Havelock Island, Thursday, the Orient Legend

A new day, a new beach hut. This morning we left our hut at the Green Imperial to move along and across the road to the Orient Legend to a room in a terrace of four in a candy floss pink painted concrete terrace right on the beach. It’s a lot better than it sounds; in fact in the scheme of things here on Beach No 5 it’s definitely at the exclusive end. The Orient Legend and the place next door, the Sunrise, seem to attract numbers of Israeli backpackers, most of whom are staying in what are euphemistically called Eco-huts and the basic model is no bigger than a hen house, like a small one man tent on stilts and just big enough to take a single netted mattress with a chicken wire style window at the front.

So we are now out of the jungle and on to the beach. Generally, the swimming on this side of Havelock Island is considered difficult because of the coral reef so we were pleased discover this place which fronts a stretch of perfect white sand. The water is as clear as gin and as warm as a bath. Apart from a stroll along to Village No. 3 for some supplies and where we stopped off to watch the local cricket match (Village 3 vs Village 1?) we’ve had a lazy day of it: some swimming, some strolling along the beach watching the hermit crabs and the white-bellied sea-eagles, some lounging in the hammocks beneath the palm trees,although it has been a make and mend day too. Lynne seems to have washed all of our clothes as well as the grubby towels in the room.

An evening walk along the unlit road to the deservedly popular AnjuCoco for their excellent vegetable and fish thalii followed by chai and sweet milky coffee which we took onto the beach to look at the stars.

Havelock Island – Friday, Saturday, Sunday

After an early breakfast a four hour walk in the relative cool ofthe road which runs south between the jungle and the sea to Kalapathar Village, stopping at the Flying Elephant for a lemon soda and banana lassi and back along the beach once the tide had retreated. Fantastic bird life, much of it endemic to the Andamans; amongst those we spotted and were able to identify were bee-eaters, Andoman drongos, the Andaman pigeon, golden orioles, woodpeckers, kingfishers, white-bellied sea-eagles, hawabills, the little Andaman swiftlets! and bulbuls.

On Sunday we walked the ‘Elephant Trail’ through the jungle to Elephant Beach, wading the last two hundred meters through the flooded forest, a consequence of the Tsunami having scoured this area of coast ten years ago.