Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Koro Island

On Koro island, we have spent the last two days wandering around a real estate development called Koro Seaview Estates. Nice walks, friendly Fijian workers, and an interesting manager named Joe - German by birth and ex-Hawaiian.

Chris looks at one of the several dozen properties that have already been developed in Koro Seaview Estates. The light on the path to this house seems a little incongruous in its jungle setting.
A sculpture guards the entrance to Joe's Indonesian style compound

Joe transported a 300 year old Joglo house from Java, Indonesia and has built a compound around this with several smaller houses - bath buildings, an outdoor shower,  and stone-lined walkways. The property abounds in fantastic carvings, sculptures, wooden screens, and a desk belonging to Joe's Great Grandfather, the famous Count Felix von Luckner (link is to a Masonic account of the Count's fascinating life). The property is set on a rise, overlooking the coral lined bay, with landscaped gardens cascading down the hillside - a real labour of love! This facebook page has a few good pictures, but does not really do justice to the property.

Many of the structures on Joe's property make use of carved doors or facades.

Impressive entry gate

A sleeping shelter
The main dwelling is a reconstructed home from Java. The posts to Rani's left are the center of the house from which the structure was rebuilt. The house was transported in pieces packed in 3 containers.

We met two couples who are vacationing here while buying properties. One American couple had bought a lot and were planning to build a small house spanning a creek that runs through their land prior to building the main house. An Australian couple were in the middle of making an offer on a 1 bedroom property up high on the hill, with lovely gardens and a million dollar view out over the bay.

Jenni picks a pumpkin for us to take back to Ladybug. Melons and squash grow well in Fiji where many veggies common in North America have problems with local bugs
We also met a Canadian/British duo (Jenni and Robert) who live part-time on a boat in Nelson, NZ and also own a wonderful property here, half-way up the hill from the dock. About 10 years ago they built three thatched Bure-style dwellings joined by walkways and decks. They have planted more than 30 species of fruit tree on their acre of land as well as prolific veggie gardens. The structures are built entirely of local hardwoods including a kitchen constructed from a rich red mahogany. We enjoyed spending the morning visiting with them, swapping stories about our experiences in the South Pacific and helping them out with some computer issues.

Robert stands on one of the many balconies that tie together their spectacular three-bure property.
Tomorrow we sail for Makogai. The winds are getting stronger and swinging into the east so we expect a boistrous and rolly down-wind run.

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