It all happened one night, when we stumbled upon a very tempting offer to fly to Andamans on a day which marked the start of a long weekend. And this Independence day, bags were packed, auto replies scheduled on Outlook, and we were ready to be delighted by all the interesting things those were lined up for us. We landed in Port Blair in afternoon and were greeted by the sweet sunshine showering on the crystal clear blue water of Andaman Sea.
1. Stay at the North Bay View
We decided to unpack and put down our anchor at this place called North Bay View hotel. The perks of visiting a place in the off season - You get the best of the places with little price to pay for.
We were just 15 minutes into the place and we already knew that we are their for a treat.
2. The Chhidiya Tapu and Munda Pahar Beach
After a short pit stop and stuffing ourselves with all the delicious crabs and prawns that we could get our hands on, we set out for a trip around the city. Luck ran out a little when we were told that all the ferries to Havelock were booked for the next 4 days, and this had to be chucked off out to-do list. Kind of heartbroken, we made our way to a local booze shop (with prices even lower than the paradise, Goa) and procured enough stuff to last the trip.
The next stop was Munda Pahar Beach. After taking a dip in the water, we strolled towards Chhidiya Tapu Beach, also known as "Sunset Point" or "Bird Island". Sunset adds all the drama it can to the sky and you just feel like sitting there for eternity and observe the painting that's there on the canvas over you.
This place is called Bird's Island. And what do birds do? They fly. And so did we, before bidding this place a good bye.
3. Light Show at Kaala Paani
We spent the eve of the Independence Day witnessing the history of the Kaala Paani, narrated by the Peepal Tree. Every place in the Cellular Jail had something to tell.
4. Cellular Jail Visit
It was 15th August, the Independence Day. And which other place to visit than the Cellular Jail, a place which even today speaks of the Freedom Movement. Saffron, White and Green - Entire city was painted with these three colors.
5. Corbyn's Cove Beach
En route to Corbyn's Cove Beach, encountered many landscape points. We couldn't help taking multiple pit stops en route.
Corbyn's Cove is the nearest beach in the city. Went there, gulped down few plates of Bhel Puri and jumped right into the heart of the Sea.
The place was full with chatter, jet skis and crystal clear water.
6. Kaala Patthar Trek, Mount Harriet National Park
Situated in the Bamboo Flat Island, Mount Harriet National Park offered a trek to Kaala Patthar. 5 kms of leech covering was supposed to be crossed. At first it looked like it won't be an issue but by the end of the trek, our feet had been home to over hundred of leeches and a sleeper full of blood marked the end.
But as they say, leeches only suck your impure blood. That meant we could afford some impurity late in the evening.
And Kala Patthar - It turned out to be just what the name said - A black stone, nothing else. You can ready our entire experience here. This trek was nothing like the treks I have been a part of earlier. Rainforests take a complete different form in Monsoons.
After all the exhaustion, we landed on this place called Lighthouse Restaurant in Port Blair. Must visit for the best sea food in the vicinity.
7. Lighthouse, North Bay Island
North Bay View was the heart of our trip. Reason? No points for guessing - Scuba Diving
But in the meantime, while waiting for your turn, you could definitely visit the lighthouse, to have a view of the area from the highest point around.
8. Scuba Diving at North Bay Island
Scuba has been in my to-do list for a long time now. And finally it was time for me to experience it. 15 minutes of training session followed by 30 minutes underwater. It was an experience of a lifetime to see the entire different world that exists underwater, and be a part of it.
9. Anthropological Museum, Port Blair
The museum in Port Blair takes you to a tour of the island's tribal communities. From the artifacts and handicrafts in the early days of the settlement to the hunting weapons carved from the corals, the museum is a portrait of Andaman's culture and inhabitants.
10. Wandoor Beach
On the way to Red Skin Island, we visited Wandoor Beach, from where we had to board the ferry. This is one of those postcard places that one sees.
Have the license sleep to be lazy. Do nothing and have it count for something. Lie on a Branch and study the clouds.
11. Red Skin Island
After going around the museum at Wandoor Beach, highlighting the life at Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, and a light photo session, we took our ferry to the Red Skin Island.
This island is one of it's kind private natural swimming pool. And to add to this, we got Snorkeling and Glass Boat ride with the package. Life is Good.
12. Mini Zoo, Port Blair
Our trip ended with a documentary and a visit of the Mini Zoo. Python in the glass cage, a viper outside the cage - We were unsure if we would find more reptiles in or outside the cage.
The place was blooming with flowers. Life is a garden. And I love being in a garden. The sparse structure and repetition of shape - almost fractal.