Finally last December we got a chance to travel to the islands... and nothing could have prepared me for it. The colours of the sea are like no where else and the cluster of islands made me forget where I had come from. From the moment I took the ferry out of Port Blair to Neil Island, the scenery just became truly mind blowing. As the cruise ship bounced the waves, sending bouts of adrenalin up my veins.... schools of fishes followed us. As soon as we reached Neil Island, we were lucky enough to spot a Godong swimming very close by to the shore. They said this was unusual... but then for me everything around was unusual. The air was so clean, the village so serene, so many shades of green & blue. Neil island is predominantly occupied by Bengalis and we found a cute cluster of shacks to stay in near the ocean. The island itself is so small that we hovered all around it in one day on our trusted scooty. Low tides are the best times of the day when the water recedes and you can literally walk in ankle deep water for miles into the sea.
We were not into the usual water activities but incase you are keen then i suggest snorkelling and scuba diving in Neil instead of in Havelock. Although Havelock does have its own charm, I felt Neil island is truly untouched and is definitely worth for the ones seeking solitude.
We spent 7 days in Neil & Havelock and on our way back had to stay one night at Port Blair before we took our flight back to our mundane city lives. But the last night had a surprise in store. We had decided to spend the night at a waterhouse owned by the Nobel family in Port Blair. A 20 minute hike took us into the backwaters and then a 10 minute boat ride dropped us at the waterhouse which literally stands in the middle of the water. We were left there with dinner and tea and the boatman had assured us that he will pick us up at 10 next morning.
As the day went buy we were greeted by hordes of birds fishing in the water ... and the last sunset was so vivid with a myriad of colours sprewn across the sky.
But as night cast its spell, it started to get eerie. With 2 solar lanterns for company we could hear the water rising and the crabs started crwaling below our floor. The eerieness got broken when we started to tap the dark waters with a stick and got delighted by the phosphorence we witnessed. I have no pictures of this place as all batteries had died down by then ... but this place is one of my must visits when in Andamans.
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