hotel Villa Roca y playa Macha en Costa Rica

English

naturist 0000 Villa Roca hotel, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica es probablemente uno de los mayores destinos naturales a nivel mundial, pero desafortunadamente no lo es para los naturistas: a pesar de contar un clima que es verdaderamente apropiado para andar desnudo, el nudismo no es permitido legalmente. Sin embargo, existen un par de hoteles/resorts donde el nudismo es opcional, en una búsqueda en internet encontré 3 de estos lugares nudistas que están limitados a parejas, la cuarta opción es el hotel Villa Roca -un hotel para “gais, lesbianas, y sus amigos”- ¡lo que definitivamente suena más inclusivo!

Este hotel está ubicado entre el puerto de Quepos y el Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. El hotel no está ubicado a nivel de la playa, pero tiene unas vistas espectaculares del Océano Pacífico – casi puedes sentir como si pudierasplanear desde su piscina infinita, sobrevolando su bosque tropical hasta llegar al Océano Pacífico (aún más infinito).

naturist 0001 Villa Roca hotel, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

El hotel no es completamente nudista, pero se puede andar desnudo por la piscina y sus dos jacuzzis. Estos fueron perfectos para relajarse después de nuestras largas caminatas (un adelanto de uno de los próximos blogs). Uno de los jacuzzis está alejado del hotel, se llega bajando una larga escalera por la ladera del bosque, esta área es particularmente tranquila, y probablemente tu única compañía será esta iguana.

basilisk 0000 Villa Roca hotel, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

¡Esta ha sido el espécimen de basilisco más impresionante que jamás haya visto! Esta lagartija es famosa por su habilidad de correr sobre el agua (pero supongo que no se lo permiten en la piscina).

basilisk 0001 Villa Roca hotel, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Lo que más peculiar del lugar fue ver vacas en una de las playas – por algún motivo estas dos cosas no se ven juntas regularmente.

cows 0000 beach, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Bueno, ésta es la vista de la playa de las vacas 😉

cows 0001 beach, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Por supuesto, no solo pasamos el tiempo al lado de la piscina – la mayor atracción del área de Quepos son sus playas. La playa principal del área es la de Manuel Antonio y es realmente hermosa, pero desafortunadamente ya no se puede estar desnudo en ninguna parte de ésta playa, anteriormente existía una sección de la playa que era nudista – La Playita -, pero desde que se construyó un hotel en esta zona, la policía empezó a ocasionalmente custodiar esta sección de la playa. Estuve surfeando por esta sección de la playa, pero no lo hice desnudo, y tampoco observé a nadie más desnudo. Por lo tanto, decidimos dirigirnos a una playa más aislada – playa La Macha.

naturist 0001 playa Mancha, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Para llegar a playa La Macha primero hay pasar por la playa de las Vacas, ¡la cual está realmente reservada para las vacas! Después de caminar por el bosque en un sendero no muy bien cuidado pero corto, serás premiado con esta joya escondida:

view beach 0000 playa Mancha, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Una pintoresca y calmada playa con aguas calientes y no muy hondas rodeadas de bosque.

view beach 0001 playa Mancha, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Aquí hay suficiente sombra natural, y hasta un árbol demostró ser cómodo para sentarse.  

naturist 0000 playa Mancha, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Este es un gran lugar si estás buscando un lugar tranquilo para leer o conversar con amigos… que solo puede ser interrumpido por algún tiempo para nadar.

Raja Ampat archipelago in the Indonesian Papua: paradise above and under water

naturist 0002 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Who wouldn’t like a full week spent at a tropical, green archipelago surrounded by pristine waters? Writing this makes me want to throw myself back to those worry-free 7 days (almost a year ago) of a sailing trip at one of the natural marine wonders of our planet.

clown fish coral reef 0001 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

This post comes all the way from the magnificent marine park of Raja Ampat in Papua.

islands view 0011 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Raja Ampat is an archipelago on the northern tip of the Bird’s Peninsula on the island of New Guinea or Papua, as it’s locally called. It belongs to Indonesian territory and is one of the easternmost provinces in the archipelago. Raja Ampat is a local language for Four Kings. In terms of history, Raja Ampat Archipelago in the 15th century was part of the reign of Tidore Sultanate, a great kingdom centered in Moluccas Islands. The Sultanate of Tidore appointed 4 local kings to rule the islands of Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool, which are the four largest islands to this day. The term 4 Kings who rule the islands became the root of the name Raja Ampat.

