Cruising through the Islands of Andaman

29th Aug 2019
Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Day 3

I couldn’t keep up to my itinerary because of Spice Jet. I am never flying with Spice Jet ever again. My flight was delayed by 6 hrs, which completely wasted my first day of the trip.

Moving on, Let me highlight the best part about Andaman. The Island is not only blessed with beauty but also with people with a heart of gold. Trust me when I say this, I have traveled to a lot of places, but I felt the most loved and secured on this Island.

Next day, I boarded a ship from Port Blair to Havelock Island. I was unaware of the process and I thought to myself that there was no way I would be able to board the first ship of the day. Little did I know that I was in good hands. Yeshuraj, the driver who dropped me till the jetty helped me throughout the process , he took an extra mile to make my trip a success. Because of Yeshuraj, I was able to board the first ship. I couldn’t thank him enough.

It was a two-hour journey to Havelock. Everyone around got very sick due to the movement of the ship. I learned a little technique to survive, Just breath. Inhale when the ship goes up and exhale when it goes down. It will help your body to survive the continuous movement. It did work out for me.

In case you do not want to travel by boat, you can anytime hop to the Islands in a helicopter. It is a little pricey but good for people who want to avoid seasickness and get an Ariel view of the Islands. 
Tip- Try to go for the government ships rather than spending x10 on a private jetty. Private boats can get you even sicker due to its speed, which runs at 22 miles per hour whereas, government ships run at 12 miles per hour.

As I stepped out of the ship and looked around, I was amazed. I was surrounded by water which was so pristine and clear to look at. I couldn’t wait to see what more the island had to offer.

I boarded a bus to reach the hotel.

Tip- When in Havelock, always board a bus, as it will drop you till your destination in just Rs.10, whereas, an auto will cost you up to Rs 200 and above.

Emerald Gecko, I looked up this hotel online. Staying at Gecko was the best decision I made. These huts are all quirky with the best in-house food. It almost feels like you’re a tribal living on an island, except they also provide Wi-fi. Now, that’s a luxury to get on an island with no network right?

Anyway, the manager was super hospitable and did everything under the control of management to make me feel safe & sound. As there are no hostels on the island, I’d recommend Gecko to all the backpackers.

I covered the basics like Radhanagar Beach, Kalapathar Beach and was ready to go to Neil Island on the next day . I did get a little irresponsible when i plugged in my earphones and missed my stop multiple times, because of which I got a little peek of the far-away home of the locals. I did not regret it though

Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Day 4

Next day, I was ready with my bags to sail off from the Island. Just when I was about to check-out, the hotel manager informed me that there were no ships were sailing on that day due to weather issues. I was a little confused about my next move as I had no choice but to extend my stay. And Hey, It was my Birthday!

I did a little digging and ended up at a Scuba diving spot. The CORAL REEF.

I filled up a form and got suited up to go take a dive.

I remember the time I took my first dive, I was an 18-year-old trying to figure out what solo traveling felt like & before I knew, I was somewhere inside the water leaning about life underneath. That moment I knew that this was something I would love to do in the water of Andaman, mainly because I understood all the hype about it, and there I was, deep inside the Burma sea, exploring the coral reef. In just a few seconds I was meters down, feeling every breath I took, at that moment I was at the quietest place, I could tell.

There were times when i could catch a glance of Nemo, and many other kindS I didn’t even know existed. The coral life seemed very appealing. It bought out a different sense of calm in me. More than an experience, it was a feeling that made me realize the importance of my being. Also, I wished myself a very happy Birthday. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my 21 years of being.

I reached the hotel feeling different. I went to the beach and clicked pictures of me using a tripod. Well, I realized that I could click better pictures of me.

Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Day 2

There were many ways I had planned to turn 21, but life does not always turn out to be as planned now, does it?

I have seen how people around me talk about how depressed they are with their 9-5 job, they sound anguished about how they could’ve lived their life differently if they could go back to being 21 and do things they have missed out on.

Well, there was no way I wanted to regret my life looking back at it. So I booked my two-way tickets to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, keeping in mind that I wanted to do something crazy to celebrate my 21 years of being on this planet.

I was all worked up and planned an itinerary which covered up pretty much the basics.

A little tip – Do not get disappointed if things do not go according to your plan, because you never know what part of the plan might not work out.

Okay, too much of blabbering.

There are many ways to reach the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The Port Blair Airport is officially called Veer Savarkar Airport and is the main airport of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Direct flights fly from Bangalore, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, and Kolkata.

You can also travel by ships which sail from Chennai, Kolkata, and Visakhapatnam but only take a ship if you are not prone to seasickness.

I had a very short trip planned as August was not the best season. The season starts from October – March, but does it matter when you’re such a travel freak?

I booked my stay at Coral Isle Bed & Breakfast. Located in a very posh area, it was near to many tourist attractions. I was surprised to know that I had booked a suite for myself at a very reasonable price. The family that hosted the bed & breakfast were very comforting and helpful. The only drawback was that booking a suite for myself turned out to be a horror as the suite was a little too big for me, which kept me up all night. Haha!

Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Day 5

Next morning, I took the first Jetty back to Port Blair. The insanity began when I was at the control room with the captains of the ship chatting about life and stuff. So this started when the captain found me completely lost and confused in the ship. When I asked him if I could sit inside the control room as I couldn’t find my seat due to the crowd, he cheerfully replied ‘ The world is yours’ Once seated he told me that it was completely restricted to have passengers anywhere near the control room, but he got intrigued by the way I reminded him of his younger daughter, so he couldn’t help but say yes. Well, It just made my day. The team shared their navy experiences and showered their knowledge about the ship. i was left dazed. My journey from Havelock to Port Blair ended in no time, as I was learning something about them every minute.

As we reached Port Blair, we shared our Goodbyes!

I took an auto to my hotel which was located very far from the city.

Tip- Do check the location of the hotel before you book it . I did a mistake.

That evening I spent at Corbyn beach, listening to music and watching the sunset, I was overwhelmed thinking about the turn of events that had happened in the last 4 days. It made me realize my capability of handling situations and making the most out it.

That evening I managed to find a coffee shop with the best Chicago cheesecake & coffee. Now, that’s a package!

Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Photo of Cruising through the Islands of Andaman by Rakshya Agrawal
Day 6

Next day, Unfortunately, I had to fly with Spice jet again. My flight was again hours delayed, but I was a happy passenger thinking about how life changed for me in the past 4 days, I left with a lot of memories and learning. Those turn of events taught me that “Let life surprise you” , it’s not always getting there. Follow the tracks and you will possibly reach your planned destination but it doesn’t matter even if you lose track because you will probably reach somewhere even better.

Not to miss out, I heard a lot of Sentinel Island from the locals. An island inhabited by the Sentinelese for over 60.000 years. It is still left untouched by development and other humans. I was lucky enough to catch an Ariel view of the Island from my flight back to Chennai.

Photo of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Rakshya Agrawal