Andaman and Nicobar Islands

6 Weeks

Havelock Island

It´s only one day ago that I arrived on Have­lock Island. I´m already so much relaxed that I miss nei­ther inter­net nor soci­ety. This shouldn´t sound anti-social but the last week was very exhaust­ing: 1 day Trichy, 1 day Than­javur, 2 days Pondicher­ry fol­lowed by 2 days in Maha­balipu­ram. Vis­it­ing 4 unbe­liev­able stun­ning a lot-to-offer cities with­in only 1 week knocked out me a bit, so that I enjoy peace and soli­tude here on Andamanes (I´m sit­ting at the moment in the Full Moon café on Have­lock which was rec­om­mend­ed from a friend in Maha­balipu­ram). Have­lock is already that much touris­tic I have to look for a loca­tion tob e alone. Beach Nr. 5 (Kala Pathar Beach) ist he place to be for search­ing soli­tude! When I arrived there, I was bump­ing in a big crowd of indi­an tourists at the begin­ning of the beach. After 10,15 min. of walk­ing at the beach I dis­cov­ered par­adise! I was so alone that I could change my wet biki­ni on a big tree lying half on the beach half in the ocean with­out being observed. I sat maybe 30 min naked on the tree and enjoyed the ocean and the coconut tree par­adise in the backscenery.

A couple of days later

I went tot he same beach again and walked this time untill the end of the beach. On the way only 1 fish­er­man and 6 boys passed my way. Because of low tide the ocean showed its edgy site by pro­vid­ing lots of sharp corals to the sur­face. At the end of the beach I spot­ted a white sandy 50 m small beach with­out corals. This beach seemed to be made for me dip­ping into the ocean and to cool down my heat­ed body for hav­ing a wel­com­ing refresh­ment. I enjoyed the soli­tude a lot and sat down for a longer time at the beach and let the soft waves rolling over my legs. The com­ing clouds couldn´t low­er my mood. After a while I decid­ed to leave, because I still want­ed to see Ele­phant Beach and sun­set at Rad­hana­gar Beach which is close to Ele­phant Beach. This beach is only avail­able via a 45 min track through the jun­gle. The track is only opnend from 8 am to 1 pm … maybe because nobody shall get lost. After 1 pm entry is permitted.

Because of that I drove to Radhanagar Beach –

it was already 3 pm! The next morn­ing my fer­ry to Neil Island should leave at 12:30 so I still had plen­ty of time in the morn­ing oft he next day.

After arriv­ing at Rad­han­ag­er Beach, which is said to be the most beau­ti­ful beach in India and one of the top 7 beach­es in Asia, I walked 30 min up to the North for being almost alone at the beach. Is was very crowdy when I arrived at the beach. A lit­tle walk at the beach wasn´t only good for my feet but only for my sense of calm­ness. After a while I passed a per­mis­sion sign which point­ed out to salt­wa­ter croc­o­diles in the area and that swim­ming is restrict­ed. I´ve already received my dai­ly swim­ming ratio so I chilled on the stones to enjoy the sun­set. Except of me there were only a cou­ple of tourists, maybe 5 and count­less her­mit crabs which might have await­ed much more the high tide than the set­ting sun. The oran­gered of the sun was reflect­ed in the clouds and the colours acti­vat­ed the recep­tors for „Saudade“ (por­tuguese word for nos­tal­gia) in my brain deeply!

On the way back to the scooter I could perceive the whole beauty of the beach which was hidden before by the tourist mass:

on the left side the for­rest seemed to be more a breath­ing green jun­gle made of over­grown trees, shrubs and coconut trees which dif­fer­ent tones of green were point­ing out to Gar­den Eden! The Rad­hana­gar beach is dressed for a good rea­son with the robe of being a par­adise beach!

The way back with the scoot­er was less beau­ti­ful but very adven­torous because the light didn´t work. The way back to the main street seems to be longer as it is, because the street is quite edgy com­pared to the air way. For this rea­son the 8 km seemed tob e more like 20 km and in the dark it was soo dan­ger­ous not to be noticed by the cross­ing cars, scoot­ers and Tuk­Tuks! For­tu­nate­ly 2 oth­er scoot­er dri­vers were escort­ing me, one in front of me and one behind me. Like this I haven´t only had light from the back but also pro­tec­tion from the pass­ing vehi­cles! When I arrived at the main street I drove first to the „Seav­en Heav­en“ store where he sells with his cousin clothes and acces­sories for women and men. I befriend­ed 3 days ago with the own­er and he invit­ed me 1 day ago for lunch at his house in the jun­gle (the food was soo good!! He cooked shrimp pas­ta with self-made ginger‑, gar­lic- and lemon­juice-sauce in olive oil). After a short stop over I drove to my love­ly bun­ga­low in Impe­r­i­al Green Resort where I had a fast show­er. Then I went for a last time to my favourite café and restau­rant „Full Moon café“. I hope so much that I´ll find on Neil Island a restau­rant which serves a sim­i­lar bam­boo-cooked fish in gin­ger-/le­mon­sauce 🙂

If you´re up for a snack I highly recommend you a Masala Chaat!

