The Long Walk
12/05 Koro Island, Dere Bay Resort
We walked up to our land today for the first time and it took 2 hours. Well, we don't really know how long it takes because we stopped and met several people on the way up. We realized that we have a neighbor only 5-7 minutes walk from our plot, so we won't be as isolated as we thought! We've also been in touch with our future neighbors across the street. Eventually there'll be an actual community up here.
Everyone has their story about life here and its ups and downs. Marlen has been here for 10 years, and we see her at random places as she takes her long walks around the village. She's probably got all kinds of stories to tell about life here. She seems a really friendly, like-able person, but we were a bit leery at first because we watched a dust-up develop on the Koro Facebook group last year and she was very vocal in her criticisms of some people that may or may not have been causing problems in the community. We haven't seen her place, but she's got an underwater garden where she raises giant clams and some other aquaculture setup. We met Hwei Ying, an Aussie of Asian descent. She gave us a tip on which road was less steep versus very steep but shorter as the crow flies. We met a Canadian fellow who was heading down the road in his tractor. He mentioned the trials he's had making the permanent transition to Koro life. The driver who brought his shipping container nearly took out the road, and then just dumped it on the driveway and said, “I'm done! This is where I'm leaving it.” We met Laurel who's taking care of her young granddaughter Lily. She camped on her land for 8 months while she was getting settled, so we'll be asking her for a lot of advice on making a go of this over the next few months. We're really excited that the people in the community here are so friendly and helpful. We're going to need a support system to make things happen here.
It rained a bit while we were up there, enough to realize that less than half of the water that's hitting the roof of the catchment is actually going into the tank. The gutters haven't been capped and there's a slight slope away from the downspout, so it takes a heavy rain for any to go in. Once again, we're learning first-hand that the Koro homesteading experience is about curbing your expectations. It would be paradise if we were in the position to holiday here, but we'll eventually settle permanently and that's something different altogether.
With the long walk up, there wasn't much time to get things done. We had about an hour and then had to head down again for dinner. We only have 7 days of free accommodation and food, so we've got to take full advantage of it. It was a nice dinner and we hung out with more of our future neighbors. We met a Scottish fellow named Neil (Hwei Ying's husband) who has a thick accent and a smart-ass demeanor. The sunset was amazing as usual.
Neil said "JAKS" Just Another Koro Sunset. He and Hwei Ying have been here for 7 years, so they've seen quite a few.