Exploring the South # 1 (Year: 2011)

Oh yes, I did it. I started a travel blog! Vibe of “The preachy one” is everyday experiences..it’s fair to include travels as well. However, it’s not your regular travel blog, meaning less informative and more opinionated. I would include instances of my previous travels also, which might not have alot of photo content.

My trip to South India was one of the three unsupervised vacations I took with my parents during my graduation days. Unsupervised as there was no one to keep them in check! My dad had planned around twelve days of South India trip by road, air, rail & sea. Exciting, but, packing for a long vacation that involves both beaches & mountains, mostly covering areas with 70% humidity, is no joke! I maxed out on the allowable luggage weight limit. Had packed some twenty-five outfits that I absolutely needed! My mom raided my fashion parade when she informed me that everyone had to spare some utilities (Maggie, medicines etc.) space in their luggage.

Our journey to the South began from IGI airport, New Delhi. Had to wake up around 4 am to catch the flight. The sad part was, with my dad overseeing the itinerary, I had to set the alarm for 4 am for the entire trip. Let me educate you about my dad. We come from different schools of thought when it comes to vacations. I am a “in the vacation mode, will explore if it doesn’t come in the way of relaxing” kinda person. He is more of a “can’t miss any detail of any place even if it means vacation is more hectic than usual life” kinda person. It was a complicated itinerary and I didn’t want to be the reason for us to miss the cab which led to us missing the train and eventually miss the tour of some temple. So, 4 am alarm it was!

We boarded our flight to Andaman Islands. It was the smallest Air India plane that I have ever been on. Apparently, there was a mosquito problem for which the flight attendant wisely fogged the entire plane with “Kala Hit”!! (Seriously!! Not exaggerating) Whatever that fogging did to the mosquitoes, it harmed my lung capacity for sure. With a halt in Chennai we reached Port Blair around noon. Though the trip from Port Blair airport to the guest house was a short one, it was enough time for my hair volume to increase three times! If I had known, I could have squeezed another 15 minutes of sleep that morning! Ironing my hair was a complete waste!

Here are a few locations we visited in Andamans:

Ross Island: It’s a picture-perfect island with loads of vegetation, mainly coconut trees. Also known as the deer island because of the large deer population it fosters. Some deers were human friendly and walked very close to us. I fell in love with the long curly eyelashes!

You would love this place if you’re a World War 2 buff. Has some historical structures worth exploring. The weather got aggressive while we were on this island. It got super-windy which resulted in coconuts falling all around us! I was pretty panicked. For reassurance, the local guide said in a soothing tone “Ma’am, don’t worry. No one gets hurt by this coconut rain. Local God protects us!”. I prayed to all my Gods hoping I was covering the local Deity as well!

Port Blair: We spent all our nights in Port Blair. Our post dinner evening walks were around the Rajiv Gandhi statue which is well located and a good spot to spend quiet evenings. We visited the local market to do the usual touristy stuff. You know, like buying fridge magnets and over-sized hats.

The beach we visited in PB (Corbyn’s Cove) had a sign “Beware of Crocs”. This was enough for me to admire from a distance. To be honest, there was not much to admire.

I would highly recommend visiting “Kala Paani” (The Cellular jail). It was a very emotional experience for me. The original structure had a central tower and building wings coming outwards. Most of the structure has been demolished. Only a few wings and the central tower is preserved which is converted into a National memorial. The sound and light show is also recommended. I am no one to judge but there were people taking selfies with the hanging noose. The lack of respect was shameful and depressing!

Havelock Island: I would call this the high point of that trip. It’s so amazingly pretty. Being a beach baby, I never wanted to leave but as per our schedule we could only spend five hours there. If any of you are planning to take a trip to Andamans, do stay on Havelock for atleast a couple of days. I enjoyed snorkeling and the motor boat ride, as well as, the general closeness to all shades of green-blue water. The only downside was the cruise we took to this place. Several folks became sea sick…total mood killer. Do carry some medicines, just in case.

Jarawas and mud volcanoes: We went through the Jarawa area in a well packed caravan of cars. Got a few glimpses of round bellied Jarawa toddlers who seemed energetic, happy & playful. Peaceful sight.

At the end of the Jarawa area, we drove our jeep onto the local ferry for a commute to the Baratang island. I was super excited to witness an active volcano, that too a special one! Mud volcanoes are nothing but very tiny holes in the ground that spewed silt. It was highly disappointing.

In this post, I have covered the places we visited in Andamans. Will share the other locations we covered on this trip in subsequent posts.

P.S.- As this is a throw back post of a trip I took some eight years back, it is low on travel details. Any posts on my future travels will be more detailed. Will include photos once I locate my hard-drive  ☹

2 thoughts on “Exploring the South # 1 (Year: 2011)

Add yours

  1. Your father sounds like a Go-Getter when it comes to travel. (I have to confess I’m kind of the same way…) I was a bit alarmed when reading your account of the “coconut rain”. That would be rather terrifying!

    P.S. I hadn’t heard of Kala Hit before, so I watched a commercial on YouTube. It looks like it gets the job done!


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