Sunday, 17 June 2012

A Holiday at Andaman - A Review - Day 3

This is Part IV. If you have not read Part III of this review, you can do so by clicking here --> Day 2

Day 3: 17 June, 2012 

Setting Sail:

The day we sail out to Havelock Island... The day we were waiting for!

Get a good night's sleep, for the day starts really early. I mean, we-were-at-the-docks-at-06:00AM early! We received our tickets for the ship from AITPL yesterday night. 

Our ship was called 'MV Bambooka'. Funny name for a ship! It is quite big - compared to the ferry yesterday. Our seats are at the basement and it sucks. For the ones seated on top there is a super view of the seas through the portholes. We were a little disappointed. We were reading books and listening to music when one-by-one every group started going up. Some came back. Some didn't. Curiosity got the best of me and I too went up and to the rear end of it. I cannot explain the sight. The rear end of the ship was completely open. And we were in mid-sea with no land visible as far as you can see. The waves created by our ship looked majestic and the whole thing was just magical. For the remaining part of the journey we stood at the rear of the ship and also on the upper deck enjoying the salty breeze and the occasional splash of a big wave. Pure Magic!

Havelock Island from MV Bambooka
Tip: Makruzz is the best cruise from Port Blair to Havelock. But it will not be available during off-season. Like I said before, September to November is the best time to visit here. Bad luck for us! :(

Havelock did not fail to amaze us at each moment. That starting from the time we set foot on to the harbour. The beach that surrounds the harbour is not fit for swimming, but it is beautiful. Don't forget to take a few snaps. 

Beach near Port Havelock
Sea Shell Resort, Havelock:
"Now, we are talking!", was the first thing that came up in my mind as we stepped into Sea Shell Resort at Havelock. It is the most beautiful resort I have ever seen. It is not the best in Havelock is what we heard from the locals. But we found it difficult to believe that there could be a better resort on that tiny island. Small, quaint cottages lined-up on either side of the resort with a big bar right in the center and a small restaurant in one corner. It is filled with coconut trees and is mind-blowingly calm and cool. 

Sea Shell Resort, Havelock
The room was unbelievable and was fully wooden. The floor was covered in earthen floor-tiles. The toilet was super-clean and the room was complete with a wall-mounted LCD TV, cupboards, air conditioning, and cups and sachets to make coffee/tea. 

Tip: Now this is extremely important. There is no hot-water available here. If you have a baby or an old person accompanying you, you can get one bucket of hot water from the reception. Since it was the rainy season, there was no laundry service available too. So, like I have already said a zillion times, please carry enough extra clothes.

Private Beach at Sea Shell Resort, Havelock
Although we did not feel like leaving the cottage at all, we set out immediately to Radhanagar Beach - couldn't wait to get into the water!

Radhanagar Beach:
If you have heard about Radhanagar beach - Great! If you have not, then you should know that it is one of the best beaches ever. The whole beach is super clean (by Indian standards) and it is perfect for swimming and playing around in. The waves were not rough (despite the rainy weather) and the water is crystal clear and super cool. 

Radhanagar Beach, Havelock
Filled with tourists, people there hardly care what you are wearing. Time to bring out your swimwear! And spend as much time as you can here, cos there is nothing else to do on Havelock Island. We spend our entire day there.

Lunch at Radhanagar Beach:
There are no big, posh restaurants anywhere near the beach. There are small shacks that look really unhygienic. But they are not. You have to book your food in the morning as soon as you reach Radhanagar and then proceed to the beach. Although the shacks look disappointing, the food is unbelievably tasty. Get ready for some Bengali-style food. And be certain to try the fried fish - you will love it. No post-lunch-stomach-trouble too. So I totally recommend it :)

Radhanagar at Sunset, Havelock
Tip: You can do a bit of shopping for friends back home here - T-shirts, sea shell jewellery, etc. And you can also get your standard snacks like Lay's or even some fresh tender coconut.

Back to Resort:
We came back and slept like babies for a while. The evening was spent at the resort itself. The bar opened up at around 06:00PM. We had a couple of beers and Pinacoladas and set off for Dinner.

Now, we were in trouble. There are 2 ATMs in Havelock - just 2 on the whole island. And both were out of cash. We wanted to try lobster for dinner. It cost around Rs.1,000 depending on the weight. And we had just 800 bucks with us. I immediately called Mr.David of AITPL. The call was answered by another person who said that David was on leave for a couple of days. He introduced himself as Mr.Ajay Kumar, the Director of AITPL. I told him our problem. He immediately offered to send Rs.3,000 through someone and to collect it back from us at Port Blair. Within an hour's time, someone dropped over Rs.3,000 to us. This is really really appreciated. I seriously doubt if any other tour operator - especially big ones like Make My Trip, would have done this for us. A big thank you to AITPL for this. We returned the money to Mr. Abraham as soon as we reached back at Port Blair the next evening.

Our Lobster :)
So, we selected our 'lobbie', ordered it to be made into our main course and ordered dhaniya paratha to go with it. A special mention to our waiter, Mr.Biswajit. He was extremely kind, funny, and really helpful. Someone give that guy a raise and a promotion. He made sure that the next time we come to Andaman, we will go no other place.

Tip: Carry enough cash on you when you visit Havelock. You never know when you will run out of it.

Read Part V of this review here --> Day 4
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