Translated from the article written by Jacques-Marie Francillon, published in Naturisme Magazine
The NEWT (Naked European Walking Tour) is an initiative from Richard Foley, un English man living in Munich, Germany. Richard is the author of the books Active Nudists and Naked Hiking (the later having been translated in French) and webmaster of naktiv.net.
Started as a solitary hike between Germany and Italy, through Austria, Richard was joined by friends years after years. This 12th edition has gathered naked hikers from England, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Luxemburg, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, United States and even Singapore. You can now say the success if worldwide (but NWWT is difficult to pronounce, isn’t it?). Every year, a different place in Austria is chosen. This time, it was a chalet next to the town of Dienten, close to Salzburg, that was used a base camp. The chalet was vast enough to welcome twenty people, two or three others were sleeping in their campervan and six were camping. The chalet was typical of the region with flowers embellishing the balconies, an old staircase and a gigantic stove that proved very useful with the rainy weather that we were experiencing. The chalet was secluded enough (just enough) to allow the group to live naked, including on the terrace overlooking a seldom used road. During the first introductory drink, everybody tattooed on their shoulder their name and the languages they spoke or understood. Quickly, two groups are formed: one speaking German, the other speaking English. However, around a table or walking, groups break away and conversations are a joyful mix of words of different languages. A sentence started in German ended in English with some French words. The important thing is to exchange and be understood, isn’t it?
Life is naturist in the chalet and on non-tarred hiking tracks, minimally textile, mainly during car transfers to the hikes and on tarred road close to villages. Hikes are long, between 6 and 9 hours, but not too difficult, done essentially on forest tracks going to mountain pastures. Large and regular tracks, well adapted to the rhythm of the slower and less experimented walkers. Not discounting that some go barefoot! For some, it’s a discovery of the alpine world. The only exception was a short and difficult way that was actually a direction mistake that led us to get back on the normal path! The rain, that started on the third day and will never leave us, made the tracks slippery and muddy when we needed to cross grassy pastures churned up by cows. With this weather, some had umbrellas, others ponchos or raincoats, the more courageous, tough or resigned stayed naked under the rain drops. But nothing drags down the cheerfulness of the group et the admiration exclamation when become visible through clouds the summits of the Hochkönig or the valleys below us. A day off has allowed us to visit pedestrian-friendly gorges, impressive with its stream flow after those thunderstorms.
As far as encounters are concerned, apart from a farmer couple from an alpine farm, they were all positive: some cars whose drivers waived, cyclists smiling and two families with kids who exchanged hellos and smiles. But the most surprising was the warm welcome in an alpine inn. Well, 23 customers on a rainy day is not to be refused, whatever their clothes or absent of. It was a wonderful moment.
All that is left is to keep an eye on the naturist social networks, like the Naktiv site (naktiv.net) for the announcement of the Newt 2017 and get a seat! The number of seats is limited, for organization questions of course, and to keep the conviviality of a smaller group.
Note that weeks of naked hiking are organized in France too, in the Alps, the Pyrenees, Provence or Britany, as well as in Germany. They may not be as international as the Newt, but they can offer specialties like naked snowshoe in winter and naked cycling or canoing.