Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Britain's 'Naked Rambler' gets dressed after marathon walk

I have to admit to have very mixed feelings about the wisdom of this guy, and if it advances the cause of naturism. But then again, I'm not British...

LONDON (AFP) - A man attempting to walk the length of Britain wearing nothing but a hat, boots and a rucksack completed his marathon trek and celebrated by putting his clothes back.

"It's nice to get warmed up again," the self-styled "Naked Rambler" Stephen Gough, 46, told the domestic Scottish Press Association news agency from a cafe in John O'Groats, on the tip of the northeast Scottish mainland.

Gough and his partner, 34-year-old hairdresser Melanie Roberts, completed the last 20 miles of their 874-mile (1,363-kilometre) walk from Land's End, southwest England in temperatures of about five degrees celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit).

"It has been pretty cold and the locals have been coming up to us offering us whisky and all sorts," said Gough. "They've been very, very friendly. We passed a school and there were even parents coming out with video cameras."

Gough, a former Royal Marine soldier who first completed the naked hike in 2003-2004, said he would "never say never" doing a similar stunt again.

On the first occasion his progress was slowed by 14 arrests and two jail terms.

He suffered a similar fate this time round. In September last year, he was jailed for two weeks for breach of the peace by walking in his birthday suit along the A701 highway near the Scottish capital Edinburgh.

A two-month sentence followed for breaching his bail conditions.

Gough and Roberts managed the final leg of their journey without a hitch, although they were picked up twice last week following complaints, including one from an outraged church minister. No charges were brought.

The couple are planning to hitch a ride back to their base on England's south coast in the next few days.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060220/od_afp/afplifestylebritainnakedoffbeat_


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