Also in 2019, the Westfälische Naturisten-Tage (WNT) [en: Westphalian Naturist Days] will again be the largest naturist event, which lasts several days, in western Münsterland and its surroundings up to the Teutoburger Wald Forest is the destination of 9 consecutive days of hikes in the buff, nude cycling tours and other naturist activities such as a nude visit to the Dülmen Ponies. Regional daily newspaper Halterner Zeitung had already prepared its readers in advance for the fact, that again more nude hikers and other active naturists will be on their way in the surroundings. In Westphalia, naturist days are meanwhile commonplace. Encounters with dressed people are as normal, as it would be, when we would be dressed. We get a lot of thumbs up!
The weather initially welcomed the naturists with violent gusts of wind, drizzle and showers as well as cool temperatures. Some tested their physical robustness in the rain, others the protective effect of their rain jackets. Results: The tolerance of the unclad human body against the cooling effect of wind and rain can be astonishingly high, but is quite different in individual cases. One was content with an umbrella and remained undressed until the end, but with shoes, another went barefoot and undressed, then dried himself under the last bridge with a t-shirt and put on a warming jacket. Two of us walked barefoot, while another, who otherwise likes to walk barefoot, stayed in shoes due to concern to get cold feet on the soaked floor – only to find out later, that he now had cold feet, because his shoes and socks were soaked from rain in the meantime.
Don’t worry: From now on, it's improving: A little warmer every day!
In fact, the late summer weather increased to the announced 32°C on the final Sunday, after the previous days had already offered midsummer weather conditions with blue skies. So, the initial clouds and cool winds were quickly forgotten.
The increased appearance of naturists in forests and fields triggered a benevolent interest of the population in Münsterland – the naturist sports enthusiasts had numerous encounters with locals and were able to answer many frequently asked questions: "Is that really allowed? – Of course! Nature is not forbidden anywhere. | Aren't you cold – Nope, not at all! Twice, however, uninformed fellow citizens, who obviously couldn't classify hiking in the buff properly, called the police. The police officers stated briefly and succinctly, that we are just nude hikers and wished us to still have a nice hike. It is a pity, that there are still people suffering from their own bad fantasies, who distract the police with their unnecessary calls from more important police operations.
The local gastronomy offered good Münsterland cuisine to the hungry naturists after their ventures, which the hikers got as reward for hikes from 15 to 19 km long, the cyclists for tours about 50 km long. The active naturists went from many German states, the Netherlands, and France. They stayed partly on camping sites, partly in hotels, guesthouses, or holiday apartments. On some of the WNT days, more than 30 participants gathered for nudevents, i.e. activities in the nude. They hope, that WNT will remain a permanent institution in the naturist annual calendar of naktivitities.
The Westphalian Beginning of May is a small spring preview of the “Westfälische Naturisten Tage” [en: “Westphalian Naturist Days”] in summer, which usually takes place during 9 consecutive days. Hiking in the buff is always a substantial part ot these naktivities. Also, nude cycling, swimming in the nude, and other naktivities are often on schedule.
► 1 May: Hiking or biking near Lintel
The Westphalian beginning of May 2019 began cool at 9°C, light wind around 10 km/h and closed cloud cover. Nevertheless, 17 naturists wanted to move in nature. So, 8 started by bike and 9 on foot.
While we waited dressed at the starting place due to these weather conditions, about 50 people passed by on bicycles. Since everyone had to pass through a bottleneck provided by a small gate in a fence, there was a traffic jam due to the size of this group. A female cyclist approached us and asked, if we were the nude hikers. When we confirmed this, she reacted happily – she and some of the group then shouted on their leave: “Have a good one!”. This was further evidence that our naturist lifestyle has arrived in society as a normal aspect of everyday life.
After approx. hiking 3 km on foot resp. 10 km on bycicle, we all were warm enough, to get rid of our clothes. In keeping with this, the wind had calmed down and the clouds had made way for the sun's rays – a beautiful beginning of May with sunshine and about 16°C air temperature.
Residents, car drivers, and excursionists on foot and often by bicycle returned our greetings, were pleased, or greeted us themselves at first. The most frequent remarks were: “Aren't you cold?” and “Oops! Barefoot, too!”. Two ladies, who went for a walk in the woods with their wheeled walkers on this beautiful afternoon returned our greetings. Then, one of them shouted to the other: “I used to do naturism, too". Maybe, we should initiate a nude wheeled walk?
When the hikers passed the restaurant Lintels Kotten, where we sat down afterwards, in the buff about 1 km before their destination, many guests had their experience of the day and reacted joyfully active: Souvenir photos taken by some of the guests are a gladly accepted tool to make our nude life-style further known.
► 2 May: Nude hiking in the water catchment area Hohe Ward
The weather forecast – a bit cooler, windier, and cloudier than the day before – had deterred some of the hikers. The 10 remaining naturists were not discouraged, started with winds of 15 km/h, closed cloud cover and 11°C air. Soon, they were rewarded with sun and rising temperatures, got rid of their clothes and could enjoy the day.
Shortly before the announced arrival of a rain front, the group reached their hiking destination – instead of rain, however, the front delivered only dark clouds and a few drops.
The encounters with clothed people were relaxed and friendly as usual. We were able to answer the witty question “Are motto days just taking place?” with a smile: “Yes, living active and as naturists is our style of life.”
Later, when sitting down in the restaurant Zur Prinzenbrücke with attentive service and a good offer of food and drinks, we could let the beautiful day end.
Meanwhile, a light rain shower actually fell – but far too little to compensate significantly for the precipitation deficit since 2018 and to save the currently fresh, strong green in the water catchment area Hohe Ward over the summer.
► 3 May: Clothed hike in the Baumberge Mountains
Today, the announced flow of polar cold air was serious: A nasty wind blew persistently, and the measured 9°C air temperature was felt to be 4°C cold. Dressed, we still hiked 17 km and about 400 meters difference in altitude in the Baumberge Mountains near Nottuln.
The Baumberge Mountains […] a kind of wedge, especially between the rivers Rhine and Ems. Due to their proximity to the sea, the mountain range contributes to the catchment areas of some rivers. The Hagenbach Creek and the Stever River flowing to the south are tributaries of the Lippe River, which in turn belongs to the Rhine River. The Münstersche Aa flowing to the east belongs to the Ems River system. The Vechte Creek, which rises near Darfeld at the foot of the Baumberge and flows northwest in direction to the Netherlands, forms its own small river system with the Dinkel Creek. The westbound Berkel Creek flows into the Dutch IJssel.
– Translated cit. from: de.wikipedia.org
Single sunbeams cheered up our mood and even warmed us physically for a short time. Nevertheless, the wind remained impressive. In the beer garden at the Longinus Tower, a few climate testers sat outside in front of a cold beer. We preferred to walk on quickly and warmed up afterwards with hot drinks and food at the Hotel-Gasthaus Stevertal.
► 4 May: Breakfast buffet and ninepins in the nude
20 naturists met at the restaurant Zum neuen Herd for breakfast buffet, for chatting and afterwards for a sporting event on a ninepins alley.
It was still cold outside. Through the windows, we could see bushes, trees, and garden umbrellas moved by the cold wind, rain showers enriched the weather spectrum. Even the dog of the house, who was on the way in the yard before, got too much and hid himself.
We gave up our plan to do a short hike of about 10 km afterwards and preferred to continue our conversation with an improvised coffee gossip at a warm oven.
All reports Westphalia 2019
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