During school holidays there are more people walking around the river to enjoy the scenery. These walking tourists often comment on the unusual pumice fence that surrounds TRM on three street frontages. They asked why pumice and where did the pumice came from?… so I have to tell them of my favourite experience collecting pumice.
The original wire netting fence looked tatty so we tried to cover it up with brushwood but this soon started deteriorating so a better long-term permanent solution had to be found. Then some local idiots set fire to it in the middle of the night and burnt out the wiring for the electric sign as well. So a more sustainable permanent material, that was fireproof as well, needed to be sourced locally. All around the Lake Taupo there is pumice along the shores so this was collected instead. From the feedback received, we know it was an attractive alternative solution.
After the SH1 fire damaged fence repairs were completed, and after SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed is the Manager of everything She surveys at TRM) approved the result, the same theme was continued around the property. SWMBO was surprised at my perseverance, going to the lake and walking km’s of beach to collect pumice. Then today She discovered an old photo and demanded an explanation of the history – which might reveal my enthusiasm for collecting so much pumice? (Instead of fishing)
The date on the photo is today, six years ago. I was collecting pumice along the beach when my vehicle became stuck in soft sand, so I had to phone for help. Fortunately, I had taken a cell phone but had no idea of how to phone out. I only ever used it to take photos. It was always turned off the rest of the time to avoid disruptions to my fishing… I wandered along a track heading back to the car park and this is what I discovered.
True! The delightful young French (?) lady was taking a portable shower in the wilderness. I had to tactfully interrupt her in case she imagined I was “perving” on her. I explained in my best school French my predicament and she kindly showed me how to phone back to SWMBO at the motel. (She posed for the photo after she had put her bikini top back on…) Eventually the towing car also became bogged so another tourist in a 4WD towed us both out.
I was reminded as we are trying to landscape the front entrance to Taupahi Road with more pumice garden art. Each time we started the contractors dug up the lawn to install new water pipes and again more recently to install high-speed network wiring, so it still remains a mess at present. Each time new grass seed was sown the sparrows devoured it. But we will keep on trying.