Have you had the urge to just take off to a far away land , away from everything and everyone and just relax for a while!!!
Well, i had been having that urge for quite some time…to be away from office, from friends and family..away from all roles and responsibilities and multitasking!!!..and just chill!!!!
I badly wanted to fall off the map for a while…just take off on a holiday to some remote place….well, luckily the husband had the time, resources and inclination to do just the same…and we took off Andaman & Nicobar Islands in December for a good fortnight!!..
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of islands in the Indian Ocean and a Union Territory of India. There are 572 islands in the territory, of which only approximately 38 are permanently inhabited. They islands are remote as remote can be..and as some of my relatives(who had been there some time ago) told me, were totally amazingly beautiful!!!
So we took an connecting flights via Chennai to Port Blair( which is the main island and capital of Andaman & Nicobar), which took us one day(yeah they are that far from mainland India!!) to reach…and the first view of the islands from the aeroplane got us excited and the first thing husband said was that he was sure we were going to have a fantabulous time ahead!!!!
We landed in Port Blair on sunday, and surprisingly for us, all things were shut down , which the locals told us happened every sunday as everyone is in no hurry there!!!…
we did not want to stay at our hotel so went off to the nearest beach to our hotel, Corvyn’s Cove, a pretty beach frequented by locals on holidays..it was breezy and fun …but we were not satisfied..we wanted to be off the map!!!!
Anyways, since we could not do anything as it was a sunday and we had booked our ferry to havelock islands , we had to spend one half day in port blair….so..to pass our time, we checked out Cellular Jail(now a Historic Monument), which was notorious in British rule (of India) as the penance colony for freedom fighters; it was quite enlightening to learn and see how people had given up their present for the country’s future.
The next day, our driver cum guide wanted to take us on a city tour….i said no ways!!! i havent come here to do that…..please take me away from everything!!!!!
He thought for a while and then said fine!!……and took us on a hour long ride among coastal roads, forests and hills to come to this amazing beach called Munda Pahar…
It was just an amazing feeling when i first set my eyes on it!!!
Munda Pahar Beach is just 2 hours drive from city..but it feels so remote…and there were hardly anyone there…just us and another group of five people…between us and them…we had the whole expanse of the beach to explore and enjoy!!!…it was fun beach bumming the whole day, swimming in the waters, collecting sea sells, clicking pics and just enjoying!!!!!!!
The next day, we took a ferry from port blair harbour to one of the other islands – Havelock Islands, renowned among european backpackers to be the ultimate getaway!!!
It took us 6 hours of journey to reach Havelock by ferry , most of it was spent gazing at the amazing scenery.
Havelock has a total of 8 beaches and resorts are set up on most of them. however, they are not like regular resorts…very very basic cottage huts , comfy, hygenic ..but very basic!!!
We had pre – booked at one of its eco -resorts located on Beach #2(yeah they have numbered beaches!!).
It was one of the prettiest beach views i have had at any resorts i have traveled and stayed at till date!!
I got into my chilling out mode instantly….most of the times i would just lay on the hammock reading or gazing at the sea , other times collecting sea shells, talking to locals, gazing at the shell crabs walking about…it was just pure bliss!!
One of the best things i did while there was do yoga in the mornings…..man , yoga by the beach just frees your soul…well, it did mine, totally!!!
As i said earlier, Havelock has many beaches and we had amazing time beach hopping and beach bumming!!
the first one we went to was elephant beach…the sand was so fine there and totally white.. i could not believe my eyes on seeing such beauty..but after a while, i was just enjoying my bliss!!!..and totally enjoyed swimming and snorkeling there.
The other beaches of mention are beach #8 and beach # 7(also called radhanagar beach).
Radhanagar beach is counted as the best beach in Asia. It is an amazingly wonderful beach…words cannot describe it so im not saying anything more on it!!!
Not only were the beaches fun, driving to them was more fun….we hired a scooty and drove ourselves through some lush green vegetation, forests, villages, seaside roads…it was like we were on our second honeymoon!!!
While in Havelock, we had the good fortune of having a full moon night, oh!! it was such a beautiful sight!!!!
We came back to Port Blair after 4 blissful days and wanted some more beach bumming!!….so we went off to Jolly Bouy for a day; Jolly Bouy is a coral island located in Rajiv Gandhi Marine Park and is totally pristine as travelers cannot stay there and only limited number of people are allowed to travel on a daily basis..it was fun swimming and snorkeling in the waters, the husband was much more enthusiastic about it for a change!!!.. in addition to the beaches, the views and the crystal clear waters.. the corals were amazing!!!
We spent some time in Port Blair, doing the usual touristy thing, visiting some historic places…and some nearby we doing it more grudgingly since i just was wanted to beach bum!!……
Finally, the husband gave in and took me to Neil Island…again the ferry journey was fun and the island a total bliss with its fantastic views and beaches!!!
We spent our last days in Andaman in Neil Island and got back only to catch our flight!!
It was wonderful, blissful and remote…and i was completely recharged and rejuvenated and my map falling was finally complete!!
This is the overpowering image(amongst a flurry of equally powerful images) i have in my mind’s eye of the place, whenever i think of Andaman & Nicobar)…..it was total bliss!!!!