My recent naturist holiday in Spain was blighted by appalling internet speeds, resulting in me not being able to do my usual ‘Postcards’ series. But I had a few naturist experiences that are still worth sharing.
The first features an older couple, in their 70s, on their first(!) naturist holiday.
I got speaking to them at one of the ‘chirinquitos’, the beach bars that dot the area. From Manchester, England, they’d been to the area the previous year and discovered the naturist beach by accident. They hadn’t used it, or felt brave enough to use it, but some research later they discovered that it wasn’t only a beach, but a whole naturist village. As the male of the couple has difficulty walking, they thought it might be too difficult for them to access, but discovered to their delight that the credo that ‘naturism is for everybody’ extended to apartments that were also disabled friendly, a sage bit of planning considering that there’s an older naturist crowd who use the place regularly.
Nervous about their first time, they found the nerves had disappeared within a few minutes. and they were enjoying the sun, spending time on the terrace of their apartment, and had made new naturist friends. ‘I think we imagined it might be for a younger crowd than us’, they beamed, ‘by which we mean people in their fifties, but while they’re here too, there’s plenty of people in their 70s and older! We don’t feel out of place at all. In fact, here in naturism we feel more part of the human race! At home, we’d experience a bit of age intolerance, young people who tut-tut in the supermarket queue because we can’t pack our bag as quickly as them, or count out our money a bit more slowly than they will use their debit card. There’s none of that in naturism. Everyone has time, a friendly word and a smile on their face. Our only disappointment is that we didn’t discover this fifty years ago!’
On my way back to the apartment I happened to pass Dolores, a naturist neighbour of ours, a wheelchair user since birth. She was born in the next village along the coast, a place that’s markedly hillier than the place we use. I know Dolores’ story well. She lives with her sister, who acts as her carer. Now in her forties, she says that moving to the naturist area was the best move she ever made as the area’s largely flat, enabling her to move around much more independently, and in the past ten years the council have been proactive in creating ramps or lowered footpaths enabling her, and other wheelchair or disability scooter users, to be an active part of the community.
She recommends the area to anyone who is naturist and disabled. ‘Our disabilities disappear within naturism. Here, we’re valued members of the community, active in the community, not something that should be invisible or pitied’.
(nb: Dolores’ words are paraphrased from a previous discussion with her, when we invited various neighbours to a barbecue. I didn’t speak to her about disabled access on my most recent trip to Spain).
The conclusion is that if you’re older, infirm or disabled, naturism is both do-able and welcoming.