Sometimes the pathway to paradise is rugged, windy and wet. Or in this case, a 90-minute boat ride upwind on a boat (“Kirtake”) toward Arno, Arno. Not to worry, the near-nausea inherited during the bumpy trip will evaporate the minute trees and sandy beaches are in sight.
Minutes later, soothing sounds of small waves crashing into the boat will replace the deafening sound of the engine as the boat glides toward the dock.
Once on the dock, strangers will greet and smile at you. Then you would ride on one of three vehicles on island before going on a slow ride on a dirt road toward your destination: Arno Beachcomber Lodge.The road toward the lodge offers a glimpse of island life different from urban living on Majuro: homes are spread out, with each home owning its own copra stock, water catchment and cooking hut.
The absence of traffic noise, concrete and cramped living replaced with greenery, chickens and piglets on the loose is appetizer to what lies ahead.
The only two-story building within the half-mile drive means you’ve arrived at Francis Reimers’ territory: store/restaurant, noni juice center, copra station and beach lodge.
Open windows with screens allow natural breeze inside the restaurant, which serves various dishes upon request. The store adjoining the eatery features items sold in the average mom and pop store in Majuro.
The entrance to the beach lodge complex is gated with a makeshift-sliding fence made from tin roofing and plywood.The entrance leading to the living spaces looks as if a landscape artist combined medieval garden looks with a dash of tropical island life.
Both living spaces mirror the simple cabin look with see-through screens and louvers to moderate the massive breeze given the lodge sits several meters away from the lagoon.
The beach bungalows closer to the beach hold the ultimate view: unlimited sandy beach and purest of blue ocean as far as the eye can see.The lodge has daily help that act more than a butler, with additional services like a tour guide, chef, driver or a friend for good company.
Read more about this in the April 19, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.