Naked at the Gasthof

Occasionally we glimpsed the surrounding peaks getting smaller. After several hours of zig-zagging upwards through the trees, we emerged from the forest onto the ridge and a welcome pause. We were going slowly and stopped for lunch just below the top. We were going slowly and stopped for lunch just below the top, Doug, Mira, mid-p1050335Jacques and Sylvie, then joined us for lunch and then to walk back up to the top of the hill, many people passing us on the fairly busy ridge trail.

Several looked a little surprised to see our group walking naked along the same way as they were, but were all friendly enough, with several smiles and waves exchanged, as one would expect when out on a mountain hike. Continuing along the spine of the alp, we quickly dressed to enter the Hochzelleralm Mountain Gasthof, nestling nicely on the shoulder of the ridge with extensive views of the lower valleys all around. We were just sitting down when Jerome, (organiser of the Brussels WNBR), 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.

Guests at the Gasthof

The young and friendly waiter looked suitably surprised, but said that it was late in the day, with not many guests, and if the few that were here 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 us being naked too, furthermore they were happy to be video interviewed by the naked Gilles as to how they felt about more than 20 plus naked guests sharing their alpine coffee break with them. They seemed pretty comfortable about it all, the lady even removing her jumper to show some solidarity, (or perhaps she was just getting a bit hot).

We chatted for some time, greeting new arrivals with cheerful smiles as usual, and slowly drank our thirst-quenching schorles at this extraordinary well situated alpine Gasthof. The views were stupendous.

Extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Richard Foley

In winter things get complicated

Then clothing. This will be necessary anyway at one time or another, especially at the outset, when the muscles are still stiff and cold. Once you get going, the muscles will soon warm up, then clothes become redundant and can be removed layer by layer. However, unlike shorts in summer which are quickly removed, in winter things get complicated.

I02 avril 2010, Vararey, Chartreuset’s an acrobatic feat to avoid soaking your clothes while undressing in the snow, not to mention dressing again in a hurry. So you need to choose your outfit carefully. In practice, what I find works best are over-trousers worn directly on the skin, which unzip completely at the sides so that you can keep your boots on, worn with polar-grade jackets and vests. In deep snow, gaiters will prevent snow getting into your boots. Heat loss is mainly from the extremities, so gloves and a hat are de rigueur.

Extra dry warm clothes will also be needed in case of sudden changes in temperature. Make sure you have really effective sunglasses, otherwise you will suffer sore eyes, or even snow-blindness. The rest of the gear is that of any winter mountain hike: water, food, warm gore-tex jacket, rescue equipment, including a snow shovel, phone, gps, maps, and camera.

Extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Jacques-Marie Francillon

Into the sunlight

We came out into the sunlight at the top of the woods, and a large open swathe of bright grass led us up towards the gasthof on the ridge. We dressed, shortly before arriving there and, having brought our own lunch, continued along the mid-tegernsee-0018trail to get a little peace and quiet. 100 metres past the gasthof, we stripped off again, just as Tania began to demolish yet another raspberry bush.

A number of people joined the trail here from ahead and to the left of us, and a few cyclists came hurtling past, one trailing a camera and asking if it was ok if he took a photo. We didn’t mind of course, although we thought that if he’d stopped perhaps the photo would not be so blurred.

We continued along the easy ridge path, surrounded by trees again, until we reached an open spot, where we could stop for a bit of lunch.

Salami and sunshine

A little salami and cheese, some fruit and vegetables, a cool drink, a good view and companionable company. Naked in the high mountain sunshine, amidst the trees and foothills of southern Bavaria, we soaked up the atmosphere quietly.

Extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Richard Foley

Never mind Shakespeare…

It is clear that our lives are defined by the space between the two camps of; firstly, our thoughts on our own actions; and secondly, by our fear of what other people might think.

std-100_8307-bcNever mind Shakespeare

the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius pointed this out some two thousand years ago: “All is as thinking makes it so.”

Simply taking part in an environmental protest movement makes one an object of curiosity for many people, and while the majority of the public will be cheering the riders on, the media are busy interviewing the participants, regardless as to whether they are naked or clothed.

 

Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book.

Etched across the skyline

Continuing up the now more sparsely vegetated valley, sweating under the clear blue sky, we could feel the mountain air glide gently over our skins, keeping us refreshingly dry as it did so.

Etched across the skyline

We could see the summit ridge and our target summit for the day. As we gained height steadily, we began to overtaken by faster hikers, all clothed, and all friendly. mid-p1100178First one couple, then another, then a family coming down the hill, several stragglers and finally we passed a group having a rest just beyond the Austrian/German border, at the col itself. We exchanged pleasantries, and took in the glorious view of the alps stretching away into Austria, before Emma and I settled down nearby to have a light picnic. Polly nibbled on bits of cheese and salami.

