טיול רגלי בסמוך לנווה מדבר בים המלח

 English

אחרי , יומים של שנירקול במפרץ אילת המשכתי הלאה. התחנה הבאה במסעי ישראל היתה ים המלח. חברה שלי אירחה אותי אצלה בקיבוץ עין גדי (זה אותה החברה שלקחה אותי לחוף געש). הקיבוץ שוכן בשמורת עין גדי השלוה לחופו של ים המלח. הימה המלוחה היא הסיבה העיקרית לטייל במקום. אני ארחיב על ים המלח בפוסט הבא. בשמורה עצמה, המיועדת לטיול של יום שלם ברגל, אפשר לפגוש מגוון יפה של צימחיה מדברית ושערות שולמית. בשמורת עין גדי יש שני מעינות המפכים במשך כל השנה; נחל דוד ונחל ערוגות. נחל דוד הוא המתוייר מבין השניים ולא מומלץ להיסתובב בו בעירום. יש סיכוי גדול שתמצא את עצמך מוקף במטילים המגיעים לשם בטיולים מאורגנים.

view 0001 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

שמתי פעמיי לנחל ערוגות. שם יכולתי לפשוט את בגדי ולטבול בנקיקים מבלי לפגוש יותר מדי מטילים אחרים שעברו בנחל.

view 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

נכנסתי לנחל שהוא נקיק צר וחרב. בהמשך הנחל מבצבצת צימחייה ירוקה לאורך המיים. אפשר ללכת על הגדה או לשכשך במיים הרדודים.

view 0002 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

לא יכולתי שלא לטבול את התחת הערום שלי בבריכת הטבעיות שבנחל.

naturist 0001 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

קולות רמים של בני תשחורת אמריקיים הפרו את השלווה. התלבשתי בחיפזון. הזמן חלף ונאלצתי לשוב למהר מכיוון שהשמורה נסגרת ב5 אחה”צ.

בהמשך הנחל ראיתי את הבריכה המפורסמת עם המפל אבל האמריקאים שפגשתי בדרך הגיעו לשם בהמוניהם ונאלצתי לותר ולהמשיך הלאה.

view 0003 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

סימנתי בריכה נוספת בדרכי כמעומדת למנוחה אם לא אמצא בריכה טובה יותר.

view 0004 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

המשכתי לצעוד מדלג בין השביל למיים בחיפוש אחר מקום מסתור. מצאתי בריכה מוקפת בעיצים ומוסתרת מעיני המטילים והאוטובוסים ונכנסתי ערום למיים להתרעננות נוספת.

naturist 0003 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

ניצלתי את פינת החמד לארוחת צהריים. סיבכי ובולבול גילו התעניינות בסנדויץ שלי ונעמדו ממש קרוב אליי

 

bird 0001 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

bird 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

אחרי האוכל יצאתי לטיול נוסף

naturist 0002 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

פגשתי מעופף נוסף של נרתע מהמצלמה שלי.

dragonfly 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

ואז חלפתי על פני המפל הגבוהה ביותר בנחל.

view waterfall 0005 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

לא התמהמתי שם כי רציתי לראות את כל המסלול.

view waterfall 0006 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

אייך שעברתי את המפל איש השמורה קרא לי ואמר שמאוחר מדי להמשיך בשביל ושצריך לחבור לכיוון היציאה. זה נשמע לי לא הגיוני אבל לא רציתי להיתווקח. שמתי פעמיי חזרה לכיוון ים המלח.

view 0007 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

בדרך חזרה במפל הגבוהה פגשתי קבוצה קולנית של חרדים צעירים ברובם. למה הם צועקים בשעה שהמקום כל כך רגוע. הצעקות שלהם החרישו את רחשי הטבע. נראה שבישבילם זה טיול לפרק שעשועים והטבע זר להם על מימו ובריכותיו הזקים. הבחנתי פתאום בקבוצת יעלים על ראש הקניון.

nubian ibex 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

הם נראו כאילו הם מהרהרים בליבם ושואלים מה לקבוצה הרעשנית הזאת המשחקת במפל ולמידבר. טוב שהם כל כך רעשנעם. כך אני לא צריך לחשוש לפשוט את בגדי כי הקולות הרמים יודיעו לי מתי הם מתקרבים.

הבריכה שסימנתי מוקדם יותר עמדה בשיממונה ניצלתי את המגלשה הטיבעית להחליק על התחת לתוך הבריכה

אפשר לראות בסרט אייזה כיף זה לגולש על התחת במורד הזרם לבריכה.

