Words are not enough and pages needed are endless to write about this trip.. The much awaited, dreamt of and anticipated vacation was finally here.. For reasons galore, only Mom & I ended up going..
There are so many first time experiences that makes this trip so special..
* My first stinct with scuba diving happened here
* Feeding the fishes 15 mts down under water- Sea walk
* One of the best sunset views- off a ships’ deck- right in front of the navigator
* Spotting over 30 members of the Jarawas: A rare occult for many tourists 🙂
* A hospital visit and a tetanus shot right at the start of a vacation
* Snorkeling in a protected area like a marine national park
* A visit to the site where India’s only active volcano exists
* Getting surrounded by flying fishes making me live filmy moments from the ‘Life of Pi’
* A camera breakdown on the first day of the trip and no back-up
* A roll down the stairway and hurting both the knees to trek a deep jungle
* A cancelled flight and an extra day at the airport
* Every day had a unique experience to unfold.
I cannot make justice, but will sum up the entire trip with as less words as possible.. “White sand, Blue sea, crystal clear waters, lashing waves, spotting the flying fishes, sunset from the ship’s deck, diverse deep sea, ever mesmerising beaches, if ever I had a choice to choose my death, I’d love to get washed away by the waves right there.. @ the Andaman sea.”
This should be an easy guide to anyone who wants to visit the Andamans.. I would say: please don’t plan your trip if it is not atleast a week’s holiday you are aiming at..
10.20.a.m- Depart from Chennai; 12.45.p.m- Check-in @ Port Blair
2.45.p.m- Quick walk through the Science Centre and proceed to Corbyn’s Cove beach
4.00.p.m- Leave for the Cellular jail. Walk around the historic memorial of brave martyrs- the backbone for Indian freedom movement
6.00.p.m- Sound & music show at the Cellular jail
07.30.p.m – A brisk walk through the Gandhi park
08.00.p.m- Water scooter ride @ Rajiv Gandhi sports complex, a speedy walk through the Traffic police park in the same premises
8.30.a.m- Board the ferry @Rajiv Gandhi sports complex jetty for 3 island tour with a seven harbour view
10.30.a.m- Alight for delight @ Ross island– the place of erstwhile British settlement which is now a live museum.
11.30.a.m- Off to Viper island with the gallows of imprisonment established before the cellular jail.
12.30.p.m- Arrive at North Bay island– go snorkelling, walk upto the light house and go SEA WALKING..!!
05.00.p.m- Reach Port Blair
06.00.p.m- Freshen up and leave for shopping at Aberdeen bazaar– the local market.
08.30.a.m- Arrive at Phoenix bay jetty
09.00.a.m- Aboard Makruzz(a Catamaran) to Havelock islands
11.00.a.m- Off to Radhanagar beach– Asia’s no.7 best beach.
12.00.p.m- Catch the ferry to Elephanta beach: one of the best dive sites in Andamans and home to world’s only snorkeling elephant- Rajan 🙂
02.00.p.m- Begin the explorations deep in the beds of the sea- SCUBA DIVING
04.00.p.m- Onboard Baratang- the government ferry from Havelock
07.30.a.m- Leave the confines of our nest for the day’s work- We’ve got lots to explore
09.00.a.m- Registration for the convoy at the forest checkpost. This is a must for anyone travelling on the Grand Trunk road through the Jarawa tribal reserve. Jarawas are one of the aboriginal tribal group out of the 6 tribes inhabiting in the island groups.
11.30.a.m- Aboard the govt. ferry at Middle Strait
11.45.a.m- Alight at Baratang island
12.00.p.m- Cruising on a motor boat through one of the best mangrove creeks I have ever been to.
12.30.p.m- End of the jungle trek- reaching the destiny. One of the 46 limestone caves in the Islands. A spellbinding experience..!!
1.00.p.m- An 8kms flight(read it jeep ride) to see the mud volcano
02.00.p.m- Back at Baratang jetty, ferry ride back to Middle strait.
06.00.p.m- Walk around Port Blair.
07.30.a.m- Sippighat horticultural farm visit.
08.00.am.- A quick turn-up at Wandoor beach
08.30.a.m- Walk around the Mahatma Gandhi museum
09.00.a.m- Off for a ride- An un-expressible journey to the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
11.00.a.m.- Glass bottom boat ride, sun-bathing & SNORKELING in the crystal clear waters of Jolly Buoy island
01.00.p.m- A spicy walk through the Mongluton rubber & spices plantation. ‘Coconut Malai Sharbat’ is a must try drink there.
03.30.p.m- A super drive through a very different part of the Andamans- took us to ChidiyaTapu. We were the last people for the day to get entry into the mini zoo there.
04.00.p.m- I’m on one of the best beaches hitherto- backwaters of the tsunami affected area.. We did not even realise that we had walked over a kilometer deep into the sea- and the water level had not risen beyond our ankles.
04.30.p.m- Exploring the Chidiyatapu hills. An AMAZING place for the landscape photographers
05.00.p.m.- Sunset point – by far the BEST sunset I have witnessed on a seashore.
06.30.p.m- We are at Sagarika– the govt. emporium for shopping for souvenirs
09.00.a.m- Chawtham island– Asia’s biggest timber saw mill and forest museum
10.15.a.m- Samudrika– A museum maintained by the Indian Navy
11.00.a.m- Anthropological museum visit
12.00.p.m- Check out and arrive at Veer Savarkar airport.
This is the maximum number of places anyone could squeeze into the list for a Sunday to Sunday trip.. The islands has so much to explore that only a month long vacation can do justice 🙂 I’d suggest you take a 2hr motor boat ride from Havelock to South button island- the smallest national park in India for scuba diving known for its shallow waters Tropical coral reefs. You could add Mt. Harriet, Niel island, Cinque island, Barren island, Diglipur, Mayabunder, Rangat, Ross & smith island, Saddle peak etc. among the important places of Andamans. However, a trip to Nicobar islands has to be planned separately as it is special in its own way..
Words of caution:
1. Please adhere to your time schedule strictly because every ferry ride, every museum, every zoo runs/remains open only on a specified time frame.
2. The city remains awake only between 8.00.a.m and 08.00.p.m. Plan your entertainment well to keep yourself occupied.
3. If you are planning to eat out or take a coffee walk, it has to be before 7.00.p.m. All shops shut down after that.
getting lost in traveling through places and time…