So here it starts, this blog , like any other blog, with a woman, a destination and a little bit of luck! 🙂 My friends who have read “Shantaram” by GDR will instantly recognize this as a ripoff from his famed book… and yes, I want you to recognize that, because there is a certain kind of audaciousness in that book, and there is a certain kind of audaciousness in the way we travel.
The start of Andaman dreams was indeed one that I ended up liking despite a shaky start. My family was planning a week long vacation a few months ago, and as always the four of us had four different destinations in mind. When the democratic way did not work, my dad went ahead with a prolong process of making us understand why he is vouching for Andaman…and then a veto.. 😀 And after a bit of research and seeing the beautiful turquoise color sea and white sandy beaches, I am sold… 😉
So we start the planning with the booking of air tickets. Obviously, we booked far in advance but even in that case, it costed us dearly, making it the biggest chunk of spending in this trip (*and perhaps all our trips). Anyways, then as always, I began to search for specific locations to travel in Andaman and found some of the facts like:
- There are 732 islands in the archipelago and only 38 of them are inhibited in some degree
- One needs a permit to go to some of the restricted places like the whole of Nicobar and some other places including travelling through the Andaman Trank Road (ATR) , which goes through tribal reserves and forest reserves, Barren islands ( only live volcano in India) (BTW, the Ross island of North Andaman’s main attraction the twin islands of Ross and Smith and Cinque Islands also requires special permissions)
- The developed places in terms of tourism like Port Blair and Havelock are generally ok to travel alone / with family without the help of a tour planner/facilitator
- Travelling to North Andaman (till Diglipur) takes around two full days to go and come back , but one can save the time by travelling directly to Havelock , saving some time in the overall tour.
And finally, I found there could be two types of tours that one can embark on in Andamans.
First one that is the usual , relaxing and good-boyish tour that takes you to Port Blair, travelling to Baratang through the ATR for the restricted (and rather despised idea of ) tribal sighting, the limestone caves, mud volcano, then takes you to Havelock, maybe and occasional tour to Neil Island and back to Port Blair for additional sight seeing etc.
The second… 🙂 the bad-ass tour that takes you to North Andaman and makes me smile at the smell of an adventure.. 😀 Also, it makes you more prone to come in contact with the local people living in these areas making your tour an actual travel. 🙂 The only issue is that this trip requires a few more days than the first one ..AND it is less relaxing per say..
Which one did I take personally? Read here…