Day #95 Havelock Island
Havelock Island, Andaman,
This chapter started on a wrong note. We had a long and wet bus trip from Pondicherry to Chennai so that the next morning we could catch our flight to Port Blair, capital of the beautiful Andaman Islands. To my surprise, I woke up feeling a mess. My stomach was cramping and I had barely enough energy to drag my body through the airport. Samosas from last night bus station were definitely the cause of this suffering. Unconsciously, I knew that I couldn't eat a single bit of food until landing, as it would cause an explosive chain reaction inside me. Once landed at Port Blair airport, I found out that I was right! As I tried to feed my body, he immediately replied by cleansing my entire digestive system in one shot through both ways. I felt exhausted. Still, Jess and I wanted to settle down sound and safe in the small Island of Havelock on that same day, therefore we ran to catch the last ferry. Thank God, Jessica was feeling good. Like a hero, she managed to make things happen, carrying both of our backpacks while looking after me at the same time. In a way, I felt safe. Thank you, Jess my love!
We finally arrived to our so expected destination, Havelock. We dreamt with an untouched paradise of nature where we would get to rest and enjoy the beauty of tropical islands! Unfortunately, our troubled arrival was just a taste of what was ahead. Quickly after our arrival, we started to see our expectations being crushed one by one with the rhythms of this isolated island.
Not having a room booked, our first concern was to find a decent resort. An important foundation for feeling good and enjoying our stay. Soon enough, we realised how difficult the task was with none of the few good resorts available. For the remaining resorts, quality/price was incredibly bad. This hit hard on our expectations. We were running out of options! Not being able to find a single place with a descent connection to access the internet, we had to resume our search to the recommendations of a random rickshaw driver. To give you a better idea: we changed 4 times of resort throughout our 12 days stay in Havelock in an intent to gradually improve our accommodation. We specially regret one resort called Green Valley. There, we slept in a small bamboo bungalow like many others. The lack of windows would make the room very dark and humid which could be felt on our soaked bed sheets. Despite a mosquito net, it was impossible to control insects of joining the party. A giant spider, the size of my hand lived in our room and there was nothing we could do. Moreover, coconuts would pour daily around our bungalow, making a huge noise and scaring us to death. Just another thing to get used too. Not to forget, the island had more blackouts of electricity than moments of power. After a few days the room seemed an undesirable sandy and wet chaos, it was clear to us that we needed to refresh and have a real bed. As an add-on to the island, cooking was definitely not their strong suit. Our bellies suffered some unpleasant experiences. Comfort was definitely a scarce commodity on the Island. Another of its characteristics was the unexpected tropical weather. Our days were full of sun and rain but it was difficult to predict when. However, this was less bad than the myth or reality behind salt-water crocodiles, which scared the hell out of us! Some days, we would feel trapped on this island...
We knew there was no turning back and we needed to make peace with it. Our only chance was to rely on some unforgettable experiences that we managed to collect:
First and foremost, we fell in love with the stunning beach number 7. Definitely one of our highlights! I believe it is the most beautiful beach we have ever been to. It was just like being in a Jurassic Park movie where a beautiful landscape of green lush jungle and hills were kissing the beach shore. It was a well-known fact that crocodiles killed a foreigner some years ago very close to this beach. Still, we had to go for a swim. It felt so untouched and wild, nothing that we had experienced before.
I personally loved our road trips across the island. Again, the jungle landscape was just something that I had never seen before. I would get a great feeling of peace and enjoyment while hugging Jess on the back seat of our motorbike.
One of the days, we went trekking for 2 hours through a muddy path in the middle of the jungle to reach a beach called Elephant Beach. We had to walk barefoot as mud reached above our ankles. It was a challenging exercise not to slip, which eventually happened to both of us. Afterwards, we were told this trekking was quite dangerous due to poisonous snakes and wildlife. Looking back I am happy we did it despite that it was tough.
Kayaking was another of the beautiful things we did. It was a night safari through bioluminescence waters. Excited by movement, plankton reacted lighting up and transforming the dark water into a dreamy starlight sky.
After the Green Valley, we decided to stay 3 days in a nicer resort to recover. Oh my God, it was so good to sleep in a real bed and watch some movies!
The cherry on top of the cake was scuba diving. It was a 12 meters coral reef dive. The reef wasn't mind blowing but the life diversity there was incredible. I saw so many different types of colourful fishes. It was like National Geographic channel. Totally worth it!
Obviously, our trip had to end on the negative. It first started with a 3 day nightmare to buy our return ferry tickets. Huge waiting queues that would lead to nothing as internet went down or tickets were not being issued until the next day. When we finally managed to buy our tickets the day before departure, a sea cyclone stopped all boats from going to sea. Just like that we were trapped for three more days. This also meant thousand of flying passengers stuck in Havelock desperately waiting for the Navy's rescuing boats to pick them up. This made us laugh and we decided not to bother as we could finally understand the rhythms of this isolated island.
We finally managed to take a ferry back to Port Blair and we won't lie that it felt quite liberating. We are now looking forward to reach Bali. Hopefully, it will be another kind of island.