For most people, the thought of a couple people wandering nude around a beautiful garden will probably have you picturing Adam and Eve (fig leaves and all)! The idea of hanging out in the Garden of Eden — a paradise on earth — getting an all-over tan, eating apples and chatting to snakes doesn’t sound too bad to me. And while I don’t condone the pinching of people’s organs in their sleep, or the manufacture of new humans from that stolen genetic material, I am particularly happy to know that the holy book of one of the biggest religions on earth kicks off with a description of the first people by saying they “were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
So for the latest nude bushwalk I though what better place to revisit than that stunning swimming hole at Linden known as Paradise.
Running up to the walk it seemed others agreed, with about eight people signing up, but then a cool change blew through, leaving us with overcast skies that seriously looked to be threatening rain.
The end result was there were only four of us brave (or stupid) enough to push on. We met up at Linden Station, squeezed into one car, and set off for Caleys Repulse.
A short walk along a fire trail took us to the start of our track, where a big rocky slab offered up a view of the valley below. I gave the others the option of whether they wanted to wuss out, but they were still keen, so we striped off and began the walk downhill in the buff.
Interestingly, the cloud cover seemed to have kept conditions pretty mild, and we weren’t cold at all. The track, being pretty well used now, meant no run-ins with spiky scrub. And in no time we were down into the valley where there seemed to be a profusion of bottlebrushes in flower. (Is it just me, but I can’t recall seeing many in the Blue Mountains, outside of suburban gardens.)
Soon enough we were at our destination. One of the things I love about Paradise is how the track takes you onto a rock outcrop above it, so you’re first sight is of the whole pool and beach sprawled out below you.
The cool weather made us all a little reticent about having a swim, so we lay back on the sand instead, relaxing to the sounds of the waterfall and nearby birds.
Then May offered up the chance of a nude yoga session, which sounded like great fun (even to someone as inflexible and lazy as me).
For the next half-hour or so we went through our paces, posing, breathing, meditating and generally relaxing. I struggled with the fire breathing, and pretty much all the poses, but still felt quite renewed by the whole process.
Finally, having worked on mind, body and spirit, we turned to the more fundamental element of any trip to Paradise… the traditional leap from the cliffs into the deep pool.
While it had warmed up a bit, we decided a fire would be a good idea for after the swim, so we lit a small campfire before walking up and over the waterfall to the best jumping spot.
In the end everyone jumped — without any ill effects — although May suffered a sore bum from a dodgy landing. Mary and Mick enjoyed it so much they went up for a second leap!
Back around the fire we enjoyed cooking jaffles for lunch and sipping on herbal tea, both of which warmed us up from the inside.
Eventually it was time to bid Paradise farewell, so we buried the remains of the fire, did a quick collection of some bits of rubbish left by less considerate groups, and began the walk out.
Perhaps it was the humidity, but I actually felt quite hot by the end of the climb back up the hill.
Back on the ridge-top it was time to get dressed again. This is always my least-favourite part of these trips, when you have to return to ordinary life.
While the weather was far from heavenly, the company made up for it, and we certainly didn’t regret ignoring the poor weather and pressing on with the trip.