I booked the tickets to Andamans and a 2-night stay at Havelock (thinking we would head for it the moment we land at Port Blair). I didn’t talk to anyone to find out how to go about the trip due to lack of time. In any case, I always tend to travel without any planning and that good luck streak had to end somewhere. We wanted to take Kabir somewhere during the summer holidays and it was something we were doing together as a family after four years. However, because his father’s travel dates to India were not confirmed and I was recovering from typhoid, planning in advance wasn’t possible.
Anyway, so we went from one travel agent to another and finally managed to get tickets for the next day. We hadn’t booked a hotel at Port Blair so we went looking for one. Most good ones were fully booked but we managed to get a room at Sinclair and at 9k (post discount) I thought it was quite expensive, the view being the only saving grace. We headed for dinner to Lighthouse restaurant which is one of the most popular sea food restaurants and I thought the food was average. The only thing we knew was that the people are kind and honest there. Anyway, our flight was delayed and once we reached, the kind cab driver informed us that usually the tickets to the only ferry have to be booked 48 hours in advance. In the monsoon, the number of boats is way lesser as they are sent for maintenance and the last boat had left already. In most destination islands I have traveled to in the Philippines and Thailand (mostly), getting from one island to another isn’t that big a deal.
There is minimal lighting there, its lush green and you only have option of staying in cottages or tents. While network is a huge issue in whole of Havelock, there is absolutely none at this resort. And no TV or gadgets either. But a little walk and you have access to the Radhanagar beach and it’s beyond beautiful. Kabir went crazy jumping waves every single day we were there.
Even though Kala Pani is one of most popular attractions, they don’t allow taxis or cars close to it as there is a hospital close by and they don’t want any congestion. I really appreciate something like this being implemented in an Indian city. I had only read about the tragic past of Kala Pani in my history text books and even though it was very enlightening, it left us very heavy hearted.
We did visit the Kala Pathar beach but couldn’t go to Elephant beach where all the water sports happen due to bad weather. We eventually extended our stay at Barefoot as it turned out to be the best there in terms of service and access to the beach. The no network, no gadget ambiance which was distressing for me initially (as I had loads of pending work plus I’m just not used to being without my phone) turned out to be a blessing for me.