North of Black Rock, the road swings around a blind bend before entering a straight stretch. Trees mask lovely Turtle Beach (officially Great Courland Bay), a picturesque kilometre of coarse yellow sand flecked with the occasional swathe of volcanic grey; there are several dirt tracks from which to enter the bay from the road. The water shelves steeply from the beach and the waves are large, making for exhilarating swimming, while a river at the western end can sometimes be nice for a freshwater dip, but it’s often dammed up and stagnant in the dry season. Jealously guarding pole position in the centre of the bay (only guests are allowed to use the thatched sunshades), the two-storey all-inclusive Turtle Beach hotel dominates the sand, and the constant presence of its guests has generated an ideal captive market for vendors selling sarongs and crafts or touting an aloe massage.

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