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What do Dracula’s Castle, the Sydney Opera House, the high Arctic and Rome’s Colosseum have in common?
They are all just some of the far-flung places across the globe where painted Tobermory rocks have turned up – so far.
The woman behind the fun way of putting Tobermory on the world map is Naomi Marsh.
So far Naomi, who runs Island Crafts on Tobermory’s Main Street, has painted about 500 rocks. She started out by hiding just 40 around town, never thinking it would take off as it has.
‘I don’t hear back from some of them for months after they’ve been hidden and then suddenly they turn up. It’s very exciting.
‘We encourage people to post a photo on our Facebook when they find one. I keep a list of them all and track their journey.
‘People can either keep the rocks if they find them or take them away and hide them again somewhere else. They’ve ended up all over the world,’ said Naomi, who has lived in Tobermory all her life.
Tobermory Rocks Facebook now has more than 800 members.
‘It’s great fun and gets the kids away from their iPads and out and about in the fresh air getting active although there are lots of adults who’ve got hooked on it now and have started painting their own Tobermory rocks to hide in places. It’s gone wild – I never thought it would take off like this.
‘I go out hiding them in Tobermory and have to sneak about because the kids spot me and try to follow me,’ said new mum Naomi, who is still managing to find the time to paint even more rocks despite having baby Finn just 11 weeks ago.
Last week, lots more rocks were hidden as part of a Pebble Dash event for the holidays. One rock discovered has been taken back to Arbroath to be stashed again.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to make your own Tobermory rocks. Use up old nail varnishes, Sharpie pens, acrylic paints or use a layer of clear varnish to waterproof your masterpiece before hiding it ready for someone else to seek – make sure your write Tobermory Rocks underneath.