My Pre-Teen son lives by a code of ideas and directives (A Decade of Wisdom and here). It is not a lengthy list, but nonetheless, it is definitive. One of his most formidable edicts is Never Sit on the Couch at a Nudist Colony (think about it). Which I suppose means if he ever has occasion to find himself at a nudist colony, he will have to spend his time there standing. However, to my surprise, on our recent trip to Puerto Rico, this particular “code” was sorely tested.
One day, while on Palomino Island off the coast of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Pre-Teen and I decided to go hiking in the hills above the beaches. We had been hiking trails for some time when we came upon a sign:
Intrigued, Pre- Teen quickly headed off on the trail, which was all downhill. I was less enthusiastic being that what goes down must come back up again. But as I could see there was no stopping Pre-Teen, I was forced to follow him (or risk having to explain to my husband why Teen was going home an only child).
When we got to the bottom of the hill, right where the trail opened out onto a beach entrance we saw this:
But, we also saw this!
Ok, possibly this would have been a good time to turn around, but I was hot, the water looked inviting and duh, we were just plain curious (and yes, I know how that all worked out for the cat).
We found ourselves completely alone on a beautiful, secluded and yes, nude beach. We began to explore.
Me: “Hey, Pre-Teen, go lay on one of the lounge chairs and let me take your picture.”
Pre-Teen: “What? No way!!”
Me: “Why not?”
Pre-Teen: “Mom! You know – Never Sit on a Couch at a Nudist Colony!!!”
Me: “Yeah, So?”
Pre-Teen: “Well, the same goes for Never Lay on a Lounge Chair at a Nudist Beach!”
However, standing next to the lounge chair was apparently ok (for a short amount of time only and not too close):
As we explored the beach we came upon the yellow marker indicating the “best ocean access”. Apparently if you are going to swim with your what-nots flapping in the wind, you have to look for the safest, least abrasive, place to do it.
I realized at that moment, I had to swim at the nudist beach. If I had a bucket list, surely that would be on it! However, not really trusting how my girly parts would behave in a free-to-be-you-and-me atmosphere, and seeing the look of horror on Pre-Teen’s face when I revealed my plans, I swam in my bathing suit. As for Pre-Teen, well apparently Never Swim in the Water at a Nudist Beach was another addendum to his rule – he watched at a safe distance from the beach.
Upon exiting the water, we saw a (clothed) man striding towards us. When he reached us, he introduced himself as “Brian”, explained he was the caretaker of Hidden Beach Cove, and welcomed us to stay as long as we liked. As we were about to walk away, Brian added, while digging in his pants pocket,
“Hey, you want me to show you what is so special about this beach?”
Being this was a nude beach, Pre-Teen and I were both more than a little worried what exactly Brian was about to pull out of his pants pocket. But thankfully when he whipped his hand back out, he was only holding these,
A sea-glass “ring” and sea urchin skeleton. Apparently, gems like these commonly wash up on this particular beach.
Brain then excused himself to retire to his “lean to”,
and emerged (phew) still clothed, although barely, I am pretty sure for our benefit.
We went back to exploring; now searching for treasures like the ones Brian had showed us (although dubious about the whole sea-glass ring thing, I decided not to question a man with no tan lines). And Brian set to work grooming his beach.
After a while, we decided best not to tempt fate, or rather naked sunbathers sure to arrive soon. Upon our departure, knowing we had been unsuccessful in our search for treasures, Brian presented us with a sea-glass ring and sea urchin skeleton to take with us – which more than made up for the random flashes of his great white (well, tan actually) shark we had been treated to every time he bent down to pick up a rock or batch of seaweed.
We thanked him openly for his generosity and secretly for his attempted modesty.
As we headed back up the trail leaving Hidden Beach Cove, we looked back to see Brian still hard at work on his island paradise, just waiting for the moment he could at last rip off his encumbering piece of restrictive nylon. At least, thanks to Brian, we had a few pieces of paradise to take with us and Pre-teen and I can now say we “hung out” at a nude beach…
even if our ‘hoo haws’ did not…
For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!