Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Thailand 2019 - Barefeet Naturist Resort, Bangkok

Col and I arrived in Bangkok on Monday evening after a 12 hour direct flight from Auckland. This 3 1/2 week holiday has been planned so we can attend NATCON8, the Naturist Association on Thailand's annual conference. Exiting from the plane at 8.30pm was like entering a sauna!

We stayed the first night in a hotel near the airport called 'At Residence' which served us well although I didnt get much sleep. It was tolerable overnight with the aircon on.
Next morning we went by taxi to Barefeet Naturist Resort, to the north-east of Bangkok city centre. The driver understandably hadn't heard of it, but a quick entry of the address into Google maps on his phone and we were on our way.
Well we thought we were until a few km out we got stuck in traffic. The 25km (40 minute drive) took us 1 3/4 hours! We did make it eventually and were greeted by our hosts Gregers and Dao who showed us to our room. At last we could get our gear off thank goodness.
Barefeet has been developed from two properties which are linked by a walkway behind a separate property between them. Our room was upstairs in the older section, which also housed a large kitchen where breakfast is served. There is also a small plunge pool in this area. Our room was upstairs with a wide breezeway outside the room.
The newer section on the other property has a larger pool, bar and dining area and sunloungers around the pool as well as a sauna, hot tub and gym.
We spent the day trying to stay cool - first in the main pool, but it was more like a bath. The smaller pool was shaded by trees so was not as warm but way more refreshing in the heat. The air temperature today reached 38 degrees with 30% humidity but in the cooler pool it was tolerable - just!!
We are staying here until Friday when we go by bus to the resort hosting the conference. Although not a naturist resort, Gregers said the owners are keen to host the event. I will report back from the conference once we get there.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Northland Safari

A group of up to 16 motorhomes took part in our recent naturist camping safari to the tip of the North Island of New Zealand. The weather for the whole safari was perfect, with only a couple of showery afternoons during the whole month. All weekend activities were designed to be at naturist venues.
The first weekend was at Opoutere Beach, a recognised naturist beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. The members going on the safari were joined by several other campers, who could only stay for the one weekend - a total of 30 camping for the weekend.


We swam, fished (some caught some small kahawai), walked along the beach and enjoyed a beautiful hot sunny weekend at this idyllic spot. Some members were even seen naked in water up to their bums in the estuary spotting stingrays.
















We had the usual happy hour and shared a communal meal on the Saturday night.
On Monday, we left Opoutere and spent a night at Ray's Rest, a popular free camping spot on the Firth of Thames, which is a well known wading-bird area.
Then it was the trip through Auckland - something nobody enjoys due to the heavy traffic, but we all negotiated it without incident and found our campsite for the next few nights at Wenderholm Regional Park, just north of Orewa. Here some of us cycled around the park while others climbed up and over a steep bluff with great views over the Puhoi River.

On the way to our next stop at Port Albert on the Kaipara Harbour, a visit to the historic Puhoi Pub, museum and cheese factory was an interesting side trip. At Port Albert, some of the group tried fishing off the old wharf with limited success (although one member did catch a small shark) while others bought fish and chips for dinner from the local shop at the top of the hill and got wet for their efforts as a heavy shower passed over just as happy hour ended.
Already one week had passed so it was another naturist venue for the weekend - Uretiti Beach DOC (Department of Conservation) campsite. This is adjacent to a recognised naturist beach - textiles to the left, naturists to the right! At this campsite, we were joined by a small contingent of Northland Naturists and up to 30 of us gathered for happy hour over the weekend.
One local member put out his long line and caught 3 good sized snapper which he cooked on the BBQ for everyone to sample - yum! We played Kubb and petanque on the beach which was a different experience as the balls and sticks wouldn't bounce on the soft sand!
Heading further north to Otamure Bay at Whananaki North, we stayed in the DOC camp. A 5-minute stepped walk up and over a bluff led to the secluded Tauwhara Bay. What a gem! Several of us enjoyed the peaceful scenic little bay and some had a swim.

Although some tried to catch a fish for dinner, none took the bait. Some of us also walked along the longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere to the other side of the estuary at Whananaki South.



































Then on to historic Russell in the Bay of Islands. We stayed in the Russell Top 10 camp ground - a bit of luxury here, like electricity and washing machines! While some caught up with their laundry, others went sightseeing on the beautiful Bay of Islands, others walked down the hill to the covenant-protected naturist beach at Waitata (Donkey) Bay. We spent a peaceful day at this small secluded bay lapping up the sun and swimming in the calm, warm water.




