“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
“It was a random start. I was initially set to travel to the Netherlands; but my VISA didn’t come on time and I had to cancel the trip…Nevertheless, I had this bad urge to go somewhere; and here was I crashing my friends’ trip. In a few days’ time, I was in Andaman!”
Welcome to Vasundhara’s Andaman and Nicobar Island diaries.
The Trip Crasher – Vasundhara Srivastava
There are women who properly plan a trip much in advance. Then there are women who do not plan much. Then, there are women who crash a friends’ trip at the 11th hour, with no hesitance! That’s what friends are for, is not it?
Meet Vasundhara Srivastava, a woman who works in the development sector, and finds solace in travel. She says that travelling to different destinations never fails to deny her the peace that she’s constantly looking for, from life. After having scuba-dived in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands twice, she is absolutely looking forward to skydive in her next adventure.
The Last Minute Trip Planning (Read: Crashing)
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands offer pretty much everything under the sun when it comes to vacationing – be it adventure, sightseeing or a silent getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life. One could literally accommodate activities as per their moods – lie down on the beach for days and do nothing, or challenge your adrenaline by deep diving into the sea, or experience island-hopping to live amongst the rich flora and fauna that the Islands possess.
For Vasundhara, everything was a last minute set up, and therefore all the more exciting; even though this was her second trip to the islands. An unprecedented delay in the arrival of her VISA to the Netherlands resulted in her altogether cancelling the trip, and giving birth to a sudden travel plan. The one where she crashed her friends’ trip through Thrillophilia at the last moment and oh boy, she still cherishes the decision!
Let’s read on to know about her vivid experiences in the islands of Andaman and Nicobar.
The Trip and the Itinerary!
With a pure mindset to make up for her cancelled vacation to the Netherlands, Vasundhara landed in Andaman and Nicobar Islands on the morning of 23rd April, 2018. Although the union territory of A&N Islands comprises of 500+ islands, only a few of them are accessible to the tourists. Even before the trio landed, the beautiful islands visible from the sky, the lush green forests and the pure blue sea were visible to them. They were taken to the hotel rooms, right after they landed. After a warm and sumptuous meal, the first stop of the Andaman itinerary was reserved for a quick visit to Corbyn’s Cove Beach. The location was perfect for setting in the mood for the beaches, and offered tourists the chance to laze around, bathe in sea water and sand, and indulge in water sports activities.
Andaman calls for complete relaxation and rejuvenation. Those who have been to these islands do understand it; those who are planning to visit, please do not make the mistake of thinking it equivalent to Goa. The vacation calls out loudly to turn it into a ‘staycation’, and one simply cannot get enough of it. Day 2 of Vasundhara and friends began with a four hour ferry transfer to the Havelock Islands, known for its dense vegetation, pristine blue waters, rich flora and fauna and a vibrant wet vibe in the air. Once in Havelock, they spent the day to explore one of the most picturesque beaches in Asia – the Radhanagar Beach. Havelock, although just 54 km away from Port Blair, has an entirely different feel to it. It buzzes with the same touristy vibes, yet much more warm and laidback, they say!
The journey to Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a cent per cent incomplete without the wonderful snorkelling opportunities one is blessed with. The day was spent at the Elephant Beach, where under guided supervision, the trio was taken for a stroll under the waters. Upon a quick chat with Vasundhara, she is quick to mention that she misses the snorkelling the most, and that it was absolutely divine. No wonder, tourists travelling to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands do not just fall in love with the world above the waters; but also below it. Here is a little proof of the colourful world below.
The next day on the island was spent exploring the Baratang Limestone Caves, which is a jetty ride away to Nayadera Jetty; and further a km of walk through the amazing tropical forests. As the day was melting away, excitement built in and the trio felt more connected with the geographical wonders of the Andaman. As the sun set, the group returned back to Havelock Islands to spend their last night at the island. Their vacation had come to an end, and they were all set to take the ferry back to Port Blair before they got on-board on their flight to normalcy in life.
When we asked Vasundhara about her sudden trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands and what she misses the most, she instantaneously responds, “Definitely the time spent underwater with nature”. Until the third time, Andaman and Nicobar Islands!
Taking that last-minute trip to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
Read these Pointers by Vasundhara!
Andaman is an absolute remedy for the sore eyes; whether one travels solo or in the company of friends, or (preferably) with their plus ones. Given that it was her second trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, she advocates the following helpful pointers!
- Carry a lot of shorts and sunscreen
- Do not expect the beach destination to be like Goa. It is way too different and meant for relaxation rather than raging
- Always carry a bottle of mineral water on your local expeditions
- Wear comfortable pair of shoes, and carry your sunglasses along
- Check with the current weather conditions right before flying off to the Islands