We spent the whole week in Raja Ampat. We were a group of 6, sailing on a wooden boat to explore the archipelago. This is the best way to explore the area: since it is an archipelago, you need to spend most of your days on or in the water to get the best experience of Raja Ampat.

Raja Ampat is claimed to boast the richest marine biodiversity in the world.

clown fish coral reef 0000 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Right from the moment I arrived in the islands, I couldn’t stop my admiration of the beautiful surroundings – its breathtaking landscape and waters just blew my mind away.

naturist 0001 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Many locals claimed these islands to be a paradise on Earth, and I must agree with that statement!

islands view 0004 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

We started from the central islands of the archipelago.

islands view 0003 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

We were presented with a wide array of beautiful corals from the first days.

coral reef 0008 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

They were very colorful and in good shape

coral reef 0007 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

– encouraging to see that in the age when many coral reefs suffer from bleaching due to pollution.

coral reef 0000 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

The fish too were no less colorful, as if they were competing to win the best outfit.

coral reef 0002 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Merely by snorkeling, you can see the best of Raja Ampat.

naturist 0005 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Yes, you need very minimal 😉 gear to enjoy all that extraordinary underwater world!

naturist 0007 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

The next days were spent venturing northbound

islands view 0007 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

to get to Wayag –

islands view 0010 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

the jungle covered islets, that often appear in the internet as a classic example of ‘tropical paradise’.

islands view 0006 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, fishing, are among the things you could enjoy in the sailing trips… In Raja Ampat, you can even feed sharks and swim with them too!

shark coral reef 0000 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Well, they weren’t that huge, but at first it was scary and made me nervous… Soon enough though, I found myself mingle with those sharks at ease, which was quite fascinating.

There are lodges on the bigger islands, and some of them offer full packages, where you can do a lot of water activities. But for me, sailing trip seemed to be the best way to experience Raja Ampat, as it allowed to wander as far as we wanted.

islands view 0012 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

It was also great to have some breaks from being on/in the water, and explore the islands – even hiking naked in the tropical forest!

islands view 0008 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

While the rest of the group were not keen on disrobing, I managed to exercise some naturism, mostly away from the group. I must admit that I am a newbie to naturism, which prevented me from being myself and naked in the whole journey… but I still enjoyed a good portion of it in the buff! I still recall how nice it felt to be naked and let the tropical breeze sweep your skin.

naturist 0010 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

It was definitely hot, but enjoyable. As many have said, the sun is the best treatment.

naturist 0004 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Best part? Of course swimming naked and snorkeling in the most beautiful underwater world!

naturist 0009 Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

If you are keen on spending some of the best days of your life in this paradise, I would surely recommend you to visit the islands. The authorities restrict the number of tourists visiting the islands, which is actually nice, as you can enjoy the islands almost all to yourself when you get there, especially, once again, if you take a sailing trip. The crew of the boat might be not too familiar with naturism, if you want to make it a nude sailing trip, but I think they’d be open enough if you could explain it to them.

 

text and imagery by Miko

Villa Roca hotel and beach Macha in Costa Rica

español

naturist 0000 Villa Roca hotel, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica may be among the world’s top destinations for naturalists but unfortunately not for naturists: even though the climate is certainly appropriate for walking around au naturel, legally it is forbidden. However, there is a couple of clothing-optional resorts/hotels. Three of such locations that I found online are strictly for couples only, so the fourth one, Villa Roca hotel – for “gays, lesbians and their friends” – actually sounds more inclusive!

