Shoemans Trail

The quest for liberation

Tag: Trance

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!

Goa – Anjuna:Hippie tourism & the remaining beauty

In Anjuna I met Florian my former neighbor in Wiesbaden, we haven’t seen each other since 5 years and he happened to travel south India right now, perfect timing brotha!

First we explored the beach area, a lot of things happened in the last 5 years so we sat at one of the many beach side bars/restaurants and had a beer enjoying the ocean breeze and of course everywhere you’ll hear music on the beach, mostly goa trance as this kind of trance music originated right from this spot. Sometimes you’ll hear house or more chilled electro tunes, reggae sounds reached our ears too but it’s not that common, the faster electronic music seems to govern here, it must be bloody disturbing for the locals and we haven’t seen any on the beach same as hippie like looking people – they all live away from the beach if they’re still here, many went to different spots as Goa in our days is quite touristy, foreigners as well as Indians come to enjoy the comparably mild climate and the almighty ocean and they want to wander on the hippie trail to get a glimpse of what it was like back in the days, well it’s different now, we met some guys coming to Goa since 20+ years, at that time the beach was empty, no bars/restaurants the prices were cheap and the western people often not as nice as today, stealing food and other commodities from locals and fighting as they hadn’t had any money.

The beach is rocky, when I went into the warm waters the first time I hurt my shin bone, I didn’t see the big rock in the shady waters, this is all a result made by humans, sand was taken away from the beach for decades and used to bind with other meterials to build houses. This has stopped now – tourism is the most important income in Goa and they come for the beach! As a tourist you’ll feel it, shacks that sell clothes, sunglasses, and many more souvenirs can be found all along the back roads “Come look my shop”, “You promise you come tomorrow?!”, “Cheap price, only 100 rupees!” – the prices vary though, the slogans don’t ;). “Walking shop ladies” roam the beach during the day times selling jewellery and the light guy selling lasers, glowing sticks and other blinking stuff  pop out at night, it’s a big business!

We even had a nice encounter with the police for smoking up on the northern hill during sunset, it was an awkward moment but it relaxed quite a bit as I calmly explained we don’t want any trouble and of course not want to be arrested we paid the baksheesh and went down to the beach, over there the police is paid by the restaurant owners so they don’t linger around and tourists are safe 😉

We enjoyed the easiness of life in Goa although it might not sound so.
One day we even rented a scooter and explored the beaches adject, Vagator, Calangute, Baga and Chapora none of them had the same look and feel as Anjuna, either they had no rocks or packed with all-inclusive tourists or they were a bit dirty, had no shade or sitting at the river mouth so you don’t want to swim in there… it felt like coming home when going back to “Our beach”

Whole Anjuna is a music festival, having 20+ bars/restaurants in any size, ranging from small wooden shacks to big 300+ people fitting concrete buildings, every spot is a stage, some more loud than the other, also some bigger festivals happen in between then the music won’t stop playing until the morning – usually the play until midnight. It’s nice to see and feel but after a week we just wanted to escape, the patterns were repeating and we had enough party, I knew that Agonda would be the antipode so we went, it just took 4 local buses and 5 hours to go 100 km further south…

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