Andaman Travelogue: Day 1

10 Oct

We visited Andaman this August and unfortunately there was no direct flight from Bangalore. So, we headed to Chennai, caught up with some friends and family for a day and then headed to the Chennai Airport to catch the 10 am SpiceJet flight to Port Blair. While my last visit to Chennai airport was way back in 1996, this time I realized I realised that the airport is fairly ill-equipped considering its an international airport as well. We couldn’t find a single ATM once we checked-in and the toilets were in a mess. Nevertheless, we didn’t have any reason to complain as we suddenly spotted a celebrity! We found Tamil actor Thalaivasal Vijay, who was gracious enough to oblige us with a picture.
IMGP5209
The flight started on time and the view from up there was magnificent to say the least. We could see the Indian coastline ending and the massive Bay of Bengal taking over from there and that was a beautiful spectacle. IMGP5210

We landed in Port Blair around 12.15 pm and we had a car waiting for us to take us to Sinclairs Bay View Hotel in Port Blair. While the room was quite average, it had a beach view from the window which was quite nice. We were starved and headed to the restaurant below for lunch. The food again was quite average and they took ages to serve our order. We made use of this opportunity to explore the hotel and then something occurred which everyone had warned us about. Yes, the rains! A beach holiday and rains don’t really go hand in hand and we were a little disappointed and hoped the rains decided to stay away for the next few days.

As per the itenary planned by our travel agent, we were supposed to visit the Cellular Jail in Port Blair and see the sound and light show that happens there. However, we got to know that being 15th August, this jail was closed and so we now had to pay other ways to entertain ourselves. Thankfully, the rains stopped by then and so, we headed to the first of many beaches, the Corbines Cove Beach. Its the closest beach to Port Blair and it had the regular touristy crowd. The speciality of the Corbyn’s Cove beach is that there are Japanese bunkers all across which serve as historical evidence of the Japanese occupation of the Andamans, but unfortunately due to lack of maintenance and awareness, they’re just left as mere attachments.

Japanese Bunker

Japanese Bunker

IMGP5250We strolled about for a while and then headed to the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex from there. All the water sports were closed again on account of the Independence Day holiday, but yet we just walked around, tasted some delicious road-side rasgullas, had some hot chai and generally just fooled around.

We also got to know some interesting facts about the Andamans. While I earlier presumed that the predominant language here would be Tamil considering its proximity to Chennai, it turns out that Bengali was the most widely spoken language here. However, Andaman is known for its diverse multi-ethnic population living together with utmost communal harmony.

By then, the rains struck again and we rushed back to the hotel. The day was obviously not as eventful as we had planned, but nevertheless it was a decent beginning. Watch this space for more on the coming day’s activities 🙂

Do read my blog posts of Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 as well!

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