It’s located in Quepos village by the popular national park and beach Manuel Antonio. The hotel itself is not at the beach, but you have an amazing view from up there – you almost feel like you could glide from that infinity pool above the forest and on to the Pacific Ocean (even more so infinite).

naturist 0001 Villa Roca hotel, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

The hotel is not clothing-optional throughout, but you can be naked around the pool and hot tubs. Those were perfect for relaxing after our long hikes (hint for the upcoming blogpost ;-)) One of the hot tubs is down by a long staircase and hidden away from the rest of the hotel, so it’s particularly peaceful… and perhaps your only company will be this little dragon.

basilisk 0000 Villa Roca hotel, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

This was the most impressive specimen of a basilisk I had seen! This lizard is famous for its ability to run on water (but I guess he’s not allowed at the pool).

basilisk 0001 Villa Roca hotel, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

It was somewhat even more peculiar to see cows at the beach though – somehow those two don’t come together very often!

cows 0000 beach, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Well, that’s Cows’ Beach for you 😉

cows 0001 beach, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

So yes, of course we weren’t just hanging out by the pool – beaches are the main attraction in Quepos. The main beach of Manuel Antonio is really beautiful, but unfortunately you cannot be naked anywhere there… Not anymore – there actually used to be a section with nudists – Playita, but when a big hotel was built in the area, they started policing the beach once in a while. I surfed there but didn’t get to do it naked and didn’t see anyone else naked 😦 Hence we headed to a more secluded location – playa La Macha.

naturist 0001 playa Mancha, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Cows’ Beach is the first cove on the way there, but as you can see on the photos, it is really reserved for cows! After you walk through the jungle by not very well maintained but short trail, you’ll be rewarded with this hidden gem:

view beach 0000 playa Mancha, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

A calm and picturesque cove with shallow and warm water, surrounded by the forest.

view beach 0001 playa Mancha, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

There is plenty of natural shade, and one tree proved to be quite cozy to seat on too!

naturist 0000 playa Mancha, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

This a great place, if you want some quiet time for conversations with friends or reading… only interrupted for some swimming!

Bare Burro – 5k trail run in SoCal on 23 Apr

Olive Dell Ranch in Southern California has announced a new course for its annual nude running race, the Bare Burro 5K. The new route will go through the trails and hills in the rustic Ranch, and the race has been re-named the Bare Burro 5K Trail Run. The 2017 edition of the race will take place 23 April.

“We’re adding the word ‘trail’ to the event to really emphasize that this is a 5K like no other,” Olive Dell Ranch owner Becki Kilborn said. “We like to change up the course every few years to keep it fresh, and this year we’re changing the name to reflect that, too.”

The Bare Burro Run started in 2010 and is now established as the premier nude running event in Southern California. The wild burros usually visible from the course inspired the punning name of the race, because competitors run the race bare… burro. Almost 200 runners completed the course in 2016, despite an overcast and cool weather. The Bare Burro has been featured in the calendar section of Los Angeles alternative newspaper LA Weekly, and last year’s Bare Burro was featured in OC Weekly and was the subject of a two-page article in the British naturist magazine H&E.

Running shoes are strongly recommended for runners but nudity is not an “option” at the Bare Burro, for runners or onlookers: It’s a requirement. “We’re a nudist resort, and we expect people to get with the program here. We’ve found that many dedicated runners are fine with that: ‘You want us to run with no clothes on? Okay.’ Then we don’t see them again until the next year,” Kilborn chuckled. “When it’s cool in the early morning, everybody — even our veteran nudists — are dressed, but by race time it’s usually warm enough. After a few minutes, everybody acclimates to being nude. You may forget to put your clothes back on until you’re on the freeway going home.”

