Friday, April 3, 2015

Andaman - An ideal itinerary

Kanishka and I went to Andaman for our honeymoon. As a touristy destination in India, it is one of the good ones. As a honeymoon place, it is as cliched as they come. To give you an example, on the plane from Chennai to Port Blair, it was filled with couples, all recently married - an easily observed fact as almost all women had mehendi up to their elbows, at-least, and long set of bangles (chuda) on their arms. This pattern was repeated or every touristy destination that we visited. But thankfully, there were only a few of those.

Day 1 : If there is one place that you must stay at Port Blair, then it is Sea House by Noble's homestay. It is a small house standing in the middle of sea. There is no electricity, but there is potable water and a stove. It also has an awesome balcony, hammocks inside and you experience perfect serenity. We saw the Sunset, the sunrise and the steady flow of sea water under the house the whole night.

For this experience, you have to be at Port Blair by 2 pm and start for the Sea House early. We landed at Port Blair and straight went to AnnaPoorna, the best Veg place in town. We packed our dinner as well from here. The food is pretty good.

Day 2: We had to leave the homestay early as we had booked an early morning ferry to Havelock island. Makruzz is the cruz operator we had used. The sad part of ferries is that they don't let you go out. The govt. operated ferry on the other hand is cheap and you can stand on the deck. We took it on the way back and highly recommend it. At Havelock, we had chosen Barefoot at Havelock as our place for next couple of days. Barefoot was chosen based on TripAdvisor's recommendations and its photos. We did not knew that it is next to RadhaNagar beach, the best beach at Havelock.

As we entered, the guy at reception welcomed us by saying - "There is no internet, no cell phone connection, no cable connection, no intercom, basically, you have come here to relax" Radha nagar beach is very clean and beautiful. We just hung around the beach during the day. We rented a Scooty there and felt liberated. We roamed around downtown and went to a local Mela at night. Though there is a lot of tourist influx, all said and done, Havelock is a small village and the mela there, was a reminder of that.  I played those little mela games that i had played when i was a kid. It was awesome to relive that memory.

Day 3: Kayaking time. Tinaaz Noble was our Kayaking guide and she was awesome. Kanishka and I were on one kayak and it was brilliant to navigate on our own. We took the local mangrove tour. The tour lasted for an hr or so and to compensate for all the paddling done, we went to the Full Moon Cafe (For my Bay area friends, this place was as good as the cafes at Half Moon Beach) . Now, half moon cafe is awesome. We had the hummus platter, some milk shakes, and an amazing Banofee pie.

Post the heavy meal, we did a small trek to Elephant beach and spent the afternoon doing water sports . Kanishka, as usual, was quite brave and says to me in the end "It was not that scary". Meanwhile, i was holding the handle with all the energy that i was able to transfer to my grip.  We trekked back and by the time we were back, we were tired and relaxed by watching the Sunset at the beach.

Day 4: We had planned to go for Snorkeling but laziness is a trait quite difficult to loose. We relaxed during the day, took the ferry back to Port Blair and then visited Kanishka' cousin sister over dinner. Our second Port Blair stay was booked at The Sea Princess, a decent place at Wandoor. On the plus side of Sea Princess, it is next to a beach and a decent quite place. On the negative side, the food is horrible and it is far away from Port Blair.

Day 5: Before, i share our Port Blair journey, it will be a good time to explain Port Blair. Port Blair is a lazy town. People here have long lunch breaks. They close their shops just after sunset, which happens at around 5 pm and by 7 pm, the city is deserted. On top of this, they will have Monday off because the usual Sunday holiday has been taken away because of tourism. 
We rented a day long cab at Port Blair and ended up visiting the Archaeological museum, Samudrika museum and finally the Port Blair jail. The jail is a good place to visit, a very sad place if you look historically. The exhibitions inside the jail are fairly well documented. It is a must see place, though not sure from honeymoon point of view. They have a song and light show in the evening, which i strongly recommend should be missed. 

Day 6: Our initial plan was to visit a limestone cave, some 100 kms away but that plan did not materialize because the town takes off on Monday. We ended up just roaming around Wandoor. There is a small Gandhi museum there, which is only open from 8 am to 10 am, and even this small 2-hr-a-day museum was closed, because it was a Monday. We strolled on the beach and enjoyed a swim in the pool.  A nice day to relax and not do anything is sometimes enjoyed more than destinations. And in between, Kanishka saw a puchka wala and both of us ran towards him. Kanishka is counting number of states/UTs where she has tasted Puchkas. 

Day 7: We started the day with the idea to see the Sunrise and checkout a Japanese bunker nearby. Even after walking for 30 mins, we could not spot the bunker, so came back. Before the flight, we quickly did a tour of Ross island which is a beautiful place. We also took a small adventure ride to reach the island. The way back was peaceful. 

The end. 

1 comment:

Mini said...

Thanks a lot Arvind for writing it down.. I could relive through all the experience we have had... :)

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