Lo­cal fish­er­men now pa­trol the wa­ters that their peers once dy­na­mited

Emirates Man - - STYLE TRAVEL -

which each bar I vis­ited stood on a dif­fer­ent is­land. Once out at sea, AJ Hack­ett, a New Zealan­der, ex­plained how he il­le­gally bungee jumped off the Eif­fel Tower: two “beau­ti­ful girls” dis­tracted se­cu­rity guards so he could sneak to the top, where he spent the night. First thing the fol­low­ing morn­ing, he jumped. The public­ity helped Hack­ett make a suc­cess­ful busi­ness of bungee jump­ing.

That hap­pened three decades ago. The Kiwi kept a hol­i­day home on the is­land for many years be­fore turn­ing his beach­side es­tate, a for­mer co­conut plan­ta­tion, into six bun­ga­lows for tourists.

Hack­ett is busy building six more, us­ing nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and lo­cal trades­man. Even when they re nished, co­conut palms will out­num­ber bun­ga­lows by a hun­dred to one. The es­tate, Pon­dok Santi, falls in line with a re­cent lo­cal gov­ern­ment man­date, call­ing for 80 per cent of new tourism de­vel­op­ments to feature some form of eco-tourism.

Hack­ett said the is­lands have changed a fair bit since he rst ar­rived, not al­ways for the bet­ter. He sug­gested I meet some­one try­ing to put some of those things right.

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