Runners can register through the Olive Dell Ranch website. Registration for runners is $35 in advance, $40 after April 1, and $45 the day of the race, if space is available. Participation is limited to 300 runners, who will all receive an informational packet and souvenir reusable insulated bag. Registered runners may bring friends to cheer them on; they will be required to pay the Olive Dell daily entrance fee. Runners and their friends are welcome to remain on the grounds for the awards ceremony and use Olive Dell’s pool, hot tub and other facilities for the rest of the day.

 

Here is a promo video, but you may check out our announcement from last year for some more imagery.

 

 

Tyagarah lake, Australia

Tyagarah Lake is located in Northern New South Wales, Australia, about a 30 drive minutes from well known Byron Bay (and the very popular naturist spot Kings Beach). It is a picturesque small freshwater lake just minutes from the beach. A much larger lake is across the road next it but this is swampy and inaccessible.

view 0002 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

Tyagarah Lake is a popular spot for locals and not a known tourist spot, as it’s off the main highway, on a dirt road and not near any towns.  But it is still easy to get to: turn off the Pacific Highway onto Greys Lane and follow it as it turns into a dirt road on the way to Tyagarah Nature reserve beach. Before you make it to the beach you will see cars parked on the road.

view 0005 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

Look for the Tyagarah Nature reserve signs to find the path in.  It’s only a very short 3 min walk in to reach the lake.

naturist 0000 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

While I like it as the main destination for the day it is also a popular stop when driving back from Tyagarah Beach (also a naturist spot!) to rinse off the ocean and sand on the way home.  It is such a beautiful peaceful spot.

naturist 0001 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

The water is never too cold and is the perfect temperature to jump right in.

naturist 0003 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

The surrounding trees go right up the waters edge providing many shady resting spots.

view 0004 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

The surrounding trees are known as “Tea Trees” or “Paperbarks” (Melaleuca alternifolia).

Tea tree (paperback) 0001 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

This is what makes the lake particularly special. At first glance the water looks brown and barely swimmable, but it because when Tea Trees grow beside a lake, their oil drips down into the water making it look like tea.

view 0001 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

The water is very fresh and clean and the oil leaves a lovely moisturizing residue on your skin.

tea tree 0000 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

Tea Tree oil has been used traditionally by Australian Aboriginal people as an antiseptic on the skin and as an insect repellant. Squeezing the small leaves releases the oil and a refreshing scent.

Tea tree 0002 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

Tyagarah is named from an Aboriginal word meaning tussocks of sharp bladed grass. There is lots of grass of this description growing in the lake, so it is well named.

view 0003 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

Other beautiful sights on the lake are the water lilies and dragonflies.

dragonfly on water lily 0000 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

When it’s time to leave after a last swim and before you put your clothes back on, a short walk can be taken all the way around the lake and reveals and some smaller inlets and swampy areas.

naturist 0002 Tyagarah lake, New South Wales, Australia

Hidden paradise in Trinidade, Brazil

português

Paraty is one of the most visited cities of the green coast of Brazil thanks to its natural beauty and historic sites. And just a few kilometers away, you can find a paradisiac corner of Trinidade. This little village has a few amazing beaches, but the best one, in my opinion, remains unknown to most tourists.

Just before entering Trinidade from Paraty, you’ll see a sign on the left side saying “Praia
Brava”.  From there, you’ll take an easy trail through a beautiful forest for about 20min

naturist beach 0000 praia Brava de Trinidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

until you get to the hidden beach Brava.

naturist beach 0004 praia Brava de Trinidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
No villas, restaurants or any vendors – only magnificent views of the ocean and splendid vegetation around!

naturist beach 0003 praia Brava de Trinidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Follow to the left to the rocks with a writing that notifies about nudists, and you may enjoy it all in your natural state 🙂

naturist beach 0001 praia Brava de Trinidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

That’s what I did, and even spotted a sea turtle!

turtle at the beach 0005 praia Brava de Trinidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Um paraíso escondido em Trindade

