Bumble Town - NZ: Secret Ram Signs: Off The Beaten Track With Huge Kiwi Sheep.
One of the many bogus signs.
Mayor Dooya Trustmeornot.
The 'short' Bluey Litefinger
Is Nothing Sacred Here?
It seems that after their close call with the Asbestos Scandal, the same movers and shakers of Bumble Town have completely about faced in their town management policies. Smiling like butter wouldn't melt in their mouths; they have started promoting this primitive town; to unsuspecting passers by and tourists. How do you cover up a cover up? We watch in disbelief as Bumble Town Mayor Dooya Trustmeornot and his 'short' councillor Bluey Litefinger put yet another despicable scam to the test. This one involves our national icon; the Kiwi no less!
Lately, 'Beware of the Kiwi' signs have been popping up everywhere on the outskirts of the town forests; over 100 bogus signs have recently appeared, giving the appearence that Bumble Town is a haven for Kiwi birds.
Factually, this is just yet another moneymaking venture, as there are no actual Kiwi birds living within the Bumble Town area. They were hunted throughout the forests by unknown parties and then sold to regional zoos several years ago. Five transient forresters were at the time accused of that mass poaching; but most people suspect that the real culprits actually had connections to the Mayor's family and council supported; LEFTIT organisation.
Tourists to New Zealand love the idea of seeing Kiwis in their natural environment. Wild Kiwis have given several regions in New Zealand growth opportunities from marketing of such eco-tourism and of course; eco-tourism generates huge returns. However, clearly having the Birds actually there, is a crucial part of the equation; so if Bumble Town has no Kiwis, then how do you fake their existence?
For these two fake Bumble Town celebrities, it seems the idea that Kiwis are nocturnal creatures; provides them with an opportunity to charge unsuspecting tourists $50 per head on their new venture; Bumble Town Kiwi Day Trips. Of course no one will get to actually see Kiwis as they are nocturnal and the trips are conducted during daylight hours.
The Bumble Town Information Centre advertises the Kiwi Day Tours as being 'The Best Kept Secret Around!' Interesting choice of words I thought, as I surveyed the range of plastic and seagull feather souvenir 'kiwi dolls' for sale at the booking office. On asking who actually guides the tourists through the dense local bush; I was told that three members of the Mayor's circle of friends actually take turns at keeping a straight face while hoodwinking the investors.
Bumble Town Kiwi Day Trips: Would you spend $50 to thrash around in the bush with a guy who can't look you in the eye? Or, would you spend $20 on a plastic souvenir Kiwi Doll covered in seagull feathers? Dooya Trustmeornot... How could you? There are more than Kiwis at stake here and I hope that this venture does not work. Nothing seems to be sacred here and that's not all that's going on.
The Signposts to Bumble Town
Are tourists really welcome?
On the South Western boundry of the Bumble Town forests, a 'Beware of the Kiwi' sign stands beside the main North Island State Highway No1. Just 50 metres away by the edge of the trees; you can just make out a signpost pointing the way through the bush to Bumble Town. This is the subtle entrance to one of the regions newest 'tourist trails.'
The presence of two parked vehicles on the side of the main highway indicates that someone has been foolish enough to stop, intent on exploring the 128 miles of bush between Bumble Town and the two signs. You just know that those cars will not be there when or if the owners return.
Local scavenger Rex 'Hotwire' Groper and his brother Willie from the Bumble Town Ladies Undies Shop; regularly patrol State Highway No1 on the lookout for parked cars. For these guys, the Kiwi signs provide profitable pickings as they sculk around such places with the express purpose of stocking 'Hotwire's' pre-loved car parts business, situated in the big smoke of Hamilton.
Of course on the signposts there is no indication of how far Bumble Town is, or where any kiwis are likely to be found. But that is exactly what the scammers want; uninformed travellers, likely to get lost in the bush, loose their vehicles and to pay handsomely for rescuing if required. For anyone able to stay on the bush track however, there are some tangible rewards.
