It began in Austria at the NEWT 2017, the “Naked European Walking Tour” founded by Richard Foley, which takes place every year in the Austrian Alps. Among the 48 participants from 10 different nations of 3 continents were also some US boys. Very soon, old acquaintances from the NEWT 2014 were refreshed again, and new friendships were established. Milt renewed his former invitation from 2014, to visit him in Florida at the naturist resort Sunsport Gardens.
Without much thought, we spontaneously accepted the freshly produced invitation and did not worry about, what we would expect there to be and how long the visit should last. Finally, we spent four weeks at – compared with our western European experience – very warm summer-alike temperatures of up to 35°C / 95°F under a cloudless, blue winter sky above Florida. We spent a beautiful, unforgettable time on the naturist site Sunsport Gardens in Loxahatchee near West Palm Beach and by excursions in the area. Sunsport Gardens was founded in 1965 by a German naturist, Hugo Förster / Forester. Today, Morley Schloss continues his heritage.
Of course, there was a challenge. We were asked to report on “Nude life” in Germany and some European countries. On the one hand, this involved some preparatory work, but, on the other hand, it gave us the opportunity to bring European naturist life closer to USA and Canadian friends. We prepaed our report on nude hiking and biking in many regions of Germany and other European countries.
We couldn't let the matter rest, because during an annual event in the Harz Mountains, bodypainting is always on schedule. And in August 2017, we did a stunning nude body-art performance in the harbour of Münster (Westf.). Consequently, this led to a second workshop on “Nude art in the world”. In doing so, we did not confine ourselves to Europe, but looked e.g. also to Brazil and the USA.
During this time, the “Midwinter Naturist Festival February 15-20, 2018” took place there. Official comment on the website of Sunsport Gardens: »The Midwinter Naturist Festival was a great success. We had a record number of attendees and over 290 activities. All 6 days had perfect weather.«. During several days, workshops were on schedule from 7 am until midnight, partly up to six in parallel at various locations of the terrain. The workshops covered quite different and various subjects, i.e.:
- A Course in Miracles: Mind, Body, Integration, Purification, Wholeness
- Amateur Radio Demonstration & SIG Meeting
- Basic Digital Photography
We were invited to participate in workshops and to present our workshops. Result: Naturists from the USA and Canada deeply impressed due to the amazingly free nude life without real problems in various European countries. Even more astonished were some, when we explained to them, that we grew up in Germany with the ever-heard message, that the USA were the home of freedom, free speech, and free choice of lifestyle – therefore being a dream of life for some people in Europe. Now, some people in the Americas may partly dream of even more freedom of lifestyle in Europe.
Several trips took us to the clothing optional beaches Blind Creek Beach and Haulover Beach, to Palm Beach (place of yearn for those, who must show the world at all costs how much money they can spend, and place of domicile of Donald Trump), to Miami Beach (Art Deco architecture), several times to the Everglades, to the Loggerhead Marine Live Center, which is on duty of charity for the rescue of injured sea turtles, and to a Seminole Reservation.
In the Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach, an art exhibition did really impress us Washed Ashore: We Create Art to Save the Sea!: Hopefully, this will cause some people to think about the "madness of plastic" and maybe change own behaviour. The motto of washashore.org, "We hope, that someday we cannot continue to do this art anymore, because we will run out of this material!", is a call worth of consideration.
Also, a paddling tour on the Fisheating creek in six kajaks for one person each, was very impressive: Little alligators were around us from the beginning. Though, we were travelling in their homeland. At lunchtime, we were looking for a rest: We were just paddling around a bend, when a larger one lying in the sun looked at us and slipped into the water. The friends estimated its length to 15 feet (about 4.60 m). Right here, we got out for our lunch. The animal watched us awhile and then swam its way. When we visited the Grassy Waters, we learned, that alligators are naturally shy and withdraw themselves from people. Only, when they are fed, they do loose their dread and become a danger to humans. Therefore, it is forbidden to feed alligators. Violators are prosecuted by the police and punished, fed alligators must be hunted and killed. During a visit to a Seminole Reservation, we learned that crocodiles in contrast are very aggressive by nature.
Oh yes: we also did a few nude hikes. However, because of the legal situation in the USA, our friends paid always heed to get ourselves covered in good time ("Cover up!"), when we were to encounter other people wearing textiles.
– Report: Horst and Rainer, photos: Horst and Milt