We finished our breakfast, then the others hailed an autorickshaw to cross Havelock Island to beach no. 7. I went to hire a bicycle. It cost 40 RS for the day. I was presented with a 1950's style push bike with no gears, a bum-bruising saddle and a deafening bell. I loaded my things onto the rack, then swerved my way through the village ringing the bell as if it was the horn on an auto.
Cycling across Havelock Island was more than incredible. I started by passing the 'Havelock Zonal Library' and decided that I would visit later in the day. Cycling out of the village I found myself surrounded by jungle. Makeshift homes revealed themselves amongst the trees. Sometimes a large clearing would appear, offering grazing for livestock or rice paddies in which men and women worked, ankle-deep in water. I kept on peddling, weaving through children, immaculately dressed in their school uniform. Many said hello and waved as I rattled and squeaked down the road.
I couldn't quite make it up some of the hills. I had to dismount and push three times, stopping a fourth to buy cold water.
I found kim and bobby floating around in the water a few hundred meters down the beach. We ate at Barefoot's 'jungle resort' - thali and beer at somewhat inflated prices. Barefoot is a sort of consortium with investment from fifteen or so partners from around India and beyond. Each investor is courted into injecting capital into a group of 'exotic tropical resorts' - apparently with no clear exit strategy. The land is simply leased fro local authorities. So the Barefoot group make their money from hopeful investors, who in turn hope to make theirs through hugely inflated prices for tourist accommodation and excursions. I was offered a snorkelling day-trip for 2,500 Rupees (that's about £30). Two days later I went on a self-organised fishing trip for 200 Rupees (about £2.50). So if you are travelling on a budget, expect to pay well above cost for anything through Barefoot.
The afternoon rolled by with more swimming and watching elephants stroll up and down the beach.