Naked European Walking Tour 2011 – Friday

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.

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