Travel for me has always been a simple act - pack a bag and leave! And the first choice has always been hills. I am a complete mountain baby and I run to the hills at the very first chance that I get. But this one was different. It was Amma's 60 th birthday and we had to plan something special for her. After a lot of brainstorming, we finalized on Andamans. I was extremely apprehensive - this was my first exotic trip to the beaches and also, what are beaches in comparison to mountains, right?!
But all this and many other doubts and worries were about to be shattered in this 5 day trip. Here is one such trippy account - A Mountain Girl On An Island.
We started our journey at 3:30am on a Saturday morning. Our ( Go Air) flight was at 5:30am, a connecting one - with a stopover at Kolkata. We landed in Port Blair at around 11:30am. The airport was tiny! I kid you not! It looked like a mini-model of a wannabe cool and hep airport that could unfortunately never see the light of approval! After waiting at the luggage belt for 20 minutes and patiently dealing with the crowd, we finally exited.
We had booked the package through Travel Triangle and the tour agency guide was at the exit door to pick us up. While our representative Mr. Debashish walked us through the itinerary, our driver Mr. Zaheer dropped us at our hotel in Port Blair, J Hotel. We were extremely picky while choosing our hotel in Port Blair as one of my friends had pre-warned me about the fact that there is no co-relation with the star (*2/3/4/5 star) and the services offered. but thankfully, J Hotel turned out to be fab in terms of customer service. The wifi sucks here but the ever smiling and thoughtful staff makes it up for it. The guard, Mr. Dharma is one kind soul and his infectious smile can totally make your day!
Our room (105) was spacious and had a huge dressing table! We freshened up and ordered lunch from the hotel restaurant - Rice, Fish curry & crunchy munchy papad was finger licking good! No offence to Mr. Colonel Sanders and his chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken stores, but the chef at J Hotel changed my definition of finger licking good!
Later on, we headed to Chidiya Tapu Beach. It was a 40 minute drive from J Hotel. Also known as Sunset Point and Bird Island, it is one of the best places to see the sunset in Port Blair.
The road to the beach crisscrosses through dense jungle that opens up along the coastline a few times. There are "beware of crocodile" signboards at the beach. Mr. Zaheer informed us that prior to the Tsunami that hit the area in 2004, these crocodiles were kept in a zoo next to the beach. But after the Tsunami, well, the mighty creatures were back to their original home and hence the sign board. The authorities have marked a portion of the beach and the visitors can only walk around in that area. Although it was cloudy, the setting sun had left the sky blushing.