Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The incredible Andaman Islands !!!

Andamans - It was a breathtaking first sight from the air, as Ajju and me kept peeping through the windows, the bluish green coastline kept coming closer and closer and then suddenly you are on a tiny piece of an island run way. Port Blair to a large extent is like any other town/ city in India.. the only big difference being - Its so much more neat and clean, less crowded, hardly any traffic, well equipped and maintained and peace ful people. ( I did also hear that the crime rate is pretty low)... Hmm should I include it as an option in my retirement plans... I would'nt know.. Since Krishnan was busy with his work, Ajju and me pretty much had the day to ourselves, with visits to the famous Cellular Jail, Aquatic museums, and all around Port Blair and enjoying yummy food...of all these places, Cellular Jail will leave a lasting memory, I guess forever as one can never imagine how any person can be put into such small cell for years together.It must have been a very sad and gruelling life and we can only feel sorry for all of them.

Havelock Island - my only regret about this trip will be that we had only 4 days, and we managed only two Islands and that too Havelock was only for 2 days. Havelock is beautiful. The resort was very nice, beautiful with its own private beach, peaceful cottages, helpful service and ofcourse... yummy food :) Though it was raining very heavily, we made our way to Radhanagar Beach. For me it was a paradise on earth :) amazingly blue green water, lovely waves, white sand, mist covered mountains and the whole beach almost to ourselves... what a wonderful time we had and I kept wishing that time will stop right there... Snorkeling was another life changing experience for me... a complete non swimmer...for someone who is scared to get into the apartment's swimming pool, it was like a big leap to float around in the Bay of Bengal with an inflated tube around. But by God, it was worth over coming that fear.. I would have never imagined myself that sometime in my life, I will actually get to see a completely different world out there below the surface of the calm seas. so many different fishes, so many different shapes, colours, speeds, corals and for almost an hour I was transferred in to a different world and to this day I keep wondering if what I saw was real or a secret screening of National Geographic...

And coming back to Port Blair, I shopped.. :) for the very very small shell made ear rings and souvenirs and loved every bit of it... the last day rushed past very fast with a trip to Ross Island and the Anthropological Museum...and when Raja, our driver for 4 days told us that we saw only 40 % of Andamans, I guess I believe him. I wish we had more time...

But then, some of the important memories of trip would also be the speed boat ride on North Passage to & fro Havelock.. the amazing power of the sea when you are on the deck of the speed boat.... the beautiful splash of sea water on your face every time the boat breaks the wave ( there are only certain things that your digicam or handicam can capture...but what you can see with your naked eye, what you can feel and the senses of things around can never be matched), the up and downs of fishing boat ride to Ross Island, the heart wrenching sound and light show at Cellular Jail, the bengali, telegu and tamil speaking people who make you feel at home, the port of Port Blair and actually seeing a local fisherman pull out a huge Sting Ray fish using jus a small hook, the local tribals who are so elusive and the spirit of Andamans in standing up again in picking up the pieces and rebuilding bit by bit , even after the devastating Tsunami in 2004...I really wish I had more time... :)

And I do know I should not say this, but after that action packed beautiful 4 days, it was a pain to come back to the unwelcoming sights of Mumbai traffic, pollution and the monsoons that are so very different and dirty from what we experienced in the Fantastic Andamans... To think that it is also a part of India....and still remains so lovely.... Incredible India indeed !