A cave to an amazing sight.
All that time has created
The River Toll Collector.
The Upper Blackwater Rapids.
The Old Smugglers Route.
Go beyond the Kiwi sign and past the Bumble Town signpost on the South Western border. Follow along this overgrown walkway through the bush for two miles from that sign and you will come to the entrance of a great cave. The cave entrance is quite easy to spot as it stands at the foot of what appears to be a steep and impenetrable mountain.
There is no way up, over or around this natural obstacle; the semi darkness of the cave just seems to disappear down under the mountain. Many years ago this cave served as the entrance of the old smugglers route to Bumble Town. Today, it is still the quickest route if you follow the swift current of the Upper Blackwater Stream downstream. It is from within this cave structure that the Blackwater Stream originates, surfacing here from subterranean vaults far below.
By raft Bumble Town is actually less than 20 miles away. But for anyone taking forest trails and detouring around the high country, the town lies approximately 128 miles away from the main highway.
Through the darkness a light can be seen in the distance, deep inside the cave; which acts like a light used to attract and catch moths. Curiosity and the sloping floor will drive you towards the light ahead which comes from above. Light that is filtering into a huge cavern that displays ancient limestone stalagmites and stalactites. Thousands of tiny glow worms line the ceiling and walls; flickering like the living stars of an underground cosmos.
As your eyes adjust to the change of light, a rope handrail reaches out to provide some stability as your feet slip and slide along the damp cavern floor that is covered in a 12 inch layer of sheep 'pellets'. There are no stones free of this sticky substance. One can not help but think that a giant sheep with an upset belly, has spent a great deal of time here. The smell doesn't seem so bad, until you have to let go your nose, to take a breath.
On entering the main chamber It pays to be quiet in here as echoes will set off a flurry of bats, furiously heading towards the cavern entrance. You can see that the depth of water in here is quite substantial. There is a rusty landing on the edge of this watery expanse and tied beside it, numerous inflated black rubber inner tubes which will float you out of the caves and into the Upper Blackwater Rapids.
The mystery of the presence of sheep 'pellets' and an adsence of sheep, is solved when you are confronted by a very large, horned sheep by the name of Ram Drysdale. He is the river toll collector who charges $20 to pass, wash your feet and take a rubber inner tube out of this place! Why sheep need money is anybody's guess; but apparently Drysdale and some of his poker buddies are major investors in an entertainment company called ewe-tube.
Take the rapids or the sights?
Geo-thermal hot mud pools.
The Dropoff hot springs.
Home sweet home.
Act quickly in the light.
A few minutes of floating around on your personal raft and the flow will take you out of the caves and into full daylight. By the time your eyes adjust to the light; you will have only a split second to decide whether you choose to shoot the 10 miles of the Upper Blackwater Rapids or not. If not; then you must paddle hard to make it to the opposite bank, before the current picks you up and sends you on a bumpy, wild and wet ride to Bumble Town.
If you catch the rapids, you will miss the opportunity to see the natural geo-thermal activity that takes place six miles from the head waters. The walk downstream along the river edge is relatively easy going. Take your inner tube because the last 4 miles of rapids of Blackwater are tame compared to those of the upper reaches.
At the six mile mark downstream, steam surrounds the Waikope Valley; one of Bumble Town's unseen natural wonders. Here the Waikope Geyser erupts hot steam and water over 100 feet into the air, every hour of every day. The whole valley is made up of countless pools of boiling mud or sulphurous water, bubbling continuously. Mud pools are far too hot to touch, however a large hot water spring called 'Dropoff' is a great cure for cold winter temperatures and is not too hot to bathe in. This really is a place that has to be seen to be believed. Unlike the other geo-thermal fields like Rotorua, Wairaki and Turangi, this area is relatively unknown and has not until now really been promoted to 'outsiders.'