English

Paraty é uma das cidades das costa verde mais visitada
pelos turistas devido as suas belezas naturais e históricas.
Quem resiste ao seu belissimo centro histórico com suas
casinhas antigas de cor branca e janelas azuis?
Entretanto a maioria dos visitantes optam também por visitar
um outro paraíso localizado a alguns poucos km’s depois de
Paraty: Trindade.
O pequeno vilarejo tem diversas belissimas praias uma ao
lado da outra, mas na minha opinião a melhor praia ainda
é desconhecida de grande parte dos turistas.
Antes mesmo de chegar a Trindade, partindo de Paraty,no
lado esquerdo da estrada, você verá um placa escrito “Praia
Brava”. Daí em diante, largue o carro e encare uma trilha de
fácil acesso pela linda floresta de aprox. 20min

naturist beach 0000 praia Brava de Trinidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

até a bela e escondida praia Brava.

naturist beach 0004 praia Brava de Trinidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Não há quiokes, nem vendedores ambulantes, muito menos
casas a beira mar, somente a magnifica praia e sua vegetação
ao redor.

naturist beach 0003 praia Brava de Trinidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Siga para o lado esquerdo em direção as rochas onde é
permitido a prática de nudismo.

naturist beach 0001 praia Brava de Trinidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Tendo feito isso…é só
curtir a natureza!

turtle at the beach 0005 praia Brava de Trinidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

playa Zipolite, México

English

La playa de Zipolite en la Costa del Pacifico de México es probablemente el primer lugar naturista que escuche de México. Es una larga playa de arena,

naturist 0000 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

pero lo que la hace especial es su historia hippie.

naturist 0001 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

La cultura hippie se ha estado reduciendo aquí desde los 60s y 70s y ahora esta siendo más y más comercializada.

naturist 0002 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

pero todavía existe una atmosfera de relajacion y libramiento en esta playa. La libertad de estar desnudo es definitivamente una parte de ello. Este lugar es perfecto para recargarse en la energía del sol durante el día y es un hermoso espectaculo de colores tan pronto se acerca la noche.

naturist 0003 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Algo peculiarmente adicional al terreno de Zipolite es el arco natural al noroeste de la playa.

naturist 0006 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Zipolite es conocida por sus fuertes corrientes y locas olas, y nada lo ilustra mejor que las enormes cantidades de agua que se forman en las olas con inmenso poder y ruido.

naturist 0007 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

La leyenda de Zipolite dice que su nombre significa ‘playa de la muerte’ en la lengua antigua, pero leí que no es el caso probablemente. Hay definitivamente algo de verdad, ya que sus aguas lucen turbulentas… Pero los pelicanos no parecen darle impotancia a esto y llegan en numeros a obtener pescados.

pelicans 0008 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

También hay bastante pescadores humanos, pero encontré mas fascinante como ver los pelicanos que se clavan a máxima velocidad.

naturist 0005 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexiconaturist 0009 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

De hecho habian muchas aves, incluyendo pollos! No eran salvajes por supuesto, pero andaban libres por los jardines.

chicken 0004 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Me quedé en una pequeña casa de hospedaje llamada Posada Lua. Una familia de pescadores cerca de ahí mantenía los pollos así libres.

chicken 0010 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

El concepto de ‘Pollo feliz’ se esta convirtiendo definitivamente más popular con el advenimiento de una cultura ecologicamente consciente y ética en las granjas del oeste, pero creo que sea difícil encontrar una gallina más feliz que esta.

chicken 0012 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Zipolite no es bueno para snorkel, pero hay grupos organizados de pequeños botes con la promesa de ver ballenas, deflfines, tortugas marinas… en mi tour no vimos nada de esto, pero sí vimos los corales. Nuevamente decidí tomar la oportunidad y pregunté a mis guías y a la compañía si no les importaba que yo nadara desnudo. Los guías estaban de acuerdo, pero era un poco complicado preguntar los turistas: era un grupo de tipos sordos. Traté de explicar pero no estaba seguro si me entendieron sino hasta que me quité el short… después de que un par de ellos me mostraron dedos de aprobación.

