In Part-1 of this series, we discussed some serious stuff. Here's Part-2 in which we talk about the fun stuff :)
Update: In May 2015, the Prime Minister of India asked us to share our travel experiences across India. He acknowledged this blog :).
There was eternal debate on whether to do this or not! And finally, one day before leaving the Andaman's it was decided that I will take the plunge! And what an experience it has been - at first it was scary. The guide tells me this - "relax, you are not going to war, it's just a dive with me holding you"! And then we go into the water. It took about a minute to get acclimatized and realise that I was actually looking directly at life under water!
The deeper we go, the more colourful the fish become :) - Parrot fish, Joker fish, Sponges etc were a revelation. There were also fish that were 1/3rd the size of a normal finger! Truly a world unknown to us! No adventures happened because there were no sharks around ;)
After about 15 minutes, we came out. It took about 2 hours before the churning in the stomach stopped and 2 days for the ears to regain their full hearing capacity! But like they say when the idea of Scuba Diving is being sold to you - this is an experience you will never forget!
Another one of those spot decisions - we had about an hour of waiting time to board a cruise from Havelock Island to Port Blair , so we figured we might take a speed boat ride in the blue waters. The boat driver tells us that they have a package wherein they take you through the mangroove tree range. He also tells us "if you are lucky, you will see some crocodiles"! Lucky?!
Anyways, we take the ride and it turned out to be a once in a lifetime experience! It was as if we were travelling through the narrow lanes of Amazon river (we saw them on TV and always wondered how it will be traversing through them!). The driver plucked a stem and showed to us how the leaves are formed and subsequently how the trees themselves are formed! Mother Nature is phenomenal really!
Buildings captured by trees :)
Take a look at the pics below - the trees have literally taken over the remnants of the old buildings. This picture is taken on Ross Island, which was the headquarters of the Britishers while they were here. This is a small island that is very near to Port Blair, and the britishers enjoyed their heydays in this small and beautiful island. The island is replete with thousands of coconut trees, some GIANT trees (you would look so small while standing near them), deers, birds, and houses captured by trees!
And finally, Radhanagar beach on Havelock Island.
There was so much hype around this beach on Havelock Island that I was more than 100% sure that it is over-hyped. And the moment we saw it, we were bowled over! Havelock is an island that is about 90 kms away from Port Blair. We have to go there by a cruise (we took this one - poshly named as Makruzz!). In our return journey, we tried for a sea-plane ticket but couldn't get one! Anyways, there is only one place that needs to be visited here - the Radhanagar Beach!
This was for the first time we were seeing a white sand beach, green and blue waters, and lush greenery! Never knew such beaches could exist in India! We have spent close to 4-5 hours at this beach over 2 days - still couldn't get enough of it! We got sea-sick while travelling to and from Havelock, but this Radhanagar beach experience made us forget the sickness in no time!
There was this "sofa ride" as part of the water sports - you sit on sofa balloon, a Jet scooter will drag you around :) The ride was fun, till the point where the smell from diesel of the Jet Scooter was too strong to bear!
In the whole tour, we came across only one place that's named after Rajiv Gandhi! Looks like Port Blair has a long way to go to meet the demands of the Congress party :P!
There is a light house on North Bay Island near to Portblair. The Rs. 20 note has this image on it :)
And finally, for the telugu movie lovers, somewhere on this beach area, the telugu all time blockbuster movie Sultan starring Yuvaratna Balakrishna, Super Star Krishna and Rebel Star Krishnam Raju - was shot here!