Shoemans Trail

The quest for liberation

Tag: Beach 7

Havelock Island – beach, beach, party, beach, beach, dive!

Staying a longer time on the island and hanging around with Teo I met more people, some of them became friends pretty fast. First there was Jasper & Lene from the Netherlands. He’s traveling with his 10 year old daughter and it’s not their first time in the Andamans. Jasper and me we share quite some common things in life – of course we had to meet here! Later on I got to meet Antti, Teo’s friend also from Finland, on and off between Nepal his home country and the Andamans – also a great soul. With that lovely pack we went to Full Moon Restaurant for some evenings treats – the best place to hang around, eat and drink on the island! A couple of times we went to famous Radhanagar beach or just simply – beach no.7 to enjoy the magic golden sunsets, to snorkel in the shallow waters and to relax. One evening we even saw an Elephant being guided home, it was Raju the last swimming of his kind! During the snorkelling I saw multiple turtles and stingrays, magical creatures they move as if they would fly and so fast, I hardly could believe the eyes, it was wonderful to watch them. Another encounter of a different kind was a sea snake winding along the corals, wearing grey and black rings – one if not the most poisonous snakes around, peacefully made its way until it vanished under a rock, the fish next to it didn’t even pay attention, seems to be a good fellow thou 😉 Of course the reef also had swarms of smaller fish and the 2 lip fish which are a bit bigger in size. As soon as you’re under water the vast variety of life just explodes in places like the Andaman’s, so you’re looking for creatures extremely rare. But I enjoy all of the underwater life, no matter how rare the species is, don’t try to look for something specific, it will come to you and every dive is different, that also includes snorkelling, you can even extrapolate that to life if you want 😉
Now being a certified diver I went to Johnny’s Gauge, and it was the best dive on Havelock for me. Conditions were just perfect, no current and good visibility we saw big schools of barracuda, bannerfish, shrimp, stingrays and even a white tip reef shark, colourful corals and bigger coral structures, giant clams,… life was just exploding 25m below sea level I was just stoaked, as was Miir my dive master – he was pretty focused on the underwater life too and felt happy that the four of us fun divers handled themselves very well…

The place is not a party location like goa although there are “happenings” almost every day like live music or DJ’s, I listened to a couple of acts and music while passing by the different locations on my bike, it was not worth it, but somehow as fate rolled the dice, a finish Psy DJ called Arwar played the other day at Cicanda, some really good tunes from chill to prog more than 4 hours – places shut down before midnight in the Andamans. I was enjoying the freedom of the sound and danced my ass off; don’t know when I did it the last time without being influenced by any mind altering substance like alcohol, tobacco… It felt great – all around me were smokers and drinkers and me drinking water – smiling my ass off, dancing barefoot to the rhythm till the moon rose across the jungle hill and shed bright light through the open roof of palm leaves to the dance floor – it was a trippy moon, clouds moving fast and low, making the moon light switching on and off, like Morse code with light on and off – good times!

Going round the island can be done with multiple means of transportation, bus, rickshaw, scooter, motorbike, bicycle and walking, I preferred the later the most, my bike took me everywhere I wanted in the perfect speed to gaze around and get a glimpse of what is happening around, I almost explored every paved road and some of the dirt roads too, just passing by private homes greeting the people talking to children I was quite a happening, they don’t seem to meet a lot of foreigners and are super friendly.

I also did a small bushwalk up the jungle hill to see the sunset but was not properly prepared – so many mosquitos when I just stopped walking so I returned after 20 min but I still saw many things, the strangest being a stick insect – the one with a very thin body I just saw it in a zoo before.

Walking is the best thing to properly inhale your surroundings and the beach walks on Havelock are just perfect so when the tides were right I walked from Elephant beach to beach no.7, being the only person on the way was great fun, gazing at the nature and life around me without being disturbed – although the Andaman’s are not as bustling as mainland India but Havelock has its moments where you just want to escape. The beach walk reminded me a bit of my trek in Costa Rica along the pacific coast on the Osa peninsula, this here was different though, lots of rocks and mighty trees right at the beach – after 2 hours I reached the best beach on the island and relaxed totally, enjoying the sunset later on for a last time.
Life has been treating me pretty sweet those 2 weeks but I somehow feel that Havelock gets too busy, too much people, too much noise and I need more freedom, we’ll see what north Andaman has to offer for me, I’m still hungry and my eyes are widened!

