I ask which one he means. The White-tailed Tropicbird again?
Ã¢â¬ÅYes, thatÃ¢â¬â¢s the one,Ã¢â¬Â he smiles.
WeÃ¢â¬â¢ve already seen the white bird several times that evening. IÃ¢â¬â¢m starting to recognise it; the long tail feathers, the large wingspan with patches of black, the orange-yellow bill. But the parade of exotic animals is starting to blur together. IÃ¢â¬â¢m out of practise.
Ã¢â¬ÅWeÃ¢â¬â¢ll soon fix that,Ã¢â¬Â the man promises. Ã¢â¬ÅYouÃ¢â¬â¢ve already been at it for three hours!Ã¢â¬Â
Three hours? The time has flown by so quickly since climbing up to the top balcony of the grand Hectors River home in the early evening.
Ã¢â¬ÅThatÃ¢â¬â¢s nothing,Ã¢â¬Â he laughs, before launching into an anecdote of how he once spent the night just to catch a glimpse of that elusive white tail.
The house, he explains, is ideal for bird-watching, providing you can ignore the breathtaking sea view. The balcony overlooks the surrounding greenery, perfectly positioned for enjoying the areaÃ¢â¬â¢s endemic species Ã¢â¬â and for spotting a free table in the bar at the end of the lane.
Ã¢â¬ÅGreat nightly entertainment,Ã¢â¬Â smiles my avian-loving companion. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s hard to tell if heÃ¢â¬â¢s talking about the bar or the birds.
Whichever he means, itÃ¢â¬â¢s easy to see how you could spend a night there. With its lavish, hand-painted walls and high-vaulted wood ceilings, the half-acre piece of real estate is an impressive place to rest your head. Each floor has two contained flats to accommodate guests, which can open up into a larger living area for larger groups. There are even three kitchens, in case the birdwatchers get peckish. My friend informs me that a fourth kitchen is on the way.
I take a pause from looking at the fruit trees to admire the grounds around the building. In the dimming light, I can make out lots of parking space and a BBQ. I think back to the five bathrooms I saw earlier and the two verandas.
Ã¢â¬ÅWith all the rooms and the space and that view, why not turn the home into a guest house?Ã¢â¬Â I ask. IÃ¢â¬â¢d already been told that the building hosted several wedding receptions in the past, as well as local community events.
Surely the visitor potential would see anyoneÃ¢â¬â¢s investment take flight?
My friend pauses. He smiles, then turns back to the landscape.
Ã¢â¬ÅWhat do you know about butterflies?Ã¢â¬Â
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