The next day, seven of us cycled part of the coast to coast cycleway from Opua to Kawakawa and back - about 25 km in total.









Our next weekend was to include a naturist boat trip to some secluded bays in the Bay of Islands, but unfortunately, our skipper wasn't well so we couldn't go. Although a disappointment, our hosts were great and allowed us to camp in a secluded paddock on their farm where we based ourselves for three nights. This gave us ample time to go sightseeing and cycle around the Kerikeri region. Others tested their skill at Kubb and petanque on a different surface - long, springy kikuya grass! This was challenging, especially after the sand at Uretiti.


The next stop was at the DOC camp at Maitai Bay on the Karikari Peninsula. Here there were two beaches separated by a small headland. As there were few people around at this time of the year, we almost had both beaches to ourselves, and some of the more adventurous walked to the far end of each bay. The water was inviting and calm so several of us went for a swim here as well.





Then to the destination for this trip - the northernmost camp site of the North Island of New Zealand - Spirits Bay. What an amazing place this was. A long curved bay stretched out before us with pink sand made up of small shell fragments. At the end where the DOC camp was, there were a couple of sheltered coves where some of us spent the day, swimming and trying for those elusive fish. A neighbour took pity on us and gave us a large kahawai which we cooked on the BBQ and shared for happy hour. I got a bee sting on my foot, which curtailed my walks along the beach a little, but others walked to the next bay, far away in the distance, while others explore the small historic cemetery and cannon mounted high on a hill nearby. Before visiting Spirits Bay, some of the group visited Cape Reinga lighthouse, which we could just see in the distance from Spirits Bay.
It was finally time to head south again. An overnight stop at Rarawa DOC camp where one member tried to catch a fish with toast, while others walked to the beach to try their luck, which wasn't successful unfortunately.









Another highlight of the trip was the weekend visit to a naturist homestay and emu farm at Waiharara with great hosts. Some cycled to the beach, some played petanque, some swam in the estuary. We learnt about motorbikes, emus, emu oil and met the tame emu, Carol. A small craft stall run by he hosts' daughter allowed us to purchase several home made craft items and some exclusive emu oil.
This visit was topped off with a communal happy hour and meal, with the meat being cooked on a parilla over hot coals.

Reluctantly it was time to leave here and head to Kaikohe, where we visited the nearby coloured, healing Ngawha natural springs. The pools ranged from cool to super hot! Most of us chose the  42 degree C pool, with black particles in the water.

Our final night together was at the lovely Kai Iwi Lakes on the west coast. On the way here, we passed through some historic towns and amazing scenery. Two couples visited the Wairere Boulders and completed a walk to these unusual geological formations.
We stopped off to see the largest kauri tree in NZ, Tane Mahuta in the Waipoua Forest, which is threatened with kauri die-back disease. We could see many remnants of dead kauri in the forest and just hope that the quarantine measures in place before entry to this magnificent tree will save it and others from this devastating disease.

So ended a fantastic month-long safari up one coast and back down the other of New Zealand's far north. The tour was very successful and everyone certainly enjoyed it. We all made new friendships and everyone will, I am sure, remember this experience for many years to come.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Beach day

We had a great day at the beach over the weekend. The weather was hot (31 deg C) and sunny, with a cooling breeze, and the water was warm. The surf had luckily calmed down a bit from the wild swells of the past week to be perfect for swimming and boogie boarding.


Everyone had more than one swim. Someone tried for a fish without success, others boogie boarded between relaxing on the beach. Having two families come along was great and the kids certainly enjoyed a day at the beach with us.
Apart from a few passersby, we had the beach to ourselves and all present indicated that they would like to have other outings to the beach in future. Watch this space...

Saturday, January 19, 2019

PICNIC AND PARKOVER IN TAURANGA


We had another great event at a private property in Pyes Pa, Tauranga last week. There were over 40 people at the event, with 16 campervans/tents staying for the weekend.
The weather was hot, hot, hot except for spells on the Sunday morning when the sun disappeared, so the shade offered by the huge trees on the property was most welcome.
After dinner on Friday night we sat around the fire even though it was still quite warm. But there is nothing like a fire to encourage a friendly atmosphere. With guests from all over the North Island (as far south as Wellington) and one from Blenheim in the South Island, there were plenty of new friendships to be made.