מדהים – שרכים ענוגים מסוג שערות שולמית גדלים במדבר על קירות הנקיק מעל למיים עד לנקודה שבו התחיל המדבר

fern 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

מדהים יותר לפגוש סרטן וצפרדע שוחים יחדו בבריכה בלב המדבר

frog & crab 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

לא העלתי בדעתי שאפשר להיתרענן במחיצת חיות בר בים המות

nubian ibex 0001 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

Text in Hebrew by Dror

צף על המים בים המלח

המסע שלי בחופי ישראל החל בים סוף ומשם לים התיכון ועכשיו הגיע תורו של החוף המיוחד ביותר בישראל (ואולי היחודי ביותר שפגשתי אי פעם) הוא ים המלח.

ים המלח נמצא בנקודה הנמוכה ביותר בעולם כולו ואחד משלושה האגמים המלוחים הקיימים בתבל. ים המלח הוא אתר תיור חשוב בישראל. לימה וססיבותיה יש מטען היסטורי ורוחני עמוק. אבל בסיכומו של דבר אני ממש לא יודע. יש שרואים בים המלח כמקום לשהות קצרצרה בעיקר עם הגעת לשם במסגרת טיול מאורגן באוטובוסים רבי משתתפים. אבל יש גם חופים פחות מתוייירים שבהם אפשר לבלות יותר כי שם משך הזמן הוא אחר זאת בתנאי שתיזרום עם המידבר ותן לו לעשות את שלו.

חברתי החדשה שהמליצה לי על החוף באילת היא זאת שסיפרה לי גם על החוף שלה בים המלח. חוף פיראי ונפלא מול צוקי דרגות.

קו 847 אגד מירושלים לעין דגי תחנה צומת מצוקי דרגות. כך נראית תחנת האוטובוס (בסמוך לה יש עמדה צבאית) שבה עליך לרדת. שים לב שהאוטובוס לא יעצור אם לא תבקש מהנהג. אתה יכול להראות לו את התמונה של התחנה ולבקש ממהו לעצור שם.

לצרי נאלצתי לצאת בגפי ללא החברה. אז אייך היה.

בסרט למטה אתם יכולים להיתרשם מהתחושה של ציפה מרחפת במים הכבדים של ים המלח. התחושה היא יחודית ולא ניתנת לתאור. חייבים להינסות כדי להבין… מומלץ לכולם! זה לא דומה לשום דבר אחר. בקיצור זה נפלא. אבל זה רק צד אחד . הנוף השומם החסוף וחסר החיים של המדבר משרה אוירה של עולם זר ואחר.

מצד אחר – תחושת הריחף בתוספת המים החמימים והמלטפים מכהים את החושים ומשרים אוירה של נוחות ושלווה. תחושה זאת מתעצמת בלילה כשגם חוש הראיה מתעמעם. ריחוף חסר דאגות וכוכבים מנצנצים סחף אותי לתוך הרקיע עצמו…

טוב, באו נשוב למציאות. מומלץ לא לשהות במים המלוחים יותר מדי זמן מחשש להיתיבשות. כאמור בכול הנוגע לבריאות יש לפעול במתינות. יש במים מינרלים רבים העושים פלאות לעור ומשפרים את הבריאות הכללית. אבל צריך להיות זהיר. היציאה מהמים מלווה בתחושה מוזרה. המים האילו לא מקררים את הגוף והגוף בתגובה מתחיל להזיע באופן מוגבר. בסופו של דבר כשהזעה מתיבשת אתה נשאר מצופה בשיכבה של מלח. אם יש לך פצע טרי או אפילו שריטה זה עלול להיות לא נעים. אני נשרטתי בתוך במים כששחיתי.

לכן צריך למצוא חוף שקיימת בו אפשרות להישטף אחרי היציאה מהמיים. בחופים מוסדרים, כמו חוף עין גדי, יש מיקלחות על החוף (שחיתי בפעם הראשונה בים המלח בחוף זה. אפשר גם להוריד את בגד הים אבל מומלץ לעשות זאת במרחק מה משאר האנשים או בערב לצאת לשחיה לילית בעירום) בחופים פיראים של לודא שיש מעין של מיים מתוקים בחוף. מעינות מתוקים זה משהו שלא ציפיתי למצא בחופי ים המלח אבל החופים לא כולם חסופים בחלקם יש צימחיה והרי צמחים זקוקים למים מתוקים.