At this point the clouds were building and it looked wise to keep moving, so we ambled behind the closed Klausenberg hut, waving back to the friendly group of picknickers there, and followed the narrow and gentle ridge, along to the summit. The views from this deceptively small ridge are quite magnificent, down to the Chiemsee lake to the north, across to the Kampenwand to the west, and south into Austria and the higher snow covered alps.

A short stop on top, and then we followed the trail north along the ridge through more forest, coming to several memorials to people lost in the mountains. A particularly poignant wooden cross impaled in a rocky vantage point, had been erected by the local mountain rescue team to their fallen comrades.

An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Richard Foley.

You know it's Christmas soon…?

You know it’s Christmas soon enough? The season for finding good books and interesting reads for your friends and family? Finding seasonly topical and entertaining titles for that long train journey, or a comfy evening in front of a warm winter fireplace, can be difficult enough, without having time pressure too. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a couple of weeks or a few months, with the usual postal delays one can never be too early to snap up a good book.

Especially if one of them is a POD.

opx-p1200794   opx-cover-front-facebook-safe   9780957243293   51myD4e6VfL   mid-9780957243200-frontcover

Print On Demand brings independent authors and publishers the freedom to publish niche books, but there’s a price. They need to be printed on demand, and when demand is high, or when the postal pigeon is over-worked, the delivery gets slower. The best books are always in demand, and we have some of the most interesting books on the planet, covering subjects your common-or-garden Sunday school teacher would probably disapprove of.

So, think ahead, buy a good book today!

Why Nude? by Howard Anderson

In our enlightened modern world which celebrates multicultural diversity it is not too much to ask to have complete freedom of dress for reasons of religion, culture and personal belief. …but Why Nude?

opx-cover-front-facebook-safeThe World Naked Bike Rides have shown that this celebration of diversity has indeed extended, at least in part, to embrace social nudity in the UK and in many other Western countries. The author’s personal experience of these rides and the reactions of others towards social nudity in settings outside of the traditional naturist clubs has resulted in this exploration of the whole issue, presented here in the hope that others may come to understand better what many find to be an uplifting and affirming way of life.

This work discusses being nude in a social setting. The author shows why people choose to live at least part of their lives without clothes, that doing so is very enjoyable and that it offers a number of valuable benefits. The author also demonstrates how one can cultivate this freedom from pressure to conform in daily life.

Why Nude? Thoughts and reflections on social nudity by Howard Anderson

Available from Amazon and all good book distributors

 

The World Naked Bike Ride book Thunderclap campaign

You can support the World Naked Bike Ride book Thunderclap campaign, (and tell your friends!)

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Many thanks for all your support, let’s make this happen!

Garden of Eden

Western religions do not generally have direct prohibition of social nudity as a core belief, such prohibition as there is has come about from custom and practice and from misunderstood interpretations of early teachings.

Protestations against nudity have been made by a few of the religious hierarchy and sadly followed by the many. There is opx-cover-front-facebook-safeoften a huge difference in the core beliefs of a religion and what is taught by those who feel they should teach it. It is quite easy to find a given religious text and then to find a range of mutually opposing interpretations of that same text. A good example is the use of the word “shame” in the Christian story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Some Christian teachers will take it to mean that nakedness is shameful, others will take it to mean that nakedness is good; the position taken by the Christian naturist movement. How could a God have made something shameful? Would you dare suggest that the handiwork of your God is so flawed it must be covered all the time? Did He make such a serious mistake?

Who are you to tell your God that He made mistakes in His creation? To me, the good or bad about nudity is what is in your heart, your intentions, the reasons you go naked, not the nudity itself.

Extract from Why Nude available from Amazon and all good book retailers.

Oh, I'm naked…

Angela responded with a smile. Nathalie kissed her forehead and placed the mask over her face. Nathalie and Ian both took one of Angela’s hands in theirs as Nathalie began a short countdown.

“I’m dropping you in five…four…three…two…one…” Nathalie hit the button to release the board and as it slid into the vat 9780957243293she felt a sickening twist in her stomach at Angela’s scream of pain as the freezing water consumed her. She looked at Ian who had himself turned pale, shaking and sweating with the same fear as she was. She grabbed his hand and held it tightly, fighting to control her stomach and even her bladder as the screams of pain from Angela slowly began to subside.

Angela’s eyes snapped open the moment she felt awake again. Immediately she felt a sensation resembling bliss, of floating freely in utter peace, but it quickly turned to a pang of elation when she realised she was enshrouded by a familiar haze, and that they had been successful. But the elation quickly gave way to a sense of urgency about her planned experiments and she leapt to her feet and looked around her. It was just like the last time, with people emerging from the haze to be greeted by pairs of angels in white robes. Her two angels approached her, smiling the same bland smile worn by all the angels.

“Hello Angela,” the first one said. Angela ignored him, she was already focusing on the experiments they had discussed. She reached down to her arm to pinch it, but before she could do that she realised something unexpected.
“Oh, I’m naked,” she said.

Extract from Afterlife available from Amazon and all good book retailers.