TRAVEL: Naked surprise on a Greek Island

RESEARCHING for this month's travel story on the top 10 gay destinations brought back so many memories I laughed out loud at my own writing (a first!).

Holidaying where the gay community gathers is always going to be fun if you are of an open mind, and most of us seniors are assuredly that.

The first time we stumbled on a gay beach, my husband - usually a very open-minded man - was a little discombobulated. It was about 25 years ago on the Greek island of Mykonos, what a surprise?

We had no idea we were entering a gay beach as we stepped off a little wooden boat that had chuffed us around a series of bays from the port in the main town to Super Paradise Beach.

As we trudged along the sand we were confronted by row upon row of naked bodies, mostly men, just a very few women. My own man was most confused and didn't know where to look. It didn't bother him but he felt embarrassed that he was clothed while all around him were not.

"I'm not comfortable here," he said as the tanned and toned men applied sunscreen to each other's backs.

"I'm comfortable here, I love it," I told him which didn't make him feel any more relaxed.

When the men got up and began throwing frisbees to each other, the husband declared his intention to depart the beach immediately.

We spotted a bar perched on top of a hill above the beach.

We weaved our way through oiled, naked bodies, keeping our eyes upwards and our thoughts open, and climbed the steps up the hill, passing a naked man with breast implants and wearing a turban, to find a large circular bar looking over an infinity pool.

"This is better," the husband said and pulled up a bar stool.

We could see the nakedness cramming the beach below but at least we were now distanced from it.

We felt most comfortable, until about an hour later when the naked men on the beach donned tiny Speedos and joined us at the bar, greeting each other with exuberant lip-smacking kisses.

"They've all come up here," the perplexed husband said, lowering his eyes and dipping his nose deep into his mojito.

"It's their space," I said.

"If we don't like, we must leave."

We didn't. We ordered another round of mojitos and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at this gay- friendly bar on this gay- friendly beach and we've been back every year since.

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