אכן המים המתוקים נמצאים לא רק מתחת לפני הקרקע. אפשר למצוא מעינות ובריכת מים מתוקים על החוף.

לא תמיד המעיונת נובעים. צריך לשאול מקומי על נקודות בהם יש זרימה או פשוט לתור בעצמך את החוף. הבריכה הזאת ממש מזמינה והטבילה בה היתה מרעננת.

הנוף הנישקף מהברכיה עצמה.

במקרה אחד כשירדתי לבריכה היא היתה מלאה בתירים בריטים, כולם בביגדי רחצה. הם נאבקו נואשות לנקות את עצמם ואת הבגדים בעודם לבושים וזה רק החיף את כמות החול וחלוקי הנחל שנכנסו לתוך הבגדים. בבדיחות הדעת אמרתי להם שזאת הסיבה שאני לא לובש דבר (למען האמת לא היתי מודע לבעיה הזאת של רחיצה בבגדים) בחור אחד נדלק על הרעיון והוא חייך אליי. אני חייכתי חזרה ומהר מאוד התברר שהוא רוצה משהו מעבר לזה. כשהחבורה עזבה את המקום הוא נשאר כדי להיתנקות בצורה יותר יסודית. הוא ואני נשארנו לבד בבריכה. מבלי להיתמהמה הוא החל לשלוח ידים. אני סרבתי ואמרתי לו שאני לא בקטע. בעינו העירום התפרש כהזמנה למין כאן עכשיו ומייד. החברה שלי סיפרה לי שהיא הוטרדה במקום מספר פעמים על ידי גבר חרדי שיושב ליד הבריכה (לבוש כמובן) וארב לנשים הבאות לשם לירחוץ בעירום. התנהגות וגסות כזו אפשר למצוא גם במגזר החילוני המערבי.

אפרופו בוץ – ים המלח מפוסם בבוץ שלו בעל סגולות המרפא ותיקון פגעי הזמן. הבוץ אף נמכר בעולם כתכשיר קוסמטי. ים המלח מתיבש ומצתמק. אחת הסיבות לכך היא כריית המלחים, המינרלים והבוץ מהים לצרכים כלכליים. סיבה נוספת היא הטיית מי הירדן להשקיה וצימצום כמות המים המגיעים בסופו של דבר לים המלח. הדרך הטובה והיעילה ביותר להשתמש בבוץ היא פשוט להגיע לים, לחפון בוץ טרי ועשיר במינרלים ולמרוח אותו על הגוף כולו (אל תפספס אף נקודה ;-)) ואז הישטף במי הים.

 

רוב היום היתי לבד בחוף דומם ורגוע יושב בצל השיחים מתבונן בגונים המדהימים בטן גב ים בריכה.

לקראת ערב פגשתי בחור נחמד. זן נדיר של היפי בין זמנינו. הוא סיפר לי שהוא מגיע למקום באופן קבוע ושוהה שם מספר שבועות באוהל המאולתר שלו. מזג האויר הקיצי בישראל מאפשר שהות בטבע מציוד בקמעט כלום.

הפתיע אותי שהיה לו אוכל מועט. הוא אכל בעיקר מה שמבקרים אחרים השאירו לו (גם אצלי זה כך).
מאוחר יותר הצטרף אילנו בחור הזוי נוסף. תייר אוסטרלי מצוייד בכלי אוסטרלי ענק. ההיפי הציע להראות לי בריכות נוספות אבל חששתי לפספס את האוטובוס האחרון. שני בחורים נוספים וכלבתם הידידותית שהו אף הם בחוף. התעניינתי אם הם יכולים לעזור לי, עם האוטו שלהם, בדרכם הביתה, להגיע למקום שממנו אוכל להסתדר בכוחות עצמי. הם הסכימו. דרך אגב הכלבה שלהם ניסתה לבצע צלילה במים המלוחים. אוי… לקח לה פעמים להבין שזה רעין לא כל כך מוצלח לצרוב את הענים והפה במים האילה. ההיפי הוביל אותי לבריכות לאורך החוף. לחלק מהבריכות היה צבע משונה ירוק עז ולבן ירקרק. האדמה שם היתה לא יציבה פריכה וקימחית. הכל נראה כמו לא מהעולם הזה. אני כנראה לא היתי מעז ללכת לשם לבדי.

