livinginbengaluru

For all those who love food and travel..

Havelock Island(Andaman and nicobar island)

By 06:37:00


It’s definitely one of the few places you must add to your bucket list!


Havelock Island is one of Andaman and Nicobar islands, placed beautifully in Bay of Bengal. Journey to Havelock involves travel by land, air and water. My husband and me had an amazing bonding time in this journey, like the saying “Our journeys are life and our destinations are but fleeting moments”,

How it all started…we saw an ad in the newspaper on Havelock portraying a couple walking on a beach. The picture in the ad had a back drop of a setting Sun. Not able to remember the text of this ad. Inspired by this image, we decided to take a vacation to Havelock. It was a good decision. It is the best place I have ever been to. Very calm and quiet place. Just love the peace in-there. The locals are very friendly and it is still not affected much by tourism. It's the best destination for honeymooners.
Note: My Havelock version is ~4/5 years old.
We took Shatabdi exp @6.00.p.m from Bengaluru to Chennai. We had to wait in Chennai for almost 5 hours because the flight was early in the morning. We reached port Blair at around 7am. From the Airport we traveled to local Jetty to board a ship/ferry/Makruzz to Havelock. One has options as to what type of ferry can be taken. You can take government operated ferries or a catamaran("Makruzz"). Note that, Makruzz is much faster than a ferry.

Day 1:
We took the "Makruzz", scheduled to depart @8:30.a.m to Havelock. Makruzz was delayed for an hour due to bad weather conditions(Rain + lot of wind). It was like a roller coaster ride to Havelock. All said and done, we reached Havelock.
We reached Havelock Island at around 12pm. We had booked for a cottage at symphony palms beach resort. Took a rickshaw to the hotel (Some hotels provide pick-up and drop facility), checked-in and rested till evening. By evening our hired scooter(250/day) was parked next to our cottage. If you want to be independent, hiring a bike/car is a must. One can always use local buses or jeeps or autos plying on these roads, but you have to wait. We didn't do anything much for the day. Just wandering around the place to see what was kept in store for us?
We got back to our cottage, had dinner and slept early.

Day 2:

Our second day started off with a bang!!! Yeah! a bang on our cottage door. Never expected it (My husband let out, couple of strong words and opened the door) but it's the best thing you can have on a vacation. Stop guessing!! It's the COFFEE(Yipee..since i love it.). The resort served us a wake up coffee at 6am. The morning mist and the hot coffee blends so well, with the sun winking out to say a "Good morning".
After a hot cup of coffee and freshening-up, we took a morning stroll at the beach opposite to our resort. It was a scenic view. We got back to our cottage restaurant and had our buffet breakfast. Breakfast was good. It was time to set out on a ride by Activa(scooter) to explore our new paradise. Our plan was to go to Beach No.7. But then, we took a speed boat from Beach#1 and went for snorkeling in Elephanta beach.
Snorkeling on top of coral reefs in Elephanta beach was a thrilling experience. It felt like I was in a totally different (Water)world. I was excited when one of the fishes, a huge yellow one swam very close to me. I think it looked like "Flounder" in the little mermaid series.
Word of caution; while waiting for your turn to Snorkel, beware of sand-flies, I was bitten by few of them. They are the size of a house fly, are very aggressive and their bite is very painful!
We came back(in speed boat) to beach#1 and rode(Scooter) to beach#7. Beach no.7 is the famous one, also known as "Radhanagar beach", is said to be one of the best beaches in Asia. One can spend the whole day at this beach. The beach is quite safe. It isn't that rough and the waves are very low. There are a few hut like street hotels. We had fish curry rice with some fish fry near the beach hotel. Food is cheap here and taste is fine. Since it was sunny we came back to resort and rested.
In the evening, we again set out to Radhanagar beach to spend some time in the water. The bike ride to and fro Radhanagar beach is something to experience! On the way to Radhanagar, you will be crossing a small forest area type with huge (Very huge) trees. The size of these trees are breathtaking. Bike ride is very peaceful with both sides colored by nature. Assuming you will reach beach by 4.p.m, generally it will be dark by the time you return. On the way back, we saw many large group of fire flies making amazing patterns. It felt like I was in Avatar movie. Make sure your mouth is closed while riding back, there will be huge amount of insects attracted to your bike light and if not careful you would have swallowed some of them. Obviously we found this out the hard way. Some say, there are wild elephants in that patch of jungle, so please be careful.


After the jolly ride we tried exploring towards Beach No.1 in the dark. We saw a restaurant named "Baleen"(meaning filter feeder system of a whale). The name fascinated us. We entered this place to check out how it was and it looked very neat. The backyard had a beach and looked picturesque. The evening spent here was very romantic. We had authentic barbecued fish and crab (a big one). Cost was very reasonable.

We set back to our cottage after spending our beautiful evening at the restaurant. Our way back was little scary because there were no lights on the streets. It was raining heavily and we were completely drenched.


Day 3:

We were happy with the early morning coffee call. We sipped coffee sitting at the porch outside our cottage. Early mornings was a view with the birds chirping, is never to be missed. It was time to pack our things. After we finished packing, we took the bike and went around shopping.
Havelock Island has very few shops. So there isn't much to shop. Mostly handmade items and basic clothing.

We bought a few things and headed back to our cottage. After bidding a farewell to our lovely cottage we went to beach no.1, had lunch at a nearby restaurant and took the 1600 hours government ferry to port Blair.

On the way back, we were forced to spend a night in Port Blair, coz, all ferries (from Havelock) reach Port Blair in the evening and all flights (to Chennai) leave at noon. We spent the night in Hotel Shreesh. Also went around and watched the show on freedom fighters in Cellular jail (Kaalapani)

Note:
All the beaches were numbered (Quite strange!), though some popular once have names. The arrival is at Beach no. 1. Roads at Havelock are pretty simple, in a shape of 'T', only two roads. Most of the accommodation is grouped on beach no.3 and beach no. 5.
The second time we were in Havelock, we stayed in the tent and traveled by the government ferry to and from Port Blair. We stayed in the tented Cabanas at "Dive India" and the tariff was Rs.1000/- per day.
We also wanted to have our dinner at Baleen.. Unfortunately, they had closed the restaurant. Just missed it. There are a lot of other activities for tourists. Costs of these activities are negotiable, make sure you get a good prize.

Even though we didn’t do much site seeing or major activities, the time seemed to just pass. On some occasions the other way around, time stood still for us. On both our trips to Havelock, we captured lot of memories to cherish for life. This is one of the many reasons to have motivated me to share this experience.

Hope you too will enjoy. Make sure to comment on this blog and share your feedback.



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