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Today's quote:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

He's good; he's very good - and I bet he's on a handsome commission!

Dae Payton in full swing (did I get his name right?
doesn't matter as it probably isn't his real name anyway)


But he's not on the island of Hunga. And that anonymous patch of sea in the background is not in Tonga. Nor has he ever been to Tonga, if his suggestion that it's 'just a plane ride from LA' and the way he pronounces Hunga and Neiafu are anything to go by.

Needless to say, those "outstanding medical and dental facilities" and "great restaurants" don't exist nor www.mybestplacestoretire.com (click for an archived copy here). Anyway, if his pronunciation of Hunga made you hunger for more, here it is:

Still the same shirt; still the same shit

I've just checked here and cannot find Dae Payton among the 70-odd "investors" who since 2009 have parted with well over US$600,000 for the privilege of leasing a 785-square metre block of land in this non-existing "Cocomo Village" which is yet to welcome its first resident.

If you want to see the real Hunga, here are some authentic photos:

Different, huh? Great place for abseiling with or without a rope ☺ I visited Hunga Island in 2006 and, let me tell you, a more God-forsaken place you couldn't find! - click here

Anyway, if you're really into serious bullshit, here's the full 'sales pitch', straight from the Marquis de Rays who was a much better bullshit artist than Dae Payton ever will be:

"Food? Nouvelle France was composed of land that ached from its burden of succulent riches. A man had merely to call and the natives would rush the produce of the fields to him. The ugly days of buying things from mean shop attendants were ended. Food was everywhere.

Money? The seas abounded in trepang, a crawling slug which could be gathered even by children and which sold in China for $750 a ton. The softly rolling land in from the beach was crowded with mahogany and teak. Copra could be made with almost no effort, since Chinese would do all the work. Vessels of all nations would put into port, hotels would florish and the citizens of Nouvelle France would reap an enormous profit.

Amenities? When the adventurous colonists reached this paradise they would find schools, churches, stores, factories, a railway, docks, and a lighthouse which would aid large European vessels putting into the colony for trade. There would also be fine roads not less than fifteen feet wide between properties." (You will have to read the rest in James Michener's book "Rascals in Paradise" but I think you get the general drift.)

(Actually, the latter-day Marquis has an even more convincing way with words - click here. 'Gilding the lily' is perhaps the kindest phrase to describe it. But wait, there's more: click here.)

This video shows the westerly approach from the oceanside to Hunga Lagoon; the eastern entrance through the Blue Lagoon is too shallow for bigger boats (you need a biggish ocean-going boat - and a good lifejacket because things can get rough! - for the more-than-one-hour voyage from Neiafu to Hunga). Towards the end of the clip you see Steve Campbell and Caroline Hudson's Ika Lahi Gamefishing Lodge (which has been for sale for many years; its website www.tongafishing.com has been archived, so it may no longer be operating) and Chris and Mary Pollard's "One'atea", a holiday rental property, on the only stretch of beach which allows access to the island and to the top of the island where huddles a comatose group of mainly old natives who depend for their livelihood on remittances from their relatives working overseas. There are some very beautiful islands in Tonga (especially in the Ha'apai group of islands) but this almost inaccessible volcanic rock is not my idea of a tropical island!

P.S. Looks like good ol' Robert Bryce is running out of steam on Cocomo and has started up another dream scheme, this time nearer to his new hide-away in Fiji: www.gonativefiji.com.