כשחזרנו כבר התחיל להחשיך. החושך יורד מהר מאוד. לשימחתי זוג הבחורים וכלבתם היה עדיין שם. נודע לי שיש הקבלה בין ללכת על המים של איתן פוקס לבין צמד הבחורים, ערבי פלסטינאי ויהודי (מאירלנד) מתגוררים יחדיו בירושלים. בניגוד לסרט אין שום דבר מסעיר בחייהם. זה נגע ללב לראות את הסיפור הזה מתממש בחים האמיתיים. בסופו של דבר הם לקחו אותי חזרה לקיבוץ ומשם לירושלים לביתם. שהיתי שם מספר שעות בחיפוש אחר מונית שרות זולה (לא ידעתי שיש דבר כזה) לשדה התעופה לטיסה שלי שיצאה מוקדם בבוקר. איזה טיול

נפלא. ביקרתי במקומות מקסימם ופגשתי אנשים נפלאים.

Hebrew text by Dror

[naked] Burning Man

naked 0119 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Finally, I am getting to write about one of the brightest events of the last year and my whole life so far – Burning Man, a festival that I had wanted to attend for years! And it is just on time before the tickets for 2013 go on sale already next Wednesday, for which you need to pre-register by this coming Sunday, 12:00 Pacific Time!

Of course, given this blog’s theme, I’ll focus on the naked aspect of the [Burning] Man, which is just a small portion of what I have experienced there. Nudity is a commonplace in Black Rock City (geographic alias of Burning Man), but only a fraction of people opt for it.  This gives you a realistic feeling of what it could be like if full nudity in public was legalised in Western society and some people would start make use of this freedom.

naturist 0130 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

By the way, it is thanks to this blog that I found a wonderful companion, Andre, to join me at the festival, as I had to sell a ticket originally planned for another friend who had to cancel. We planned all logistics together, and it worked out just fine, and we became good friends. The whole planning thing seemed quite complicated at first, as we had to organise a self-reliable camp out in the desert in Nevada with unpredictable weather AND visit and see as many interesting things as possible during the festival. The official website and mailing list contains all necessary information, but I’m going to give just a few words of advice re logistics (of course, this is just from our personal experience, and may be totally different for you).

1) There are now buses from some of the major cities in the area, but the price doesn’t seem to be competitive with car rental as long as you are more than one person.

2) Even a small tent can be totally fine as long as you have a good shading structure. You are not going to sleep much and spend time ‘indoors’. But it’s essential to have protection from dusty winds (sometimes) and blazing sun around noon (every day).

3) What the official booklet advised re water (up to 4 gallons per day per person) was absolutely over the top for us. I understand that they want you to stay on the safe side, but we took only half of the recommended amount and then had to give out at least a third of water.

4) Don’t bring booze, unless you want a very specific type or your camp theme is some sort of bar. There is plenty of alcohol everywhere, and don’t forget, everything is free at Burning Man once you get there!

5) Vinegar turned out to be really useful to clean skin, especially feet, from alkaline playa dust. I sometimes poured it in my ‘barefoot’ Bikram shoes; skin moisturisers are great too. On the other hand, I didn’t feel it was necessary to have more sun protection than, say, on a sunny beach day, as some sources claimed and urged to bring sunscreens of SPF100 etc. But then again, I was already tanned by the end of the summer, and also I suspect that dust might actually help against the sun. I used SPF15 or 30 on my shoulders and never got burnt.

6) Melons! They actually did well even in that heat for several days and we wished we brought more than 3.

7) Last but not least, it was a great decision to join a pretty big theme camp, Playa Bike Transportation in our case. They gave us a lot of advice and provided the kitchen, solar camp shower, and most importantly the shading structure.

So, construction of the shading structure was the first thing we took care of when we found our camp. This way we also got to know several camp-mates.

naturist 0021 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

It wasn’t too complicated, and I even found a minute to pose as the Vitruvian Man of Leonardo da Vinci🙂

naturist 0022 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

The only difficult part was hammering rebar into the hard playa ground. But I had no idea that it would be much more difficult to get it out afterwards! (That’s when we used some of our extra water, as it was easier to pull out rebar from wet ground.)

naturist 0023 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Playa Bike Transportation camp turned out to be an excellent choice for me in many respects. Burning Man is built on the idea of everyone contributing something to ‘the community’ – “no spectators, only participants” is the motto. Being a part of a bike camp, it was easy to find a way to help people – by repairing their bicycles.

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Black Rock City is quite a big town without public transportation and cars (unless they are ‘mutated’), so most people rely on bicycles to go long distances. But with all that dust, bikes break easily (it makes sense to have a playa-dedicated bike if you are a regular, or rent one from a camp like ours). So, our camp was always busy with people lining up for self-service or help from our professional mechanics or amateurs like me.

naturist 0006 Playa Bike Transportation/ Repair, Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

While on duty, we got approached all the time, but the good thing was that it allowed us to get to know a lot of people!

