticed what was going on. Most of us stripped off as we got to the other side of the field and started to walk up the zig-zagging track which was apparently used as the blue run down in the winter, through the forest and up the hillside, Chris taking back-marker position. Although it was hot and sunny, a wind was clearly getting up and threatening to change the weather on us. We passed the Gasthof Winterer and a couple of Austrian mountain ducks, a friendly farmer pointed us up the hill towards the piste which he’d just mown, as an alternative to the boring road route. As we toiled up the wide green piste, we passed a friendly and chatty couple sitting on a bench taking in the view. I imagine their view changed as we passed by. The next group of people were somewhat more taciturn in their greetings to the 16 naked men passing them on the slope. The sweat began to drip from us as we gained height and as the sky grew darker and the air thickened all around us. As we entered the higher forest trails, and zig-zagged under the trees, we passed several more people and another dog. All were friendly, if a little surprised, and Pierre and I chatted about the weather to one slightly older couple, not far below the top. We arrived at the mountain Gasthof of Hochwurzen and ordered a round of drinks for ourselves, sitting sweatily down at the table with all the people who’d come up by cable car. As we looked around, we could see the clouds were building heavily, and there were cracks of thunder in the distance. Post-lunch we decided to cut it short and just head down from the minor ridge ahead of us. Ian now took over as back-marker and we promptly lost Michael who was sleeping, unnoticed. As the first rain drops fell, we collected everyone together before heading off again. A couple who’d we’d met briefly on the summit, when several of us had been naked, now passed us in the forest when we were almost all naked now, and their only comment was to Mira, who was smoking a cigarette: “I don’t think smoking is allowed in the forest, you could get into a lot of trouble for that!” before moving on past us. We followed the easy path down the hillside, as the cracks of thunder got louder, and the occasional rain drops got larger. As we approached the main descent forestry track the heavens opened and we were being steadily drenched. Some of us walked on naked, or under umbrellas, and others wore their wet weather gear, with various permutations of plastic and goretex. It wasn’t particularly cold, but it was certainly wet. The view across the valley into the cloud was salutary as the wisps of cloud hid the peaks and brought another wave of rain. We separated as Sandro was going slowly and others wanted to go on ahead to start shopping, and descended in 2 groups. The rain became quite atrocious at one point, and we were beginning to look like drowned rats. After a while we re-grouped with the faster (?) group, and this time it was Polly’s turn to cross the field with the Pony from hell. Thankfully Chris ran interference for Polly, and we managed to get across without incident. We drove back to the hut in various stages with cars full of wet but happy people. Overnight the rain did not let up, and kept us awake as it beat loudly against the roof just above our heads in the bunk beds.
Naked European Walking Tour 2011 – Monday
February 20, 2015 in Naktiv
On Monday we drove to Maishofen, near Zell am See, parked, and set off north into the forest up the hill looming above us. Stripping quickly, the weather looked on us more kindly now and we were soon sweating as we toiled up through the pine forest. The advantage of being naked of course was that our clothes were dry in our rucksacks, the disadvantage that we still had to carry them. Polly the Collie, even with her little backpack on was desperate to run after sticks the whole time, and it was sometimes with difficulty that we managed to keep her on the winding and narrow trail. Up and up, still further up and up. Occassionally we glimpsed the surrounding peaks getting smaller. After several hours we emerged from the forest onto the ridge and a welcome pause. Then onwards past an unfriendly gasthof, who’s landlady came rushing out to us calling “FKK go away, we have children and guests here!”. We dressed to pass her house quickly and naturally we were naked again as soon as possible and we continued along below the ridge on a narrow trail towards the high point on the ridge above Zell am See. We were going slowly and stopped for lunch just below the top, Doug, Mira (our Italian lady), Jacques and Sylvie, then joined us for lunch and to walk back up to the top of the ridge. We entered the Hochzelleralm Mountain Gasthof and were sitting down when Jerome, (organiser of the BrusselsWNBR), suggested I ask the staff if it were possible to sit on their terrace naked.
Naturally I thought they’d say no, but was happy to ask. The young and friendly waiter looked surprised, but said that it was late in the day, with not many guests, and if they didn’t mind he had no objection either. So I asked a couple on the nearest table, and they said they didn’t mind, I dutifully fed the response back to the waiter, and he said, “fine, enjoy your drinks on our terrace naked by all means, then”. We needed no further encouragement and our flimsy wraps and shorts came off, much to the surprise of one other couple, who’d I’d neglected to ask. They however were quite ok with the situation also, and Gilles, (admin of the Vivre Nu website), was quick to interview the lady as to her reactions. She was very friendly, gave me her email address to send a photo to, as their camera had ran out of battery power, and we all had a great time chatting to and fro. The proprietress of the Hochzelleralm gasthof now came out, to join her son who was the waiter (it transpired), to get a photo first of all of us to prove to her friends the days events, and finally a self-timer with he and her together in the middle of this somewhat unusual group on their mountain restaurant terrace for their own home-page. The whole event was very friendly, a most pleasant contrast to our earlier gasthof experience, and served only to underline how inherently inoffensive nakedness is and how it’s so very clearly only a matter of personal opinion when someone chooses to take offense at our presence. We left in high spirits and headed back down the ridge a short way, before Gilles found yet another couple, (from Canada this time), to interview with his video camera, they also said they had no issues with public nudity in the mountains, although it was not their personal choice of activity. We banked left after a minor summit and descended the long and pretty ridge as the day drew to a close, winding our way downwards. Trudging on, we lost height steadily until we eventually reached Viehoffen , where we could yo-yo with Sylvie for the cars and drivers to return to the farmhouse for a welcome and well-deserved evening meal.
