Naked European Walking Tour 2007 – Tuesday

The next day we set off along the valley and reached a bridge, under which ran a refreshing looking river – over and through the rocks – in and out of swimming holes. Christian just had to jump in, and Jacques set about monkeying around on the wet rocks too. The trail now wound it’s tortous way up the side of a steep wooded slope, with no respite, ever and always upwards. The trail winding it’s way past yet more storm damaged trees. Jacques was always trying, (and succeeding), to climb up the trees on the way up. I became tired just watching him leaping up the trunks like a happy-at-home monkey. We continued up and up until we finally reached a raised valley, where cows were gathered around small mountain huts, and a light mist covered every horizon all around us. We stopped at the Ischlerhutte, with a friendly hut warden, for lunch, and a warming hot chocolate, before heading on across the ridge in a light rain. As the rain gently fell, my umbrella, (usually the cause of much merriment), now came into it’s own. Jacques wrapped up in a plastic bag, and Bernard donned a raincoat. Christian of course, (la Bete – the beast), strode on regardless, completely naked, wet and happy. There is no stopping this man, he even drove the entire way from near Paris to Bad Ischl naked in the car. During the week’s walk, the ever calm Bernard went so far as to earn the nickname ‘La Bete 2’ because of his enthusiasm. Wending our way along the faint path, among the heather and high mountain flowers, we crossed the col and descended to the hut on the other side. No milk to be had here, surprisingly, so we had hot tea instead. At this point our party was joined by the erstwhile Sepp, the nacktbergsteiger, (naked mountain climber), from Austria, who arrived in the middle of the rain storm which started fortuitously just after we had arrived at the hut. After a break we set off once more and followed the long and steep track zig-zagging down the far side of the mountain. Some of us naked, some half-dressed and some well covered from the weather, the rain didn’t let up. In fact the rain now set in for the night, and it was a rather bedraggled looking little group which turned in for tea and cake at the gasthof in the valley. Once in the valley we met up with John and Sylvie once more, who had found a couple of extra people. Pat and Claudie had arrived while we’d been crossing the mountain, having finally made the decision to join us, and had driven the 1,000 km to do so – they were to have a short but interesting trip. The group was now up to it’s full complement of nine naked enthusiasts. It was still raining, so we sojourned to a very comfortable student accommodation apartment in Bad Ischl, and chilled out, (and warmed up), for a while.

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