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It is worth noting, that Playa Bike Transportation (this year, Playa Bike Repair) is not a nudist camp per se. I knew there were camps that were more related to nudity, but my idea was to try to live as if birthday suit was as ‘normal’ as any other outfit and just do regular stuff in the buff… like repairing bikes. I did not want to stay in any kind of nudist colony, and I think this was the best thing I could do to show that there is nothing wrong with nakedness. Before joining the camp, I discussed the nakedness issue with the leader and he seemed to be convinced, although Andre and I were going to be its first naked members (pun not intended). It worked out just great, nobody seemed to have issues with that and a couple of our campmates got naked too on various occasions.

Besides Playa Bike Transportation, Andre (mostly) and I volunteered at the neighbouring Post Office camp. Yes, Black Rock City may be a short-living settlement but it’s got its own functional Post Office with a proper stamp! I tried my best to be the least friendly possible mocking the stereotype of a USPS worker, but Andre was much better at it and soon became known as an ‘angry postman’.

naturist 0142 Post Office, Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Again, we surprised our customers by our attire, but everyone seemed to love it!

naturist 0077 Post Office, Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Our coworkers were cool about it too.

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Thus, I think our biggest contribution to the Burning Man festival was spreading the idea that nakedness is just fine and there is nothing shocking about it by doing regular jobs in the buff and interacting with large numbers of people every day. Burning Man is all about expanding your views and comfort zone, and hopefully we’ve triggered this at least in some of our “customers” and campmates.

Besides acquiring new friends, I also knew some old buddies were coming as well. One of them was Miguel, a devoted naturist traveller.

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He stayed at colourful Comfort and Joy camp.

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When I ventured out to search of Miguel’s camp, I saw El Pulpo Mecanico, one of the hundreds of art cars, or mutant vehicles on the playa.

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And I think it remained to be my favourite till the end. It looked fantastic in daylight and at night too, with all its moving tentacles emitting fire.

naturist  0000 Pulpo Mecanico, Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Some mutant vehicles were huge and impressed with their design and mere size.

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There were also a lot of spectacular structures and constructions, big and small, that made the landscape absolutely surreal.

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This pirate ship sinking in sand was definitely one of the highlights.

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Some structures were interactive, like these phone booths.

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By the way, as you can see on this photo, there was a night when it was warm enough to walk around naked. When we played with my LED-lit frisbee, it was even too hot. But most of the nights were quite chilly, so we had to wear something. Andre and I had a minimalist ‘caveman’ outfit made of fake sheep fur rugs (you can see me on the left of the night el Pulpo Mecanico picture).

The main structure was of course the Man himself, seen from all over the city thanks to its geometrical plan (and provided clear weather, usually in early mornings) – on this photo from 9 o’clock plaza, where our camp was located,

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or from Center Camp, here.

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At night, it is lit up, as almost everything (and everybody) else.

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The Man structure was also a gathering point for some events like Black Rock City’s own issue of the World Naked Bike Ride, aka World Naked Pub Crawl. With bikes being such a crucial part of life during the festival, and its idea to promote self-reliance and sustainability, WNBR seems to fit perfectly into the concept of Burning Man; and with those phallic structures around the Man, which I guess had to do with 2012’s theme, Fertility, the naked aspect of the ride seemed only more appropriate.

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Before the ride, naked people took over the Man,

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filling the whole structure

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and climbing everywhere possible.

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Nice view from the Man😉

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Most of the participants were on regular bikes, but it wouldn’t be Burning Man without some amusing riders, who decorated their naked bodies,

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fancy tandem bikes, or this guy on a unicycle.

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Amazeballs! [I know, the term use is somewhat controversial, but it suits here more than anywhere else😉 ]

Several “pubs” welcomed naked bike riders. The Duck Pond was probably the most fun, as it had a 150-foot-long slip-n-slide.

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At least one guy made it almost all the way till the end of it!

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I went a bit sideways and didn’t reach that far.

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Next stop was spontaneous, as some riders simply took over trampolines of another camp.

naturist trampoline 0015 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USAnaturist trampoline 0020 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Needless to say, it was a lot of fun and some were really good at tumbling!

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Next bar, Barbie Death Camp, saw a naked pianist performance.

naturist 0011 Barbie Death Camp, Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Party Naked Tiki Bar, is a probably the most known naked hang out place at the playa, and it was a part of the World Naked Pub Crawl too, of course.