Naked European Walking Tour 2011 – Sunday
February 20, 2015 in Naktiv
The weekend had been wet and on the drive into the village of Otting, near Leogang, Chris, who I’d picked up in Munich, and I had serious doubts about the coming week, naked hiking in the alps around here with the rain and dark broiling clouds blotting out even the lower peaks. The somewhat grey and damp Sunday was spent meeting up and doing a short naked circuit up the valley and around a forest trail near Oberwarming.
The group was split between the main house and a convenient second floor apartment just across the farm courtyard. We managed to eat communally by cooking in both kitchens and squeezing 23 into the dining room designed for 18. The living room had a superb cubic kachelofen which requires a certain technique to light and maintain, but will stay warm constantly when looked after, and we had it running non-stop almost all week. This room became so warm, even with the door open to lose the heat, entertainingly like a mini-sauna.
Naked European Walking Tour 2008 – Thursday
February 20, 2015 in Naktiv
In the morning, we took our leave of Clifton, as Rudi-the-pirate kindly drove Humbert and I to the mainline train station in Hermagor, so we could return to our respective homes. On the way down we talked about how he enjoyed to living for most of the year off-mains high up at the cow alm, and I mentioned Crina Bottom, the isolated farmhouse in the north of England my wife and I had renovated together – where we installed a telephone landline, piped water from a nearby river, ran a diesel generator for electricity and so on – all things which here in these remote and wonderful alpine pastures seem not so very strange at all. I had to get back home to earn some brownie points with my family, and to do some work, so I had had to curtail my part of the Newt. Humbert’s equipment really wasn’t up to doing any more, as his boots were completely inoperable, and his equipment, (particularly the enormous tent), was really too heavy to be carrying any further. So between us, we left Clifton to carry on the Newt flag, alone. Clifton took another two days and headed off alone over a ridge and into Italy before returning via the originally planned, and apparently very interesting, gorge route to Hermagor. It had been a good trip overall, not withstanding some inclement weather, and I’d really enjoyed meeting and walking with my two fellow Newts amongst some of the finest scenery europe has to offer.
Naked European Walking Tour 2006 – Wednesday
February 20, 2015 in Naktiv
The next day started with a steep climb to yet another high summer pasture. Doug and I set off first, and this steady 76 year old from New Zealand soon showed me what a mountain pace was. I had to ask him to slow down a bit, and he simply said this was his normal steady pace and “What’s the problem…?” We continued up and up, and were met by a couple of young women coming down the track. They pleasantly returned our morning greetings, and just as they were going around corner, I noticed one had pulled out her camera to try to snap a photo of us as we went out of sight. I stopped and called out: “Would you like a photo?”, “Yes, indeed!” she replied (in German).
So we stopped and waited as she walked back up towards us and took a photo of these 2 naked men who had passed her on the track. “Don’t worry”, she said, “they won’t get on to the Internet!”. “It really doesn’t matter”, we replied, “and may we take a photo too?”, “Of course!” she said. So Doug took a photo with my camera, of me standing next to the dressed girl with her friend behind, at which point 2 lads approached from above at the same time, and took a photo of all of us together. Their boyfriends, I imagined, were probably a bit surprised to see their girlfriends talking to 2 naked men, but seemed quite relaxed too. It was such a simple exchange, both parties were simply recording an interesting encounter and enjoying the novelty. We carried on, and after some time reached the Hallerangeralm. This was set in a a broadening of the valley running east and west, with towering limestones ridges to the south and to the north. The grandeur of the place was awe inspiring. The Hallerangeralm itself was a small cluster of buildings perched on the remains a central glacier moraine in the middle of the valley, with a stupendous longtitudinal view in 2 directions, with steep ridges to both sides. We stopped here for an early lunch.
I had wanted to continue along the main valley but Konrad was very insistent we went over the steep col to the south, and I conceded it because it looked like a pleasant enough route, so we changed course. I felt that it was right for members of the group to be able to contribute to the route planning but in hindsight I should perhaps have stood my ground. The route now crossed this high mountain pass, and climbed steeply up a loose scree slope of rock, with a vestige of snow in the coulouir. The snow was steep and blocked the path at the top of the slope for about 40 m. This meant that the group had to either turn back, or cross the snow using the remnants of footprints from previous walkers. One slip would mean sliding perhaps 50 m straight down the surface of the icy snow onto the broken rocks below. The sort of injuries to a naked person in those conditions didn’t bear thinking about, even if one survived the slide. I don’t think most people in the group, though worried by the crossing, can have quite realised how dangerous this truly was, because by the time I reached the snow crossing, most of the rest of the group had already crossed, so even had I wished to turn everyone around, I would have had a hard time convincing them to back-track their steps across the snow for a second time.
Meanwhile a couple had crossed in the opposite direction, and they reassured me that the route on the other side was simple enough, even for naked hikers, and nowhere as steep as this side, so I reluctantly followed the group. The ensuing walk across the high plateau-like col, before descending to the Inn valley at it’s narrowest point, was inspiring, and nearly made the perilous snow traverse worthwhile. The view from the far side, south onto high ridges overlooking the Inn valley was simply magnificent. We trudged down, losing all our hard gained height, to St. Magdelena, a gasthof which turned out to be closed, and then continued down the valley to the villages of the Inntal. We were becoming very tired as we tramped on, and a misunderstanding about the route, which way everyone was going, and how we would meet up again, led to us losing Doug for a short time. I think this was a major contributing factor to his decision to leave us the following day. The weather broke as we arrived in the village of Baumkirchen and we were lucky to find a friendly bar keeper who let us camp on her terrace while the thick and heavy rain stormed harmlessly above us. The number of flies here was abominable, but Christian le Couchon, (so called because he snored like a pig), rapidly racked up the highest number of squashed flies, even squashing one on the beer mat I had carefully laid atop my beer glass, (especially to keep the flies out).