Monday, March 03, 2008

Havelock, the Andaman islands

Not having lay-back holiday for a long while, I decided to take a week off after work to relax in an exotic place. A week before I was still undecided as where to go; Goa or the Andaman Islands. The Andamans were with no doubt the preferred option but with the down-side of expensive flights and lack of information online or in Lonely Planet. I spent hours on the web trying to figure out ferries to the smaller islands from Port-Blair. It was not easy. Having in mind that I wanted to do open water diving course did not make it any easier. Luckily I came across a detailed blog post which helped me to set up my mind and pick up diving center.

Although searching quite a bit I didn’t manage to find information. Focusing on Havelock and the blog directing me to Dive India helped a lot. So I browsed their website for a while and emailed them to verify some of the details (although everything was on the website and up to date). Pritha the owner (with her husband Vinnie) replied to my queries fairly quick and even put light on my concerns about the ferries to and from Port-Blair which later on I found can be a pain without the right connections and bribe.

I spent a week in the resort where I also completed the course and made friends I hanged out with most of the time. I will write another post about my diving experience, the resort and the diving center later on.

To get any of the connecting ferries to the islands from Port Blair forces anyone to spend some time in Port Blair. 4-5 hours on the day of arrival and over night a day before departure. Port Blair was a lil disappointing and not much of an interest, just like most advices indicated. Having said that, I’m sure it is only because I didn’t have the time to explore outside of the city. The island seemed very green and relaxed.

My original plan was to get to an isolated island, do nothing and relax after an extremely busy time at work and traveling over the weekends. Of course it never happened. I ended up barely having time to sleep or even to look around the island. One evening I managed to go to beach no #7 which is apparently the best beach in the world and one can notice why quite easily. It is so beautiful I only wished I could spend an entire day there. I also tried tender coconut which was yumm.

... and in sunset

The book I brought with me remained almost untouched till I spent some time on the roads on my own while on my way back to Hyderabad and then home. Since I left Hyderabad I avoided “spending” my iPod worried I will have to use it while resting – it was of course full.

I do have plans to come back to this island. Hopefully it will not get spoiled with the hundreds of tourists by then. I had in mind going to night fishing and birds watching which I unfortunately had to skip.

Nevertheless I am satisfied, PADI qualified and tanned :)

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