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De regreso a la playa jugué voleibol un par de veces, pero a pesar de que es un deporte esencialmente naturista y habían muchas personas desnudas tomando el sol, nadie jugaba voleibol desnudo.

volleyball 0016 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Había una cosa más que estaba desesperado por hacer en Zipolite – surfear – y no quería perder la oportunidad de hacerlo desnudo! Como todavía era inexperto en surfear, le pedí a los surfistas locales –Águila y Cali – que me asistieran.

naturist surfer 0013 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Ellos fueron muy atentos, así que pregunta por ellos si necesitas ayuda, pero hay una cosa: la gente en Zipolite no usan relojes de mano… y no les gusta cargar celulares. Rentar una tabla de surfear de ellos es probablemente mejor que agendar una cita.

naturist surfer 0014 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Desafortunadamente, tomé fotos surfeando solo del último día.

naturist surfer 0015 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Y fue el peor de todos los 4 días que me quedé ahí.

naturist surfer 0017 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Habían muchas olas dobles rompiendo inesperadamente, y las corrientes estaban todas locas, entre mareas altas y bajas. Así que apenas y dificilmente pude subir la tabla. Supongo que tendré que regresar por mejores fotos 😉

naturist surfer 0018 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Estuve triste cuando dejé el lugar, pero en el camino a la parada de autobus, buscando chapulines tostados, este anuncio puso una sonrisa en mi cara:

tienda naturista 0011 Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

‘Tienda naturista’, no era lo que esperaba, pero me gustó el nombre de cualquier forma.

walking through the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

naturist 0010 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

The oldest living forest is as sacred as it gets for someone who is into natural history – and that is what Schulman grove of the ancient bristlecone pine forest is. Just imagine walking among the living beings that are as old the Egyptian pyramids! Discovery of these ancient plants was very important for dendrochronology, the technique of dating events, particularly climatic changes, by the characteristic patterns of annual growth rings tree trunks. There is a nice tourist information centre, where you can get brochures about these trees and maps with the trails. This is not an official naturist territory, but being a part of the Inyo National Forest, it is a federal land, and there’s no federal law against nudity; needless to say we wanted to experience the hike in this ancient forest ‘as nature intended’, naked. We of course picked the longest trail, which is ~4 miles, and didn’t see any other hikers.

cones 0000 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

Looking at the cones, you clearly see how this tree got its name. Young seed cones are quite brightly colored; it takes them two years to mature.

cones 0001 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

Pollen cones are also bright but much smaller and mature within one season.

cones 0003 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

Given very dry conditions in the area, fallen cones accumulate in massive numbers before decaying,

cones 0006 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

sometimes forming “rivers” of cones.

naturist 0005 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

Some lucky seeds would sprout in conditions where hardly any other would be able to…

view 0008 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

and eventually would grow for thousands years on!

tree 0010 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

Perhaps a part of the bristlecone pine can die, even a large part, but even then it can go on with whatever is left. We were hiking on a beautiful warm and calm sunny day… but at these elevations of more than 3km above sea level, conditions can change drastically from hot to cold – throughout the day, and throughout the year; and surely it can get very windy there too.

view 0010 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

There is hardly any rain, winter brings precipitation but as snow. As the brochure explained, the bristlecone pines reach their record age not despite these harsh conditions but rather because of them, because they have to grow extremely slow. However, even though bristlecone pines clearly dominate this ancient forest,

view 0002 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

there are some other plants too.

