and you know what that means, don't you? It means the possibility of another holiday. But before I write about that, I think it wise to write about the Andaman trip like I've been promising to do ever since I came back! So without much more further ado, here's...
Part 1 of our Island Adventures
January 23rd, 2009
(BTW, readers of M&B magazine may find certain parts familiar to a certain article on the same subject in the March issue. Please don't think that I stole someone else's thoughts, lines and words...that article was written by me!)
Ours was an early morning flight, 5.30 am to be precise! That meant putting the boys to sleep early on the 22nd. Of course, the MIM and I tried to follow the same rule as well, but we all know what they say about the best laid plans. The alarm screeched at us at 2 a.m., after what seemed like a 43 second snooze, and the MIM and I got the finishing touches together and woke the boys up. We arrived at the airport before it was even open! Ah well, having learnt well from the early bird, at least we got the most coveted seats on the flight, with time for coffee to boot!
We asked for two separate window seats even though that meant that we wouldn’t be able to sit together, but at least this way, both of us along with a kid each, would get a view of the islands from the clouds. And when two hours later, after a hearty Indian Airlines breakfast and a ten-minute snooze, we got The View. That was the first of many, MANY breathtaking moments on our trip. It was literally like looking at emerald droplets floating in a sea of sapphire. The MIM, our EO and I were awestruck (YO was fast asleep). Before the trip, I had shown the EO pictures of the islands in travel books and on the internet. I had briefed him about what we were going to see and (hopefully) all the adventures we were going to have. That’s why, when he saw what he had previously only seen before in books and the internet, right under his very nose, he was at a loss for words! (And believe me, that’s a really big thing because you have no idea what a chatterbox he is!)
There was a van from the hotel waiting to take us and the other soon-to-be-vacationers to The Sinclair’s…touted to be the best in Port Blair. As we drove from the airport to the hotel, the first thing that struck me was how CLEAN the city was. I mean not-a-single-scrap-of-paper-on-the-roads clean. This is also a part of India. The inhabitants of this city are Indians too. So why such a stark difference? It means we can take pride in our city and throw rubbish where it’s supposed to go. So why not in Kolkata, Mumbai and Patna?
The view of the ocean on our way to the hotel, lifted our spirits. We checked in, had our baths and inquired about the ‘Things to do in the Andamans’. There was a boat leaving for the Ross Islands and so we called for a packed lunch and set off for our first touristy thing to do. We first lathered ourselves with sunscreen and made sure we had lots and LOTS of water with us. The boats, or more appropriately launches, from Port Blair to Ross Island left from the Water Sports Complex. Before the tsunami, there were many adventure water sports here, like water scooters, para gliding, kayaking and the like. When we asked why they hadn’t started again, we were told with a wry smile, “Everything in India is always late.” Understood brother!
The boat ride was a mere and pleasant 20 minutes.
We came back exhausted, crashed for an hour and then headed off to Carmyn’s Cove, said to be the only beach in Port Blair. We got there after the sunset and the tide had already come in. Not much of a beach and the hubby and I were disappointed. The boys had their shovels at the ready, found a patch of dry sand and proceeded to enjoy themselves. We left soon after.
That night, thanks to the loooooong and tiring day, coupled with the excruciatingly long wait at the jetty in Ross Island, we found the YO burning with a high fever. Heat fever thanks to the exhaustion! Luckily we had all our medicines. It had been a long day and it turned out to be an even longer night, with the MIM and me taking turns to carry the YO around to soothe him and keep him comfortable and cuddled. We were due to leave for Havelock Island the day after. Instead, we contemplated taking the next flight back home... (to be contd.)