Playa Sa Canova, Mallorca
This was the game-changer.
With my exceptionally short, impulsive, life-changing naked run in the Algarve I had discovered naked running. The following timed 5k naked run explored and confirmed how my body reacted to the total liberation of the psyche. Now, a trip to Mallorca was going to be my first encounter with organised social naturism and my first (of hopefully many) overseas holidays designed specifically around my nascent naked running hobby.
I set the specialist travel agency Chalfont with the task: find me social naturism accommodation that accepted single men and was located adjacent to a substantial stretch of naturist beach (I wanted a pure naturist experience. No car. Walking only. And extremely easy access to a barefoot running-friendly beach).
The recommended site was in the less developed north eastern corner of Mallorca, on the edge of Playa Sa Canova between Urbanitzacio s’Estanyol and Son Sera de Marina. Playa Sa Canova is one of Mallorca’s certified naturist beaches.
What a magical site! Nearly two kilometres of soft sand on a large bay of flat Mediterranean sea of only one meter depth. Warm and inviting. Not invigorating like the wavy, tidal Atlantic. More like a large, flat communal bath.
After using the first day to settle in, and adjust, to an entirely alien new environment I woke early at sunrise of the second day and jogged down to the beach in my skimpy running shorts and shoes.
The beach was nearly deserted, but not completely empty at that hour. There were a couple of campers who had spent the night and a single man, who I later labelled ‘the shark’. I removed my shorts and shoes, started my music player and head off.
What was odd about the initial (eastern) stretch of the beach was a huge quantity of rotting sea thistle collected in the corner of the bay. I thought this would be extremely painful in bare feet. But to my surprise the rotting thistle was unbelievably soft and spongy. A pleasure to run on and protection from the odd bit of shingle.
I often have trouble adapting and adjusting to new environments. Running naked in a new location adds so many new elements of physical and emotional reaction as a result of new surroundings. A battle goes through my head: ‘wow, this is cool’, ‘I love this‘, ‘how exhilarating‘ vs. ‘shit, am I being judged?’, ‘did that person look at me funny?’, ‘is that woman offended?’, ‘what happens if my foot lands inappropriately on that pebble?’, ‘OUCH!’. So, the first run in a new location is a mix of trepidation and joy. I give up sooner and am more cautious.
It is really the second run, in this case the following morning (the same time, the same routine), when I know the site, the atmosphere, the geography and its energy when I feel comfortable in my surroundings. That’s when I let it all rip. In this case I ran for twice as far – a longer distance, repeated three times. I was the subject of many stares and I noticed in the corner of my eye sunbathers and walkers taking my picture as I passed them. While it is a mixed naturist beach (about 50% nude, 50% clothed), and there are morning walkers from the nearby villages, naked running must not be de rigeur!
I didn’t care. The confidence I feel in my gut is extraordinary at these moments. I feel like I’m flying. I sprint. I slow down. I leap through the air with joy (not as camp or as odd as it sounds!). (Eventually) I couldn’t care less about how I look. I didn’t want to stop.
But I do stop. My body is not particularly happy running in the morning before my joints and muscles are truly awake and warmed up. So, I do have to stop. Then it is time for a delicious naked swim in the gorgeous bay and a few hours of sunbathing. This is bliss.
This routine was repeated four times over a five day period. On the final day I was joined just after my run and swim by a man who proceeded to do a 1 hour of naked yoga practice right on the moist sand. It was a beautiful sight to witness. Better than any naturist travel brochure. It was real. And authentic.
Returning to the UK from this 5-day naked running holiday I felt inspired. Mallorca was the spark that created this blog. I realised I had something to say. For the first time in my life I had a hobby. For the first time I had a voice. For the first time I had a body that experienced non-sexual physical joy. Bring on Naked Running!
Naked Run Facts
Date: 15-20 July 2015 (four individual runs)
Location: Playa Sa Canova, near Son Serra Marina, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Time of Day: between 07:00 and 08:00, depending on the day
Air Temperature: 25c (relatively high humidity)
Conditions: blue sky, light wind
Run Length: varied between 3k and 8k, depending on the day
Duration: varied with length of run
Barefoot or Shoes: barefoot
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