Port Blair & Havelock Island: Welcome to Paradise

After a short flight and an even shorter taxi ride I finally arrived in Port Blair, the main gateway to the Andaman islands, more than a thousand kilometers off the coast from mainland India just 150 km close to Burma (Myanmar) India does it’s best to support the locals, lots of Bengalis who were relocated some decades ago to claim the islands for the subcontinent being a strategical outpost, politically and of course for military reasons. Although people from all over India can be found here, mostly working in tourist industry but still some indigenous tribes living in remote spots with almost zero contact to the modern world, most of them are almost extinct though, just the Nicobari tribe seems to survive as they adapted a bit to the outside world. The Andamans are actually some 600 islands most of them are uninhabited and also off limits for tourists. The close by Nicobar islands can just been entered by special permit, even for Indians, foreigners just get a chance to stay in a handful of the islands – for maximum 45 days. I’ll stay for a month and master the art of minimalism, one might call it also relaxing in paradise 🙂

Port Blair is a busy port town, it feels Indian and I book a ferry the next day and have a stroll around the war memorial beach with a lookout of Ross island the former British headquarters – all devastated by the 2004 boxing day tsunami which also hit the islands, some more hard than others though…I also checked out the cellular jail, now being a national monument of the country but back in the days it was the hardest prison for political dissidents built by the Brits. Torture and cruelty were every days life 120 years ago and the energies were still disturbed, a negative place, I could not spend much time near the cells and wanted to catch my ferry anyway, which took me to Havelock island – for many people this is Andaman, white sandy beaches, lots of nature, palms, ancient forests, lovely temperatures around the 30’s, emerald blue waters with temperatures around 28°C and also a diving paradise!
The island is big enough to get lost the first time and takes a while to explore by bike and I did the first days before my dive course started.

I explored the beach around the place where I stayed a bit, when the tides are low you can walk out the sea bed for a couple hundreds of meters – there is still so much life to spot near the sand and rocks – what a nice exploration!

Voted Asia’s most beautiful beach some years ago – Radhanagar beach or simply beach no. 7 has no doubt earned this title for real, the best white sand I’ve ever seen, the finest grain ever, it just feels so soft to walk, the waters calm and warm, on each side of the long beach a nice reef with vibrant life to spot, in the backdrop an ancient forest, so good! When I was walking I felt like Alice in wonderland with trees reaching for the sky and every now and then you get a glimpse of the beach when looking west through the mighty trees – it’s just a magical place!
All the pictures I’ve taken were so beautiful it was hard to make a choice, and I haven’t been talking about the sunsets yet, they are also one of a kind when the clouds support them even more pretty and with golden waters as a finish, best sunset in India for me!

Another beach with is further off the tourist radar and that’s why even more interesting is Kalapathar down south, the main beach is busy with tourists and rather small but the real attraction is the walk further on, here the crowd disappears and you’re completely on your own walking through jungle as the way becomes a path and the path becomes a trail through thick beach forest all along the coast, going forever and ever until you reach the most southern part. Big massive trees, some fallen down right at the beach as theirs friends still standing make a pretty good picture, the sun that cut’s through the thick bush – just beginning it’s descent behind the big hill – was illuminating as well for me. The energy levels over here were just wicked and I felt a bit dizzy the afternoon, really loved it and would have gone all the way if not the night was about to dusken in and I didn’t bring a torch, I wasn’t expecting a walk as fabulous as this one!
Also the humidity was unbelievable that day the warm breath of the ocean was kissing me wet the whole afternoon big heavy clouds hanging in the sky that made for a good sunset – even on the eastern side as the moon was rising bright – another perfect day in paradise, and it should become better and better…

 

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