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Besides those, I would also like to mention Scarbutts Cafe, where we got our late morning coffee

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for a couple of good spanks😀

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Center Camp is a great hang out spot too, and it wasn’t left without some naked activities either.

This guy was really good at playing with the sock ball.

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And I was really happy that my Burning Man didn’t go without some capoeira games.

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There was a martial arts theme camp, Black Rock Kwoon and Dojo, with classes on different martial arts including capoeira, but there were daily games (rodas) at the Center Camp too.

naturist capoeira 0076 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USAnaturist capoeira 0077 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

And I was even happier when one more naked guy joined the game, as well as a topless girl (not on the photos, though).

For a moment, the Center Camp turned into an Ancient Greek gymnasium🙂

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Too bad it was the last evening already, but that was a definitive “yes” – Black Rock City rocks!!!

naturist capoeira 0019 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Those were sad and happy two last nights when major structures were burnt, but that is also a part of beauty of Burning Man, highlighting the idea that one must live in the moment.

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And it ends, as everything, only to give a new beginning… Already on the way back, my new friends and I were discussing our ideas for the next year! (Though I am still to decide whether I am going in 2013.)

naturist 0195 Burning Man 2012, Black Rock City, NV, USA

Oh wait, I’ve also compiled a video with some of the brightest moments at Burning Man. No video is capable to show what that festival of festivals really is, but hopefully it can give you some idea and inspiration.

Act naturally

Sorry for not posting much lately, but as usually it is not because I lack fresh material (there is actually plenty of old stuff to be published yet!), but because I haven’t had enough time for updates. But I decided to tease you with a promise to get back to my blog soon, I will continue with other stories from Ukraine, a fresh adventure in South Florida (including Naked Spring Bash with the local group) and more!

But speaking of teasers, in the end of March I went with my friend Christian to watch a sneak preview of the movie called “Act Naturally“. You can see the teaser trailer at their web site. As you can guess, this fiction movie is focused naturist lifestyle and its clash with the ‘outside’ world, which was done in a fresh and entertaining way. The sneak preview was part of a fundraiser events while the producers are trying to release the film on the screens. The turnout was so good, they even had to arrange two extra screenings! Have I mentioned yet that the event was clothing optional? And almost everyone opted for no-clothing, even most of the crew that was present at the preview screening. Here is me with one of the two main actresses.

It was the first public film viewing in the buff for Christian and me, so we were both quite excited, though it wasn’t a real cinema, just an art studio. Having seen so many naturists at the preview made me hopeful that the producer will eventually get enough money to release for the broad audience. In fact, I think the movie would be even more interesting for people that are not familiar with naturist lifestyle. They show life in a nudist colony (which isn’t an eye-opener for naturists themselves) and how two “outsider” women, who unexpectedly inherited the resort, struggled with accepting the lifestyle. Their “gymnophobia” – fear of being (seen) naked/seeing others naked – and a bit too self-conscious attitude to their bodies is something many people may relate to, and in the end they were much more relaxed about that, so I hope the movie will be released soon and many people will see it!

naturist photography, art and pornography

Felicity, a blogger from Young Naturists and Nudists America, has recently raised a question whether it is possible to draw an objective line between naturist photography, nudes in art and pornography in her blog. I am sure there are photos with naked people that no one would call art or porn, there are pieces of art with nudes that do not refer to naturist lifestyle and are not sexually stimulating, and pornography that is neither artistic nor naturist. But some imagery is much more difficult to classify. Felicity referred to the case of Modigliani paintings that at the time of their production were banned from display as pornography.
I think this painting might depict a naturist woman, perhaps stretching after a nap. It is a painting, a pretty one, so it must be art🙂 But some people might find her pose somewhat too inviting and arousing, there is certainly a focus on the crotch, so I can imagine they would see it as porn…
To be honest, I don’t really like trying to define such obviously subjective matters, but as they come up quite often with naturist topics, I’ve decided to add my 2 cents. Felicity has to deal with that, because sponsors at their website are worried whether the graphic contents posted by some members is purely naturist… Last week my blog was flagged by someone, so now you get this annoying content warning. Hope it won’t go further than that.
Well, as expected, Felicity came to a conclusion that “porn is just in the eye of the beholder”. I really liked the comments to that post. In the response to a statement that a photo should be considered porn when there is a focus on genitals, one reader noted that there are also foot fetishists. And I think it is in the core of naturist philosophy that genitals are not more immoral than say a hand; then there shouldn’t be an issue with imagery specifically showing the former. But in any case, a web site depicting only genitals would not be able to show naturist lifestyle, not more than the one with only photos of arms or ears, so as long as the holistic aspect of naturism is shown, why bother that some members of the network show their particular body parts? And actually there are also underwear, leather, rubber, jeans, nurse, flight-attendent – you name it – fetishes, so being clothed in a particular form may be more sexually arousing for some people than being naked… Should it be censored?
Probably there is more consensus on the imagery with hard penises, but are those two below porn?
This guy might just sneak out his house to breathe some fresh morning air; he has an erection but it does not seem to be directed at anyone, there is no sign of any sexual behavior and the whole setting looks perfectly naturist.

