On the Fleshy Shores of South Africa
Tom Moriarty

Just south of Cape Town, on the west coast of the Cape peninsula, lies Sandy Bay.  It’s a miracle of geography and geology, erosion and destiny: white sand, steep slopes, boulders strewn willy-nilly in the surf.  And naked people.  All over the place. 

Sandy Bay is one of South Africa’s two “official” nude beaches, and like dassies, the small rodent-like creatures that dot the slopes all around Cape Town, the naked people station themselves in the nooks and crannies between the boulders, sunning themselves and displaying their own fleshy nooks and crannies.

Unfortunately, the naked people at Sandy Bay aren’t the Playboy model kind of naked people.  They’re the older European model of naked people -- overweight white men, marvels of engineering who manage to walk upright and not topple over despite large bellies on the front side and small, white bottoms on the backside.

I can’t say that my wife, Loren, and I stumbled upon them accidentally.  We went looking for them one afternoon, following a long, sandy trail from Llandudno, through the dunes and around a large bend in the coastline.  We were a bit embarrassed when we first found one, not knowing where to look when a naked man passed us on the trail.  I looked up at the sky and Loren (so she tells me) looked at the ground.  We didn’t greet him.


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