For 100 rupees you´ll receive a dish made of man­go, papaya, pineap­ple, apple, star fruit and cucum­ber plus Masala (only if you like, you can also enjoy with­out … I love it with Masala!).

My favourite Masala Chaat „shop“ is locat­ed in oppo­site oft he Joye Grand Beach Resort and is actu­al­ly only a small cart with fruits and coconuts. The own­er is a very nice guy from Kolkat­ta …  such a sweet­heart! This shop I´ll def­i­nite­ly miss when I´m back on the main­land … if I´ll have any capac­i­ties to miss something 🙂

Neil Island 

On the next day my jour­ney was going to Neil Island. This island has maybe only ¼ the size of Have­lock and the scu­ba div­ing world is stun­ning! My expacta­tions for Neil Island were quite low because I was quite dis­s­a­point­ed from Have­lock Island. My dive guide Prashant I was becom­ing friends with lat­er and who´s actu­al­ly from Mathu­ra in Rajasthan (he invit­ed me for the Holi fest in Mathu­ra which is very spe­cial over there. Holi fest is a fest Krish­na is wor­shipped and Mathu­ra is the birth­place of Krish­na) showed me dur­ing the 2 dives we did the beau­ty of Ander­man Sea below water. Thou­sand of colour­ful banana fish­es formed to huge schools of fish­es I dived through. I lit­er­al­ly felt like one of them! Big trig­ger­fish­es, octo­puss­es as well as rays wel­comed us. I enjoyed the dives so much I didn´t want to go up again!

On the sec­ond day I met Nitou, a local, who brought me to a hid­den beach. The path was lead­ing through a for­rest with beau­ti­ful old trees which roots took fas­ci­nat­ing forms. They high­light­ed the beau­ty of the place. When we arrived at the beach wem et some dive mas­ters who enjoyed the soli­tude and the beau­ty oft he small bay, too. Fort he way back Nitou chose a way at the beach where we walked over corals. Over there I found an old whiskey bot­tle with the let­ter­ing „Free­dom“. I took the bot­tle with me and could man­i­fest it already stand­ing in my liv­ing room as a flower vase.

Dur­ing writ­ing these lines I don´t wan­na hide a lit­tle bad luck I expe­ri­enced on Neil Island which wasn´t fun­ny in the sit­u­a­tion but now you´ll hard­ly stop laugh­ing: On the sec­ond or third evening I rode with my bicy­cle I rent­ed, only armed with a head­lamp in the dark, to my bam­boo hut. On the way a piece of my long dress was caught in between the bicy­clechain and with­in sec­onds my dress was ripped off my body. I stood sud­den­ly half-naked on the street in the dark on Neil Island! I didn´t wear a biki­ni top but luck­i­ly I was wear­ing a nor­mal-sized panty. This sligh­ly beige panty must have made me be seen from far away as a crazy nacked white woman! Nobody stopped to help me and I couldn´t get this big piece of tex­tile that caused the block­age off the chain by myself. For­tu­nate­ly I wore a thin silk scarve that I bind­ed around my breasts and my neck. Like this I wasn´t com­plete­ly naked on the street. After around 10 min non-suc­ceed­ing tug­ging and pick­ing 2 guys appeared to help me. For­tu­nate­ly they suceed after a while and they still even invit­ed me to Shiv­ara­tri fest (an impor­tant 3 day Hin­du fest in which the mar­riage of Shi­va and Par­vat­ti is wor­shipped). Unfor­tu­nate­ly I´ve nev­er seen them again on Neil Island.

I met so many amaz­ing friend­ly locals and tourists on Neil Island. One encounter changed my trav­el­ling plans com­plet­ly: My flight at the begin­ning of march to Hanoi was can­celled and my friend from Ham­burg can­celled our motor­bike trip from Hanoi to Say­gon because of the Coro­na Virus. I decid­ed to stay in India untill mid of April before head­ing to Nepal. My flight from Andamanes to Kolkat­ta should go on the 26.02. and I was think­ing to stay longer on Andamanes. In the evening I met San­jay, a local, who planned to go with his friend Yann (from France) on the 26.02 from Port Blair to Camp­bell Bay which belongs to Nico­bar Islands. Camp­bell Bay is the cap­i­tal of Great Nico­bar Island which is the southest of Nico­bar Islands. They both have been already know­ing each oth­er for 10 years and are both fish­er­men. They´ve already spo­ken about the 60 cm crabs and many fish­es and shrimps they would hunt and eat for din­ner … Mjam­mi! The fer­ry trip from Port Blair to Camp­bell Bay takes around 30 hours and the fer­ry oper­ates only once a week. A real adventure!

