On Saturday morning, an extensive breakfast was offered in the restaurant Zum Neuen Herd, combined with nude skittles. Unfortunately, we missed this highlight, because we could arrive only in the afternoon.
We were very happy seeing old familiar faces, who we already knew from NEWT 2021, TNT 2021, or even from Nude Hiking Weeks 2020, our 1st year as free-range naturists being naktiv together with others.
It almost felt like a big family reunion, only with fewer problems, but also with too few women! We arranged a parking space for our VW bus at the very crowded but beautifully situated “Camp Marina Alte Fahrt Fuestrup (Greven)“ at the marina. Around 3:30 pm, we met up with the well-mooded and nourished naturist group at the “Bockholter Berge“ car park, to participate in a 9 km short hike.
First we walked through very barefoot-friendly terrain in the Bockholter Berge nature reserve to an old tree trunk for the group photo. Passers-by had a friendly smile or even a word for us. Under mostly cloudless skies and with pleasant temperatures, we walked criss-cross through fields and meadows, without any signposts, and checked the possibilities for getting on and off the Ems, because a distance swim was planned for the next day. We continued to the Dortmund-Ems Canal, which invited us to take a dip.
We continued our way along the canal, which seemed not that pleasant to one fellow hiker, because we encountered a lot of textile people on foot, in boats, or by bike. Most of them reacted kindly to our greetings, some cheered and waved at us from the boats on the canal, some cyclists looked away uncertainly.
We finally passed a family having a picnic in their bathing suits. I could hear the mother laughing hysterically from afar, and the father appeared and shouted: “You're out of your minds as far as I'm concerned. That's perverted. There are children here. People like you should be shot dead!“. I was so horrified, that I couldn't come up with a spontaneous and appropriate response. If this man had a little more sense, he would have been just as horrified at what he was teaching his children: …to shoot people who pass by in a friendly manner, just because they appear unclothed, i.e. naturist, in a different way from what they are used to? An upbringing of little tolerance with a low inhibition threshold to violence!
Fortunately, it was an isolated case, but it shows, that – in our free country – not all people are characterised by respect. For the evening, Mic had organised a table in the restaurant Kleines Kartoffelhaus [en: Small Potato House] in Altenberge, where we could enjoy a delicious meal, drink, and chat.
After a short, restless night at the marina (unfortunately, there are campers who have no sense of night rest times and talked loudly until after 1 am, giggling, other guests celebrated a boat party with loud music even longer), we met at 10.30 am at the car park as on the previous day. After a lengthy process of entering our choices into a food list for the final evening stop and waiting for stragglers, we finally set off at 11.15 am.
The landscape reminded me very much of old Dutch dunes, slightly undulating, sandy, and studded with pine forests, again very barefoot friendly. As the only woman in the hiking group that day, however, I wondered what some passers-by were thinking. We encountered tree trunks converted into two-seaters by human hands, which inspired photos, a herd of alpacas, which interestingly were more attracted to us in the nude, than to other colourfully dressed passers-by. Perhaps because of skin-coloured, more natural look?
A farm stall offered well-chilled refreshments from their own production. On the way, there were repeated situations, where I noticed cyclists watching us from a great distance, changing direction after a short discussion, or finally bravely riding in our direction and greeting us in a friendly manner. In vehicles, there were also insecure and “brave“ passers-by, but none unfriendly.
The highlight of the day was the distance swim in the Ems – a real test of courage for me as a “tile-counting outdoor and indoor pool swimmer“! The water temperature forced us to move rapidely over 850 m and 400 m respectively.
After a arduous exit, we continued the hike exhilarated. All in all, the two days of hiking flew by, full of sensory impressions from head to toe, and left us as two completely satisfied people at peace with themselves.
“This old willow has been resting in itself for sooo long!“, I thought to myself after noticing it for the second time on our hike. We rounded off our weekend in the evening at the “Fährhaus“ at the marina with a delicious farewell dinner served by extremely nice staff. Thanks to mic and Rainer for the preparation and organisation of the Westphalian Naturist Days 2021!
– Report: Angela and Jochen; photos: Angela, except denoted ones