When you head South back to the Blackwater Stream you must walk for approximately a mile. Throughout this area you are greeted by native bush and numerous species of birds; but no Kiwis. On reaching the river you will notice that the worst of the rapids are upstream, so the rafting from here is quite easy going and continues like this all the way to Bumble Town. You know you are almost there when you see the signs situated along the Blackwater Stream.
So at the moment this trip is not one that you will find in a travel brochure. It's a great day out and it will cost $20.00 in tolls to the big sheep in the cave, if you start at the headwaters. From Bumble Town you can hike upstream, which takes several hours. The whole area in this valley makes for awesome camping, with a variety of natural sites, good shelter and no mosquitos to worry about. Kayaking upstream is also an option. Either way, tourism-wise there are many legitimate things to do here. Hopefully, eventually tourists will get to see this place without being exploited by the rogues.
Wall of Shame.
Several people have suggested that we build a Wall of Shame in Bumble Town. A Positive reminder of the Negative acts of those who bring shame to this community. A monument to help state the disgust of those without a voice and those who have suffered at the hands of the self centered few. A wall that will stand the test of time and act as testimony to the existence of dust under the carpets of certain Bumble Town movers and shakers. A place to see the liars and the cheats, the damage done by the predators, deviants and scams.
Each day in this town you are challenged to get through the day. You see so much waste, unhappiness and apathy. The kids learn how to be angry and face disappointment, so early in their lives. The promises of better things are hollow and not forthcoming. So many young ones have been given 'permanent leave' by a high school headmaster; who had banned them from attending school, thus ruining their lives. The school still collects the government subsidies for those pupils, as they remain on the role and have not been officially expelled. So here it is common for 13 and 14 year olds to have ended their schooling, with no formal education or future.
The First Brick in our Wall of Shame is dedicated to that headmaster: Shame on you! This one has lost his job and his future in an ironic twist of fate. After a couple of years of well hushed rumours, finally senior students gained the courage to make formal complaints, which were eventually admitted by the headmaster. What did he admit to? Several dope smoking sessions with students along with making numerous sexual advances on many younger female students, over a three year period. On one occasion he even paid $1000.00 to one of his victims in an attempt to silence her. Shame on you..... You own a Brick.
As I write this; I can't believe the news that has just been confirmed.... Unbelievable, there is some justice here after all. Now we must build our Wall of Shame and in this case; we will have to allocate Four Bricks!
Bluey Litefinger has been arrested by the guys in the Police Box. Apparently two years ago he had applied to the Bumble Town Council for the funding required to pay him a salary and purchase all the equipment required to provide camping trips for youth at risk. Of course given the fact that so many had been thrown out of school, he had plenty of candidates for his programme and even had police support. The Mayor had endorsed the appointment and used him throughout for other ventures.
Shame on you Litefinger, arrested after being found by a parent in his tent with a young guy in his sleeping bag. For the last week he has been conspicuous by his absence, with most thinking that he was out putting Kiwi signs in place. Shame on you for your despicable actions. He has been given name suppression, yet still draws full pay as a Councillor of this town. Bluey Litefinger is keeping a 'low' profile... at 4' 7" tall in elevator shoes; a lot of shadow surrounds him.
Two friends of our devious Mayor, who must be asked how long he has known about the acts of these two despicable preditors. This will create a huge scandal and I hope people here will start refusing to accept things like this. For you Litefinger, I hope you end up with a lot more than a tracking cookie attached to your ankle. Shame on you for destroying a young life..
Not all is Negative Here.
Not all is negative in Bumble Town even though the town has been afflicted by the two parties above. Their actions are factual and as such serve to anger a lot of people here. I believe that something positive will eventuate from the expose. We will build a Wall of Shame here and perhaps this in itself will help change the outcome for the many who remain loyal to their life in this primitive place. I know that I for one will be doing whatever I can to make sure that Kiwi Day Trips will be few and far between.