I decid­ed to join them spon­ta­neous­ly, can­celled my flight to Kolkat­ta and booked a new flight fort he 8.3. to Del­hi to arrive right on time for the Holi fest in Mathura.

Dur­ing writ­ing these rows I was lying in the bed on the fer­ry (exact­ly 24 hours already have passed…we will arrive in around 6 hours) and revereved the last days. I shared my com­part­ment with a local fam­i­ly from Nico­bar Islands, exact­ly from Tarasa Island. They trav­elled with a small baby girl at the age of 8 month. Lum, the father, showed me proud­ly the videos oft he local dances of his tribe which counts only 260 mem­bers! I was allowed to play with his 8 month old daugh­ter, I kept her on my arms, cud­dled and kissed her. The trust and ded­i­ca­tion of these peo­ple who has been know­ing me for only hard­ly 1 hour is hard to describe with words.

Campbell Bay

Boat trips dif­fer from flights, train or car trips. The boat depar­tures slow­ly: the ropes are opened, the con­nec­tion stairs between fer­ry and land are tak­en away by a truck and the fer­ry leaves slow­ly the habour. Dur­ing stay­ing at the deck of the fer­ry that was already 1,2 meter away from the land and watch­ing depar­tur­ing from the har­bour (I know I have actu­al­ly just arrived in Camp­bell Bay regard­ing the nar­ra­tive per­spec­tive but some­times it´s nec­es­sary to start from the end) I sensed one more time the full pow­er of nature and soaked up the sim­plic­i­ty that nurtered and over­whelmed me in the last 7 days.

I remem­ber how I relaxed at beach Nr. 8 where only a left house from the Tsuna­mi in 2004 was left over. I remem­ber how I lied down under trees at the beach, feel­ing the white, fine and heat­ed up sand on my skin, how I watched and lis­tened to the waves smash­ing some­times soft some­times harsh against the small reef. In a cou­ple of hun­dreds or thou­sand years the stones might be smooth. The 2 fish­er­men I trav­elled with went to the oth­er end of the beach which seemed to be the bet­ter fish­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty. It was amaz­ing to eat self-catched super fresh fish with tumer­ic-gar­lic or toma­to-gar­lic sauce on 2 evenings and to cruise with motor bikes over the island. Nev­er­the­less I was glad that I had more time for myself after trav­el­ling with them and for sure I was more inde­pen­dent with­out them.

We rent 2 motor bikes and explored the island. Here­by we dis­cov­ered stun­ning beach­es, amaz­ing reefs for snorkelling and we cruised through the urban and wild-grown rain for­est of Great Nico­bar. Rid­ing on the bumpy, curvy and some­times steep road was a bit chal­leng­ing but should be lots of fun for a well-prac­ticed cruis­er. Indi­ra Point, which is the southest point of India (quite fun­ny if you think of the loca­tion of Nico­bar Islands: they are much near­er to Indone­sia and India is such a huge coun­try) is also known as the „tur­tle beach“. Over there the turles put their eggs and after 2,3 month small baby tur­tles are born. With­out a per­mis­sion from police the beach is restrict­ed to enter – for a good rea­son! The pri­mal nature of the island let you find the way to your­self or bet­ter said: it urges you to per­ceive the own inner atten­tion sign „Go here“ in a sub­tle and delight­ful way. I´m a bit „Saudade“ to return to main land. Although I´m already look­ing for­ward for cel­e­brat­ing Holi fest in Mathu­ra, the Great Nico­bar Island leaves a deep foot­print in my heart. I can´t find the right words to describe how the island touched my heart or how deep I dived into this island.

