Ah, the nude beach story. A classic. In fact this is the only anecdote on this site that has been written about before, back on my old holiday blog from my trip around the former Yugoslavia in 2007. This seems like a more natural home for it as it is a true classic McCannecdote so I’m going to give it a reboot as is popular these days, and this time WITH PICTURES!

I had been travelling for 2 1/2 weeks across Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia, on a group trip with 11 Aussies and Kiwis. I hadn’t somehow stumbled into the wrong group it just happened that way. It seems people from the other side of the world are much more interested in exploring Eastern Europe than those who live on its doorstep.

It had been a trip of many adventures, including staying overnight in a monastery built on a cliff-side in Montenegro (Montenegro is beautiful), where we’d met an amazing travelling couple. They were travelling from Paris to Jerusalem, with no money at all. Camping and sleeping wherever they could, relying on kindness of locals (and presumably innkeepers) and carrying with them just a rucksack each with essentials. It was a bizarre and brave tale.

The Ostrog Monastery - this was already very high up.
The Ostrog Monastery – this was already very high up.

 

Entrance.
Entrance.

 

The travelling couple, this was literally all the gear they had. I like how they clearly were getting two pics taken at once and each picked one camera to look at. Thrifty!
The travelling couple, this was literally all the gear they had. I like how they clearly were getting two pics taken at once and each picked one camera to look at. Thrifty!

As well as providing them with somewhere to stay for a couple of nights and food and water, the monks also gave them a departing gift. This was simply hilarious. Of all the things. Here is the gift from the monks being modelled by my fellow traveller Gavin…

A fucking massive book.
A fucking massive book.

Yes, they gave the couple a fucking massive hardback book to carry with them all the way to Jerusalem. This thing barely even fitted in their rucksack, even if they were inclined to carry it on their travels. They gave it to Gavin in the end. To be honest I’m not sure even he kept it. It was cumbersome even for one of us to carry and we were only on a two-week holiday.

I’m not sure why the monastery story came into my mind, perhaps it is as a moral balance to the next tale…

A few days later we were in Dubrovnik for the final stop of the trip. Me, Gavin and his wife Bea went to Lokrum Island today just off the coast, a nature reserve full of history and also known for its nudey beaches apparently. Well I was on holiday and it’s not every day you can go skinny-dipping without people looking at you funny, so after we had a walk around and saw the other sights, I left Gavin and Bea and headed to check out the nudist beach, but not before we grabbed some local food and pivo.

1) this was pre-nude beach. 2) I am not naked, I have khaki shorts on, look closely. 3) that is not my hat, it's Bea's.
1) this was pre-nude beach. 2) I am not naked, I have khaki shorts on, look closely. 3) that is not my hat, it’s Bea’s. 4) check out the bod, I know right!

I don’t really see it as a big deal stripping off like that if everyone else is so I wasn’t really embarrassed, but it was actually a very cool experience. No-one there (well almost no-one) was perving, certainly unlike most normal beaches, and because everybody is nude nobody really bothers or pays attention. The view across the Adriatic was amazing and just lying there getting the full heat of the sun all over was just great. A few more days of that I could have got a tan.

Ha, no cameras allowed eh, how do you think I took this, and what the hell do you think is in my backpack!
Ha, no cameras allowed eh, how do you think I took this, and what the hell do you think is in my backpack!

Now, I say no-one was perving but I did happen to notice quite a lot of naked honeys. This had not been my reason for going, I had actually expected a load of fat old men to be there mostly, so the amount of hot young girls was a definite bonus. After I’d settled down and been sunbathing and looking around at the view (i.e. nudey honeys) the usual McCann mishaps began to occur…

The first spoiler was when a skinny Irish bloke stood over me (don’t even try and picture it, it was fucking horrible). He asked me if the water was OK. I said yeah it was cold but nice. He asked how long I was here, where I was from blah blah. When I said Glasgow he said “oh yeah I hear Glasgow has a great gay scene”. I thought oh for fuck’s sake…

He then asked me if I wanted to meet him later that night! Never mind the FKK sign with the camera on it, there should have been signage about this guy.

I told him I couldn’t as I had a very early flight the next morning, but in hindsight maybe that was a bit of a lame excuse. A direct “I’m not gay” might have done a better job but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. He was literally putting himself out there. I was thinking though, even if I was gay, I very much doubt that a skinny Irish guy with a microscopic penis would be my type. He really shouldn’t chat people up on a nudist beach, it can’t do him any favours.

It was when telling this tale to my work colleagues and to Tomislav, our man in Croatia, that I discovered Lokrum Island was a notorious gay hangout (emphasis on hangout). That certainly explained why all the naked honeys were in pairs, and if I’d known this when I saw them rubbing sun-tan lotion all over each other I’d have probably had to sunbathe on my front for the rest of the day.

As the sun moved around I moved along the beach to a better spot, coincidentally near two spectacularly beautiful sunbathing girls. A spot of luck that was. I decided after a bit of sunbathing to go swimming again, but the area I was in was very rocky so it was a bit of a chore getting in, and I was keen not to humiliate myself in front of the girls.

While researching this piece I found a photograph I had taken of the rocky beach and the sea.

The rocky beach and the sea, by way of illustration of my point regarding the beach being rocky and there being a sea, nothing more.
The rocky beach and the sea, by way of illustration of my point regarding the beach being rocky and there being a sea, nothing more.

(if you click you can enlarge that picture; you can really see the detail of the rockiness of the rocks and the seaworthiness of the sea)

I climbed expertly down the rocks, showing off my manliness in more ways than one, and got into the sea and swam around for a little bit, it was great. I’m not the strongest swimmer so I played it safe but still spent a good while swimming around.

As I tried to get out, the waves got very strong and I had trouble getting a footing. All of the ‘beaches’ were rocky, but this one particularly so. I got to a part where I could stand on a rock just a foot or so underwater, and then climb out. But this rock was narrower than I thought, and as I put my other foot down it was straight into the sea. My whole body plummeted a few metres, and just as I got back up to the surface a wave came in which bashed me right into the side of the huge rock in front of me. I grabbed onto the side and held on trying to get a footing and the next couple of waves came in rubbing my body against the rocks.

Eventually I got out and as I stumbled up onto the dry rocks, I was greeted by three naked German men who had seen me disappear and had rushed over to check I was OK! It was quite a sight, and I remember being tempted to try to drown myself rather than look at it anymore.

I climbed back up past the honeys and to my sunbathing spot and I lay down on my towel to recuperate, only to realise that my whole left arm was covered in tiny cuts and scratches, all showing blood but none thankfully gushing. Both my hands were cut, my foot was cut too. I looked a mess.

I tried to angle this photo originally to have more nudey honeys in the background but couldn't get the lighting right.
I tried to angle this photo originally to have more nudey honeys in the background but couldn’t get the lighting right.

I licked my wounds and sunbathed a bit more, before packing up to get the last boat home, which the honeys were doing too. I was able to gain back some of my dignity by helping the two of them up the steep rocks from where they were sunbathing to where I was, and towards the path out of the beach. Seeing them fully clothed, I can say with hindsight Tomislav was right, they were definitely lesbians.

Lessons learned:

(1) Sharp rocks and nudity do not mix.

(2) Gay Irish guys will try to pick up *anywhere*.

(3) Needing to be rescued by three naked German men is almost worse than drowning.

(4) If I had been carrying that book from the monastery I’d have sunk to the bottom of the sea. Bloody monks.

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