This trip was one of the most debated ones where we contemplated on whether to go island hopping or stay put on a single island. We decided to stay put. However, we consciously ignored the popular touristy island destination of Andamans i.e Havelock & instead chose Niel Island as our safe haven for the next couple of days.
Off late I have been fascinated by the concept of slow travel. Although this wasn't slow travel per se but I wanted to get started on this path.
Here is how we defined our slow travel - We decided to stick to one activity per day on the island & then let the travel vibe take over for the rest of the day. Basically the idea was to go with the flow & be open to new experiences.
On day 1, we landed in Port Blair & rushed to the jetty to take our cruise to Niel Island. We took Makruzz, a decent cruise amongst the rest. After an 1-1.5 hour travel we reached Niel Island. On landing, the first thing that hit me was the calming sounds of the waves & the vast blue ocean.
We checked into our resort by noon & the rest of the day was spent acclimatizing & exploring the resort. A 2 min walk from the resort led me to some beautiful first views of the beach.
The agenda for day 2 was to catch a glimpse of the sunrise. We woke up early in the morning (at 4am) & headed straight to the sunrise point. On the previous evening we got our ride for exploring the island.
The ride was a basic bicycle. The best decision ever. More on this on later.
The route to sunrise point was mesmerizing. It was filled with coconut trees on one side & the vast scenic ocean on the other side. Indeed a refreshing slow ride. On this trip, I had decided to include atleast one endurance activity per day so that the body is kept in check while the soul heals.
On reaching the spot, I settled myself in the perfect slot for the sunrise by the shore. Looking at the sun rise slowly through the clouds, I started to seek some creative thoughts to pen. The vast blue ocean promptly responded
So here it goes...
"On the sea shore,
Whilst on a nostalgic walk down the memory lane,
My mind wandered, contemplating on the philosophy of time
As I walked, the gleaming waves returning back home, gently slid through my feet
bringing me back to the present.
I allowed my mind to rest for a while...
Just for a little while.
Like a comma, taking a pause mid-way through the sentence 😛
But like always my monkey mind went on a wanderlust spree yet again.
This time, wandering through the infinite ocean, seeking some creative thoughts to pen.
Some big magic to spell😍
As the evening set in, calmness ensued
The tranquil blue ocean opened the door to answer,
Look up it said,
gaze at the imperfectly perfect twilight,
Consume the beauty of imperfection. For it is real.
It is then I concurred,
The magic had already begun
The words were already penned
& The present is the only real present
Ahh the philosophy of time
So complex yet so simple."
The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the beach, doing absolutely nothing.
The agenda for day 3 was fairly simple. Exploring the underwater life😍
So we freezed on India scuba diving center to take us through this thrilling experience. They were the most professional divers that I have come across. The day started early morning with some yoga sessions on the beach side while they prepped up the equipments & our gears for the dive.
The training session lasted for almost 30-40mins explaining the details to the T. Some of us failed miserably in our first attempt but the trainers persisted & got us through.
Breathing which is one of the most simple things to do, happened to be the most complex activity underwater. Anyway, as our training completed some of us contemplated on quitting, fearing failure. But that day wasn't for quitting. We all motivated & cheered each other to go on & finish what we started.
The divers took us somewhere mid-sea closer to a beautiful coral. The sea sickness was getting to some of us
But as we put on our gears ready to jump there was sense of pure joy & excitement, just like a child learning something for the first time.
We dived & slowly descended underwater holding the rope. We were guided to equalize the pressure every now & then. Awestruck at the first views of the underwater life, it was like a epiphany of the sorts for some of us...
"There is so much we do not know, yet we go on pounding our chest in ignorance of the little things we know"
As the dive continued deeper the breathing got simpler. The life got slow. The dive opened me to new dimensions / perspectives which wouldn't be possible to experience sitting in a cubicle going through PPT's & excels. The wisdom coupled with the travel experience, I knew would surely help me navigate through any difficulties in life.
Moving on, the rest of the day was spent talking about the rare finds underwater & talking about how the dive had a different impact on each one of us.
Having completed the single main agenda of the trip - scuba diving, my mind was at peace, so I decided to go with the flow. What followed was a lazy breakfast extending into brunch & getting lost in one of the books of the history of humankind. Post a good read & a siesta, I decided to take my bicycle for a ride.
Renting a bicycle was one of the best decision of the trip. The sound of the bell *tring tring* suddenly teleported me back to childhood. The carefree joy rides. Such a bliss.
So my joy ride took me to one of the touristy spots called the Natural bridge. As usual being a touristy spot it was crowded yet it looked extravengant to experience the sunset by the natural bridge. I spent some time there consuming the beauty of this naturally formed structure.
The day came to an end with a scrumptious meal at one of the local restaurants.
The last day was kept to explore the local flavour of the Niel Islands, meeting the locals, listening to their stories of love & struggle. It was inspiring to say the least. The entire day was spent aimlessly wandering hopping from one place to another clicking whatever fascinated me. Some clicks below.
In a nutshell this was one of the first trips where I did not rush to relax if you know what I mean. I was completely mindful of the present experiences. I felt totally rejuvenated not needing holiday to recover from the vacation 😁
#IslandLife #SlowTravel #Scubadiving #Underwater #InnerPeace