And on this photo, the erect penis only adds artistic aspect to it, as it points in the direction where the archer is shooting. Otherwise, the image would be classified as almost casual naturist, so to say, as some naturist resorts, including the famous village de La Sablière, offer archery courses.
So while I understand that many naturist networks and forums are reluctant to let anything remotely erotic and even more so pornographic be posted, because they don’t want to sexualize their websites, in the end this does not sound any better than strict rules of Facebook forbidding any kind of frontal nudity, and the criteria are even more difficult to set objectively.

dance, dance, dance!

Dancing naked always sounds like a great idea to me, and I have been to a couple of specialized naked discos – Starkers! in London and SchlagerNackt in Berlin, and was even spinning myself at Nude Year’s Eve in New York, but the idea that such a big and iconic night club as Ministry of Sound in London could host an event where electronic music buffs would dance in the buff sounds not just great but fantastic!

But unfortunately that is nothing but a bold commercial… maybe one day🙂

floating in the Dead Sea

Finally, after describing my adventures at Israel’s Mediterranean and Red Sea shores, I am getting to the third, and arguably most unusual sea on my trip (and in my experience in general), the Dead Sea! Being the lowest land spot on Earth and one of the three saltiest lakes, the Dead Sea is an obvious tourist attraction, topped with mythical healing properties. However, I had heard mixed opinions about it, some of which described it as just a place to hang out a couple of hours. And I bet it is so, if you come with a bunch of other tourists to a crowded beach on a planned excursion trip. But you may also experience the timelessness and peace, if you know the right places and look for relaxation.

My new friend who advised that nice relatively secluded spot at the Red Sea near Eilat again gave me an excellent recommendation for her favorite place at the Dead Sea, a wild beach near Metsoke Dragot.

This is how the bus stop (next to a military post) looks like where you need to stop for this beach (I put this photo, because the stops are not announced and you have to ask the driver in advance and  watch out).

Unfortunately my friend couldn’t join me on that occasion.


So what was it like? Well, the video below probably shows how much I was excited with the idea of floating freely in the waters of the Dead Sea, but it is impossible to describe the feeling, it must be experienced… by everybody! As there is nothing like it🙂 In few words, I felt fantastic: on the one hand, the deserted landscape and lifeless hyper-saline waters created an almost extraterrestrial ambience,

but on the other, the feeling of loss of gravity and soothingly warm water created an almost womb-like environment of comfort and peace. This feeling was even stronger at night, when the vision faded away and other senses became more apparent. Such careless floating in combination with stargazing made me feel as if I was drifting in the starry sky itself…

(I must mention in relation to this video that due to increased density of water in the Dead Sea, it actually was particularly pleasant for the genitals: my balls felt as relaxed and liberated as it gets, floating freely and kind of weightless, and this feeling spread to the rest of my body; in combination with perfectly warm water temperature, it provided a feeling of ultimate relaxation. This is something that non-nudist visitors may be missing out because of restricting clothes.)

Well, now back to the Earth: the sad truth is that one should not spend too much time in the Dead Sea’s waters because of risk of dehydration. As it often happens, many healing procedures should be done in moderation; mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea may have amazing effects on your skin and health in general, but you have to be cautious… When you get out of the water, again you feel somewhat unusual, as there is no typical cooling effect from evaporation of water from the skin, because such hyper-saline water does not evaporate easily. But I imagine when it does, you’ll be covered with a layer of salt (also be careful if you have any open wounds, I still have a little scar on my foot as I had a scratch while I was swimming there).

