Nudie Campsite. Saturday. Around lunchtime: I’m well into the first full day of my naturist camping experience in the South of Spain. I’ve graduated from wrapping a towel or long shirt around me, to walking around with the shirt open, with nothing underneath it except my pelt. I had already had a snigger to myself at the thought of all the naked ageing Germans mincing around the supermarket in the nip with a basket, so heading in the direction of the campsite shop practically in the nip myself was a little strange.
In we swept, practically as naked as the day we were born, and stopped short. Of the four people who were in the little supermarket (a generous word for a maze of shelves selling flip-flops and stew-in-a-can side by side) including the shop assistant, were more or less fully clothed. ‘Abort, abort’ I whispered out of the corner of my mouth, and we hurriedly went about covering up our bits with the shirts and sarongs that we’d been practically dragging behind us mere moments earlier. Even though they warn you when you check in that there are NO CLOTHES ALLOWED, I guess it doesn’t apply when your bare arse might be brushing off the sliced pans.
Even though I was told on the phone, and on arrival at El Portus about the no clothes rule, I was glad to discover that nobody was going to rip the clothes from my back if I dared to cover up while on site. Although I’ve been to the naturist beach in Vera lots of times by now, I’m still only about 60 % comfortable with the whole naked thing, mostly because I wouldn’t want to look at me naked, so why would anyone else want to? But I suspect that anyone who is truly a naturist never really thinks about anyone looking at them. It’s more about the relaxation and freedom of simply not wearing clothes. While I can appreciate the absolute joy of not having to remove a swimsuit magician-style behind a towel when you emerge, arse full of sand, from the ocean, I’m still not sure I’m totally convinced. I can appreciate someone wanting to be at one with nature and really rough it, but when people are cooking in MICROWAVES and watching TELEVISION while camping in the nude….they’re hardly at one with nature.
Bottom (tee-hee) line, going starkers can be very relaxing, very handy, and produces a line-free tan, but I’m not sure if I would ever be comfortable sitting eating my dinner in the nude, or going for an evening stroll. And can you imagine a naked disco? Black eyes ahoy!
In saying all that, I was very sad to be leaving El Portus after only 2 days. It is a supremely relaxing place (with the exception of our wealthier and naked Tai Chi-loving neighbours in a nearby hired cabin, who appeared to require 45 minutes of hammering to make their dinner, and entertained themselves by playing Stairway to Heaven on a recorder. Yes, a recorder)
El Portus also boasts really clean facilities, and a small, stony, yet absolutely amazing beach, with crystal clear, super-deep water perfect for snorkeling and diving. I would return just for the beach and the simple bliss of cooking burgers on a 10 euro BBQ and eating them by torchlight….in a sweatshirt. Hey, I was a bit cold!