Staying in Andamans paradise
From Kolkata we took a flight to Port Blair.
Upon arrival, a pleasant surprise: the taxi of the hotel was waiting for us! And drove us straight to a restaurant to have some good grilled fish before boarding the boat.
We then let the staff drive us to the jetty, then to the boat, then to the hotel and then we went from discovery to discovery ...
Firstly a huge hall made entirely of wood ... Then a great looking guy that came out of nowhere (and who proved later to be the barman - God be praised!) ... Then our tent quite ugly from the outside but what a surprise when you enter a luxury desert tent... And finally the beach. Beach 7. Radhanagar Beach. Voted one of 10 most beautiful beaches in Asia. And no disappointment!
|Andamans - Novembre 2012|
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Our program for the next 5 days was about walking on the beach (even jogging on good days), swimming, trekking in the jungle, ayurvedic massages, prolonged stays at the bar (to see who you know), superb food (the best carbonara pasta I've eaten in India – you will tell me you don’t go to Andamans to eat carbonaras but hey, I also had the amazing Andaman tiger prawns! And also chocolate-banana pancakes every morning!).
We also tried the excursion by boat to Elephant beach for snorkeling. The mini-beach packed with Indians who have never been to the beach, let me tell you that it's downright anxiety. They are wearing life jackets and hold a tow buoy dragged by a guy to go snorkelling, screaming like anything! And they pass by you by 2 feet on their jet skis while you are snorkelling...
I am not criticising. The democratisation of the beach in India is an interesting phenomenon (interesting on a human level, but certainly not at the ecological level mind you...), and it's cool that they can discover the joys of floating and all! But personally I'd rather not be around...
Well anyway it had been raining a lot and we could not see much. We therefore returned in complete haste to our resort, well decided not to leave it again!
But we still were adventurous enough to go risk our lives through a coconut field in an attempt to break through the tropical jungle - the dangers being spontaneous coconut falls and snakes (we had to remove our slippers because with the mud it was too slippery...).
And God it did rain!! Monsoon full fledge. But actually it was great. 30 minute showers every two hours. Nothing that could prevent us from going in the sea... And it cooled down the weather just enough for me to be able to run comfortably on the beach! But then it was also very humid… But well nothing is ever perfect!!
At first it bothered me a bit that the resort was full of honeymooners - easy to spot with women wearing wedding bangals. And then one evening a bunch of old and fat Americans landed, completely drunk and I started appreciating our quiet couples who spend 70% of their time in the room anyway!
I had brought five kilos of games in anticipation of long summer days with nothing to do but in fact we just found the time to play backgammon for an hour! No time to get bored! We even had innovative activities such as collecting garbage on the beach! It looks like anything but it is sports! Not so many hotel guests joined us, apparently this is not the most romantic thing to do to plunge your hands in the trash when on a honeymoon! I don’t want to be badmouthing but seriously, honeymoon or not, I dont think many Indians rich enough to afford the best holiday resort in the Andamans would go and collect plastic bottles... Oooops... I said it…
My definition (very personal) of heaven is: a beautiful deserted beach (this is very important because sometimes, when you live in India, you overdose of human beings), friendly and not uptight staff, great food, sports, hot weather, warm sea ... For me it is the blend of quiet, a great hotel, with a great friend is what made our stay in Havelock paradise.
You would have put me in the resort’s "backpacker" shacks on the other beach and I think I would have taken a boat back within 24 hours!
That said, the two couples who went with us looked super happy to leave the island! There's even one guy who preferred Goa…
Ah! Just one thing! Under NO circumstances take the government boat back after a stay at Barefoot. You have to spend two and half hours in the hold, without window, in a pastel blue atmosphere, with rough seas and guys puking next to you, it's just hell!