For this reason, you should pick up a spot where it is possible to wash in a fresh water after swimming in the Dead Sea. Public beaches at the Dead Sea usually have showers, as, for example, at the Ein Gedi oasis, where I swam for the first time (also naked, but away from the main crowd – the first part of the video, at dusk and night, is from there). But in a wild place like this, you have to make sure that there are some fresh water springs. Actually this was something I didn’t expect to find at the Dead Sea at all, but obviously this stretch of the shore was quite luscious and plants needed fresh water…

And indeed, there were not only underground fresh water sources, but some springs and pools as well!

Not all springs are filled with fresh water though, so you will need to ask around or simply observe which one to use. This pool looked really inviting, and the water was very refreshing.


And this is the view from the pool itself.

One time when I went to refresh in the pool, it was full of British tourists, none of whom was naked. They were trying to wash their clothes from the mud and apparently they got sand and small stones in their shorts, so I noted jokingly that was the reason why I didn’t wear any clothes (I even forgot about this problem with bathing clothed)… One guy seemed to be especially moved by this notion and he started smiling to me and I smiled back, but soon it became too obvious that he wanted a bit more than exchange of smiles. Then, his friends were leaving, but he said he needed to wash his boxers still, and as soon as they disappeared, he didn’t waste any moment and started approaching to me until I had to tell him that I was not interested. I was quite annoyed that he took my nudity as a signal that I was ready for a quickie ‘right here right now’. I found it ironic as well, because my local friend who told me about this place, also said that sometimes she got irritated by men from conservative religious background who sometimes come here and sit next to the pool and wait for naked girls to wash there, while their wives sit somewhere in the shade (fully covered, of course) playing with children; but obviously, some more secular western men are not any more tactful…

And speaking of mud, of course the Dead Sea is known for its mud with healing and rejuvenating properties, which is sold worldwide by cosmetic companies. Unfortunately, some of the methods that they use to get the minerals, salts and mud from the Dead Sea are among the reasons why it dries out (another major factor is diverting water from the Jordan River and smaller water sources for irrigation). So, probably the best way to use the precious mud with minimal impact on this unique place is to go there, apply it directly all over your body (don’t miss any spot ;-)) and then wash it off back in the sea.

I spent most of the day alone, quiet and relaxed, sitting under those bushes and enjoying amazing colors between the floating/bathing sessions.

But in the late afternoon, I got to know this nice fellow, one of the rare nowadays kind of true hippies. He said he came there regularly for a few weeks and stayed in this self-made tent. Well, with the summer weather in Israel you don’t really need much.

What really surprised me was that he didn’t even have much food, as he ate mostly what other people shared with him (as did I as well). Later on, another ‘crazy’ guy joined us; he was an American tourist traveling around with a huge Australian aborigine instrument. The hippy guy suggested to show me some other pools along the shore, but I was worried that I might miss the last bus. However, there were two guys with a dog who looked very friendly, and I asked them, if they could give me a lift, to which they agreed! BTW their dog made an unfortunate attempt to dive into the Dead Sea waters, ouch! It took her two times to realize that it wasn’t a good idea to get mouth and eyes in contact with the water… So, I went with the hippy to explore the pools; some of them had very strange colors, bright green or grayish-white, and the soil around them seemed quite unstable and soft like flour; it all looked unearthly, and I probably would have felt very insecure, if I had come there alone…

As we returned, it was getting dark quickly and I was happy to find that the two guys with the dog were still there… It turned out that in the best traditions of Eytan Fox’ movies they were a couple, a Palestinian arab and a jew (from Ireland) living in Jerusalem, but it sounded like there was no big drama in their lives unlike in the movies, and it was really touching to see it real. So in the end, not only did they bring me to a kibbutz where my friend lived, but they also took me from there to Jerusalem, let me stay at their place for few hours and helped me to get to a communal taxi that is much cheaper than the usual private one (which I hadn’t known existed), as I had my flight back early next morning. What a great trip it was, both in terms of places I saw and people I met!

keep Tambaba free!!!

There was a documentary about the best naturist beaches, and one of them was a piece of paradise in Brazil called Tambaba. One episode showed capoeiristas playing this beautiful martial art naked at that beach naked.

Then, there is also a naked surfing contest at Tambaba beach,
so needless to say, it’s among my dream destinations to visit! Well, apparently it’s not only in my top list, the World Congress of Naturism was held there in 2008.
But now, their website says that there is a threat from the local government and the people who run the naturist retreat there are struggling to keep Tambaba beach free! I mean free for those who want to enjoy that Eden-like place in the Eden fashion.
So I’m asking all my brazilian readers to go to the web site http://www.tambabatur.com.br/ and sign up to preserve the beach for naturists!
Here is another video about Tambaba in Portuguese.