Rock Spiraea creates a very dense moss-like cover, soft to touch.

plant 0000 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

But it’s certainly no moss, with its flowers sticking out… and attracting flies. I thought that they would stink, as many flowers do when they use flies for pollination, but I couldn’t smell anything.

plant 0001 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

The bushes of mountain mahogany cover a few less steep slopes.

tree 0007 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

Their long fuzzy-tailed seeds drill into the soil, when moisture causes them to untwist (according to the brochure).

tree 0008 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

If you are not so much into botany,

naturist 0006 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

the views are pretty amazing too!

view 0004 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

And it’s just a very pleasant hike – not too easy, but not too demanding either. (But keep in mind there are also shorter trails, if you don’t have much time or aren’t adjusted well to lower oxygen levels at this altitude).

naturist 0011 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

Also keep in mind that sun radiation is much stronger at this altitude;

view 0007 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

so even though I’m not a fan of hats, I appreciated I had one on the hike (I hope that still counts as a naked hike).

naturist 0001 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

But you can always chill in the shade too…

Sitting on the roots of these trees, you can’t help thinking of their impressive longevity… or brevity of our civilization? The oldest known specimen has lived virtually throughout our entire written history!

naturist 0002 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

And some of them offer even cozier seats for lounging

naturist 0013 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

(or artsy photos, if you consider the first one of this blogpost as such).

PS For weather reference, this hike was done in early September of 2016.

Secret Cove at Lake Tahoe

naturist 0003 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

Secret Cove on the Lake Tahoe shore was our “decompression” destination after Burning Man last year, but it surely would have been an amazing place to visit even if we hadn’t spent a week in the dusty desert: crystal clear water and fresh mountain air is a great start, but add to that stunning views and a nice laid-back atmosphere, and you’ll see why this spot is so remarkable.

view 0003 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

You can enjoy the views of snow-peaked mountains while sunbathing and swimming naked – a combination that is hard to find. As our previous post-burn destinations were oceanic beaches of San Francisco – Marshall’s and Baker – where the water is always cold and obviously salty, Lake Tahoe was clearly a better choice for rehydration of the body, as we could swim in its fresh and refreshing waters.

Lake Tahoe is famous for its large smooth boulders,

view 0006 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

and some of the ones at Secret Cove look especially peculiar with their spheric shapes

view 0002 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

– also nice to sit on and relax.

naturist 0006 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

A little farther away, the boulders are used for the same purpose by ducks.

view 0000 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

Another creature that you’re likely to see sunbathing on the rocks but away from the water is the sagebrush lizard.

sagebrush lizard 0002 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

Though it’s quite shy and will hide in the bushes if you approach it.

sagebrush lizard 0000 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

You won’t need to hide your naked self from anyone though, as Secret Cove is an officially recognized clothing-optional location,

view 0004 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

popular with locals and tourists alike. Of course most visitors opt for no clothes. This might be a reason why the atmosphere is so friendly there; e.g., I overheard a conversation between a local couple and tourists from Switzerland who had just met there, and an hour later the former invited the latter for a family dinner 🙂

naturist 0000 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

It gets quite busy in the afternoon, as that’s when the thin mountain air gets finally warm (but beware that high altitude also means stronger sun activity). Given that it’s a relatively small cove surrounded by high banks, it doesn’t get too windy. The mornings, however, can be quite chilly even in August and September, and you are more likely to encounter bird-watchers rather than nude sunbathers during early hours.

As an alternative to driving and hiking, some people arrive by boats

naturist 0001 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

or paddle-boards, for which Lake Tahoe must perfect.

view 0007 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

When we were there, two women did yoga on the paddle board, something I’m eager to try sometime to challenge my balancing skills.

A large portion of Lake Tahoe shore, including the Secret Cove, is covered by coniferous forest. The most notable tree is the sugar pine,

view 0005 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

which is the tallest pine species

sugar pine 0002 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

and boasts the longest cones of any conifers.

sugar pine 0001 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

I’m not sure why it’s got its name, perhaps due to the sap leaking from the cones that may appear like a sweet nectar.

Cones of the Jeffrey pine are quite impressive too,

Jeffrey pine cones 0000 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

but there are animals who clearly appreciate more than just their appearance:

chipmunk 0001 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

chipmunks are quite ubiquitous there.

chipmunk 0002 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

The incense cedars reminded me of the redwoods on California coast, though their size is relatively modest.

naturist 0008 Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA

The Secret Coved proved to be a great place to reconnect with nature and friends!