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The Andaman diaries!

The Andaman diaries!
Highlights

A walk on the beach is worth a thousand words… Havelock, with pure white sand, opaque icy blue water, rich coral reefs, lush green forest and...

A walk on the beach is worth a thousand words… Havelock, with pure white sand, opaque icy blue water, rich coral reefs, lush green forest and beautiful picturesque beaches made me realise this. Havelock is also a place for destination weddings, beach parties, romantic getaway, and a peaceful place to detox yourself far away from the noisy and busy city life. The best time to visit Havelock is from October to April.

My trip to Havelock was a sudden plan with the zest to venture out solo and that too without informing my parents. My busy work life made my body and mind scream for a break. Further research about Andaman compelled me to stick to my plan and led me to write down the itinerary including the budget involved way ahead.

To reach Havelock, I had to take connecting flights from HYDERABAD-CHENNAI-PORT BLAIR. There is a sea route which takes 3-4 days to reach Port Blair, though I didn’t have the stomach to take that route.
Port Blair is like any other small city, the capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. You will find a majority of Telugu speaking people, Bengalis and Tamilians here. I met many Telugu fishermen hailing from northern parts of Andhra Pradesh.

Cellular Jail, Chidiya Tapu, Ross Island, lots of museums, beaches and water sports is what usual tourists look out for in Port Blair. However, I was looking for something different than the usual and I took off to Havelock.

Have you ever imagined to be completely surrounded by water, only water, like you are in middle and nothing and no one to look around 360-degrees? Well, you will experience that when you are travelling from one island to another in Andaman. And in my case, the one-hour ferry journey from Port Blair to Havelock was breathtaking.

The journey on the ferry was just like a scene out of a film. The blue water deep down with fishes playing hide and seek with each other. And the fresh breeze brushing your hair and the twinkling water adds a sparkle to your eyes. It was an amazing journey after all.

However, I was awestruck when my feet touched the soft white sand, and I gazed at the opaque salt water, looking at the far horizon calculating how far I am from home and yet not missing it. This is what I felt after reaching Havelock, the waves tempted me to join them as the ferry touched the land in Havelock.

As I reached Havelock, my first destination was Kala Pather beach. The food and travel here are quite expensive, as everything is imported from other Indian states. I had already figured out my mode of transport, and hence I rented a bike to travel and explore Havelock all by myself.

Kala Pather has stunning icy blue water with huge waves hitting the shore. The unique shaped coral stones and serene calmness of this beach is best to relax and enjoy nature.

After having emptied tons of salt water that I swallowed during my swim in the ocean, I headed out for food hunting. There are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options to select from, while you can find only two pure veg hotels, the rest provide both. The food here is finger-licking, yummy in some places but is a bit high on the pocket.

As mentioned earlier, Havelock is expensive and prior booking is suggested to get better price and offers. My other plans were kayaking in mangroves, scuba diving at Vijayanagar beach and snorkelling and trekking at Elephant beach.

Kayaking, mostly done in mangrove side of the island or in Elephant beach. It is adventurous and needs a lot of stamina to float the boat you are assigned.

It was definitely hard for a beginner like me; but trust me once I got hold of the technique of floating the boat without drowning myself, I was calm, composed and started to enjoy the ride. The effort was worth it, as I got to see small fishes and colourful coral under the water.

The Elephant beach offers water sports, a view to watch elephants bathe and, rich coral reefs. Snorkelling is preferred here because of its colourful marine life.

After all the hard work out done with snorkelling, kayaking and trekking, the next best thing is to enjoy the sunset at Radhanagar beach. I saw golden liquid on the brown soft sand, in the sparkling dark blue water. The silhouette of people looking at the beautiful sunset was like nature’s painting at its best.

My most exciting experience was scuba diving. Andaman is proud to be the host of many different species like blue-ringed fishes, parrot fishes, tiger fishes to name a few. When I came out of the water I only wished for one thing, to be a mermaid!

Once Ibn Battuta, an explorer said: “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

My first journey as a solo traveller has unleashed a new me.

By: Shaila Shree

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