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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hunga is hell with palm trees


They could've filmed "Papillon" there, except that they didn't know about Hunga. Nor does anyone else for that matter, other than a few locals who live there because they're either too old or too young to leave, and the 75+ expats who became shareholders in Hunga Island Estate Limited --- and I bet they wished they hadn't.


Abseiling for a swim anybody?


Think tropical island; think tropical beaches? Think again! Hunga has just a tiny sliver of sand which is already occupied by Ika Lahi Lodge, the One'atea holiday cottage, and Hunga Haven.

For "Cocomo Villagers" who bought shares in Hunga Island Estate, it's a steep walk up the local 'ski jump' to Hunga village ...

... followed by an hour-long scramble through the dense jungle ...

... before arriving at the euphemistically called "Cocomo Village" which is simply more dense jungle but, in the absence of any human habitation, thoughtfully marked with a yellow cross on this map.

Red cross: 'ski jump' and only access to the top of the island;
yellow cross: the Potemkin village of Cocomo


Cocomo Village simply does not exist, except in the minds of the promoters who have so far collected well over US$600,000 from "investors" from all over the world who did what you never do in real estate: buy (or, in this case, lease a dubious lease) sight unseen (for a good hard look at this not-government-registered but privately concocted quasi-legally-sounding but probably totally worthless socalled "Investor Agreement" or "lease" which seems to have been drawn up during a boozy afternoon on the beach, click here).

The few who did come and see, are trying to sell again. And, having been duped themselves, they don't mind doing the same to others.

For example, there are Betsy and Philippe who are trying to offload their 'ultimate affordable land+yacht+off-grid package deal' for a 'mere' US$39,630 - "Reduced Pricing - Please Inquire for Info!"

I did inquire, pointing out that the "10x40kg Portland cement", which is part of the deal, would by now have gone off. It would seem they themselves have gone off selling, as I'm still waiting for a reply ☺