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Offline MarkH

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Where there's nothing to do except take off your clothes
« on: November 08, 2011, 08:14:42 am »

Where there's nothing to do except take off your clothes

I've seen the face of naturism and it isn't pretty. Actually, I've seen the face and all the rest of the wrinkly body parts of naturism and it's frightening.
While the pursuit is open to everyone here at Zipolite, Mexico - any man or woman of any age has the option of taking all their clothes off and frolicking free on the beach - it only seems to appeal to a certain demographic. That demographic, from the brief survey I've done of the beach, is men aged 50 to 60.
This is a nudist beach but not everyone is participating. In fact, the vast percentage of beach-goers on this bright afternoon still have their modesty intact. Some are strolling along the warm sands fully clothed; others are sitting at the beachside cafes drinking cheladas - beer mixed with lime juice - and trying to avoid the sun.

It's a lazy, indolent scene broken only by the infrequent appearance of naked, middle-aged men.
There's no point complaining though - if you come to Zipolite, a tiny village on the far south coast of Mexico, you should know what you're in for.
An old-school hippie hang-out, it's one of only two nudist beaches in the country and while most visitors are here for the laid-back vibe and beautiful scenery, there are always those who come to enjoy its lax clothing laws - older men, mostly.
There's no getting away from them. The town is tiny. Both its greatest asset and most worrying fault is there really is nothing to do. The population hovers about the 1000 mark.
Puerto Escondido, a busy port town, might be only an hour up the road but it feels like another world.
There, touts patrol the neighbouring beaches peddling snorkelling trips and snacks but there's none of that in Zipolite.
You can't go swimming because the currents are too dangerous. There are no monuments to look at or museums to visit. It's just sand and sun.
There is, quite literally, nothing to do. Except maybe take your clothes off and frolic. And it actually makes a nice change.
Zipolite has one road, which splits the beachside bungalows from the shops and restaurants that serve them. You rarely see anyone on it - the occasional backpacker, sometimes a stray dog. The street carries the same sense of droopy-eyed indifference in which the rest of the town revels.
In such a small place, the same people inevitably keep popping up. There's a local guy, Javier, who reckons he's a property developer, although he doesn't look like any property developer I've ever seen, with his tattered cap pulled low as he rolls cigarettes at the town's only decent bar. He's there every night, smoking and chatting to the tattooed surfer dudes who run the place.
There's the American girl who does topless yoga on the beach every morning. She's always there on the soft sand, bending and stretching, soaking up a few rays and being Zen.
There are a couple of local girls who can usually be found at the same bar as Javier, relieving their small-town boredom with a couple of beers. They're probably under age but no one seems to care. No one seems to care about much of anything, really.
The beachside restaurants - most of which are palapas, simple huts with thatched roofs - set up their tables and chairs right on the sand. They cook your food when they get around to cooking your food. Quesadillas can take an hour; sometimes they take five minutes. You could get annoyed but why? What else is there to do?
The east end of the beach is where the locals live, in simple houses looking over blue waters. In the middle is where the tourists hang out and the palapas serve their fresh coconuts. Down past a rocky outcrop, at the far west end of the beach, is where the naturists reside, a place of bare flesh and little piles of clothes on the sand.
The accommodation is what real estate agents would optimistically call "rustic". Most bungalows have polished concrete floors, walls that don't quite reach the ceiling and ragged mosquito nets covering the beds. Hammocks swing from the patios outside; there's not a sound but the wind in the trees and the buzzing of insects.
Days ooze by as you lie around reading books or sipping beers or doing topless yoga down at the beach. Zipolite's hippie past comes back to haunt you sometimes, through brief snatches of Bob Marley tunes coming from a palapa or wafts of purple haze coming from a bungalow.
The locals keep to themselves mostly and the tourists do the same, rarely moving out of their bubble of main street and beach.
You could search for some activity, something culturally enlightening, something to break the small-town reverie. But there's no need. Just relax. Maybe go for a walk. Lie on the beach. Clothing optional, of course.

Study nature; love nature; stay close to nature. It will never fail you. -Frank Lloyd Wright


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Re: Where there's nothing to do except take off your clothes
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2011, 05:28:26 am »
Hmm obviously not a naturist themselves writing that editorial. Apart from the frustrating tone about naturists from the writer, it seems like it's the place to go. I love the quote "Quesadillas can take an hour; sometimes they take five minutes. You could get annoyed but why? What else is there to do?"