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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Teach a man to fish and he'll pay you €2,900 on a twin-share basis

Yours truly at the entrance to the old Niua'Kalo Hotel in 2006

 

When I travelled through the tiny Kingdom of Tonga in 2006, I befriended the resident expat Horst Berger on the island of Lifuka. As we cycled the length of the island, he took me to the former Niua'Kalo Beach Hotel where he bemoaned his lack of money to bring this place, slowly decaying under the hot tropical sun, back to life.

Well, somebody else has done so since: in a Hibernian-Teutonic joint venture, Brian Heagney and Sabine Frank of Fins'n'Flukes have done a great job in restoring the place and now offer tourist accommodation in four double and twelve single rooms at very reasonable rates.

I mean, why stay at the vastly overpriced Sandy Beach Resort when you can live it up for a fraction of the price on Coco Beach?

While browsing Sandy Beach's website, I found this little rip-off:

Click to open pdf file in separate window

For a trifling €2,900 they'll teach you how to make a fire, open a coconut, and catch a fish, after which they dump you on tiny Luahoko Island so you can turn yourself into a latter-day Robinson Crusoe.

Ah, and yes, they also give you a mobile phone so you can call them back next morning after you've scratched yourself into a bloody mess during the first night under the stars with millions of mosquitoes and sandflies for company.