On Saturday, we welcomed a group of life art artists and a few of our own, who sketched some of our great models. It was great to see people lining up to be drawn. The art group are always looking for models so were very pleased that we could help out.
While that was going on, we were ‘entertained’ by another artist, Julia, who was needing groups of naked people to be photographed for her creation based on the poem Dante’s Inferno, which details Dante's journey through the nine circles of Hell. Most of the people he meets in Hell are naked for some reason! 
Our models had to act out various scenes such as being a petrified tree, tormented by hell, a harpie (a ravenous, filthy monster having a woman's head and a bird's body), a group line-up, a flesh eating monster and many other poses which will form the basis of Julia’s artwork.
During the afternoon, we played Kubb or petanque or enjoyed relaxing and socialising until happy hour. Mark brought out some bubble-making equipment which we had fun playing with.
When Julia left, she generously left us with a box of beer and four bottles of wine as a thank you, to share among ourselves. As we had no room in our frig, I suggested that everyone take a few bottles to put in their frigs to chill it for happy hour. When happy hour came, the beer and wine came out to the gazebo already chilled for everyone to share. 
Marie made six members relaxed and happy with one of her massages – well done Marie to do six on the trot during the afternoon!
A BYO shared BBQ followed happy hour and then we all sat around the fire until it was dark. Unfortunately, the temperature dropped, and it was clothes-on (lots of them) while we watched the movie, ‘The Woman in Gold’. It was a good story but spoilt due to not being able to read some of the sub-titles translating the German.
Just as the movie finished, it started to drizzle. We just had time to get the film gear packed away before it set in overnight.
Next morning, Col, our naked chef, cooked a breakfast of hash browns, baked beans, bacon and eggs for everyone. After morning tea, some of the group packed up and left, but the rest of us stayed for the afternoon as the weather had cleared. It was sad to pack up on another great outing for the group.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Christmas party 2018

What a great turnout for our Christmas party held recently in Tauranga. We had 52 keen, friendly, sociable naturists come along and spend a rare clear and sunny day soaking in the warm pool. Being nearly the longest day, it was daylight until it was time to go home at 9pm.
Our hosts put on a special Christmas feast of baked ham, corned beef, salads, trifle and fresh fruit salad. Two members baked Christmas cakes - one a traditional fruit cake and the other a German Stollen Christmas cake.


All members received a small Christmas gift from Santa's helpers - the Christmas angel and a reindeer. A special raffle with a Christmas theme was well supported by all present.
Our summer programme has now kicked in and is full of great events. To join in, send an email with a few details about yourself to bopnaturists@gmail.com.
As long as you abide by the naturist philosophy, you are welcome to join and we look forward to meeting you.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

BOP Naturists celebrate 1000 members worldwide!


What an awesome party!! 

How else can I describe it! What a great time we had at Katikati Naturist Park for our annual games weekend and 1000th member party (membership is now at 1100)! Even the weather Gods looked down on us kindly. I had been watching the forecast for 10 days before the event and every day it changed – mainly for the worse, but on the day, it was perfect. 

It was good to see Mike Moore, editor of the gonatural magazine, come along and join in the fun. He has written an article about the group for the December issue of the magazine which will be out next week. Check this website after Wednesday 7th December. https://www.gonatural.co.nz/gonatural-magazine

We played mini-golf and Kubb outside in the sun and gathered inside for darts and pool. Some also tried Wii 10-pin bowling. Nearly 70 members gathered in the sun for happy hour on the Saturday before moving to the gazebo for an amazing pot luck dinner.
Then the band arrived, and the costumes came out. Everyone got into the theme of ‘Rio Carnival’ (including Allie from the band!) with some amazing colourful costumes. The party atmosphere started on the band’s first beat and so we partied and partied and partied for 3 hours solid. I have never seen such a great party atmosphere. Everyone was happy, energetic and just having a good time. By the time the band had to leave, we were gagging for more!

Next morning, we had a champagne breakfast, cooked by our naked chefs. After morning tea, we held a 2-minute silence for Armistice Day, then everyone received a small gift just for coming along and making the weekend such a success.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Mid-winter Polar Plunge

It was a fabulous winters day - sunny, clear skies, no wind - OK the air was a bit cool at times (when the sun disappeared) and the pool a chilly 12 degrees Celsius, for the annual Polar Bare Plunge at Katikati Naturist Park.
About 20 keen people braved the pool, some going in for more than one dip, then warmed up in the spa or sauna with a few nips of mulled wine and some warm savouries.
It was great to see some new members getting into the action and enjoying the friendliness of other more seasoned members of the group.
After they had all warmed up, we were joined by the others for happy hour, followed by a shared pot-luck dinner. Then a large group of us settled down in the rec room to watch the All Blacks beat France live on Sky TV. More savouries were served at half time, which everyone appreciated.