Little Andamanes 

Back in Port Blair I observed the Coro­na Virus pan­dem­ic sit­u­a­tion in a relaxed mood. Actu­al­ly I want­ed to go to Mathu­ra to cel­e­brate Holi fest but my friend over there sug­gest­ed me to stay on Andamanes. I wasn´t too sad to can­cel my flight for a sec­ond time to the main land and so I decid­ed to explore 2,3 more weeks the islands. I was lucky to get to know a surf instruc­tor from Basque coun­try who intend­ed to go to Lit­tle Andamanes. He want­ed to open a surf and dive shop there 5 years ago so he still stored some surf equip­ment on the island. We decid­ed to trav­el togeth­er. After an 8 hours fer­ry trip in the deluxe cab­in (I was invit­ed by my trav­el bud­dy because it was Inter­na­tion­al Women´s Day!) we checked out 2 acco­mo­da­tions and I decid­ed to take a room in Hawka Resort (the AC room was quite expen­sive for 1800 rupees. Next time I´d stay in the neigh­bour­ing Rain­bow Resort for only 400 rupees a night includ­ing bath room!). Dur­ing these six days on Lit­tle Andamanes my pri­vate surf teacher gave me a surf class at the beach in front of our acco­mo­da­tion, I did a tour to the biggest water fall on the island for only 500 rupees (we were 4 peo­ple and paid all togeth­er 2000 rupees which is a fixed price) and hiked through the rain for­est with my new friends Kate, Simone and Loren­zo from Italy. My trav­el bud­dy Varuna and I drove on the motor bike to the light house and we stopped at par­adise beach­es on this beau­ti­ful island. We met some Nico­bari trib­al peo­ple who wel­comed us with a big smile and even picked some coconuts for us fresh­ly col­lect­ed from a coconut tree (see the video how they climbed to the top of a coconut tree)!

I denied the news con­cern­ing the pan­de­my but more and more it became dif­fi­cult for me to stay calm. My trav­el bud­dy made me crazy and told me about his night­mare sce­nar­ios that arose in his mind. I was seduced to put some­thing in his mouth to make him being qui­et! When we came back to Port Blair I decid­ed to take some dis­tance from him for feel­ing inner peace and calm­ness. In the LaLa­Ji Bay Hotel I met Loren­zo again who I had met dur­ing the rain for­est safari to the water fall on Lit­tle Andamanes. He was even more excit­ed and chaot­ic than Varuna … I guess this is a Lati­no thing …

Krysz from Poland and I had a sim­i­lar vibe and there­fore I talked a lot with him for respond­ing to the out­er chaot­ic sit­u­a­tion. My last days in Port Blair the three of us cruised with a woman from Switzer­land through Port Blair and we explored the area.

Diglipur (Nord Andaman)

After a cou­ple of days I couldn´t stand the „Coro­na Hype“ any­more and so I asked my friend Nir­man to book a bus tick­et for me up to the north of Andamanes. For only 350 rupess I could take a local bus from Port Blair, the south of the main island up to Diglipur, the north of Andamanes – what a bar­gain! We start­ed at 4 am in the morn­ing and it took 11 hours. Dur­ing sleep­ing in the bus my head shaked against a met­al nip­pel at the win­dow and when I sud­de­ly woke up I felt huge bruis­es below my eye­brow and my fore­head addi­tion­al­ly to an eye infec­tion. The bumpy and dusty bus trip end­ed at Diglipur Bazar. Over there I took a Tuk Tuk for 600 rupees to my acco­mo­da­tion, the Pris­tine Resort. My plan was as fol­low­ing: Stay­ing a cou­ple of days in the north for hik­ing to Sad­dle Peak and vis­it­ing Ross and Smith Island, con­tin­u­ing my way to Mayabun­der in Mid­dle Andamanes and stay­ing there in a typ­i­cal­ly dec­o­rat­ed acco­mo­da­tion and then head­ing to Long Island. Start­ing from Long Island I want­ed to take a fer­ry back to Port Blair. Unfor­tu­nate­ly I couldn´t do any­thing of these things, because every­thing was shut down due to safe­ty pre­cau­tions. After 4 days in Pris­tine Resort I decid­ed to dri­ve back by bus. This time the trip only took 8 hours. On the way to the north we had a wheel break down and took a cou­ple of long breaks. We missed these long breaks on the way back and after cross­ing the riv­er two times by fer­ry and one police con­voy through the trib­al area we reached Port Blair in the evening. The next time I´ll take a fer­ry between Port Blair and Diglipur for sure!! This time the fer­ry was closed due to the spe­cial situation.

The sit­u­a­tion got more and more crazy: 5 days ago I took the bus from Port Blair to Diglipur with­out any prob­lems. On the way back all trav­ellers includ­ed I had to do a health check up. It was noth­ing spe­cial, only a tem­per­a­ture mea­sure­ment and answer­ing to some que­sions con­cern­ing the health con­di­tion. I got a writ­ten con­fir­ma­tion that every­thing is fine with me and after 2.5 hours wait­ing we final­ly start­ed the bus tour. When we arrived in Ran­gat which belongs to Mid­dle Andamanes I had a short but unpleas­ant sit­u­a­tion with a man. He thought he could pro­tect him­self and oth­ers from the virus by ask­ing only me unkind­ly ques­tions about the name of my father, my birth date and my stay dur­ing my time on Andamanes and Nico­bar Islands. I answered these ques­tions and paid him atten­tion to wear his mask in a prop­er way and to change it reg­u­lar­ly. The locals in the bus felt quite embarassed and they even paid the fer­ry fee for me to show their sol­i­dar­i­ty with me. I saved these peo­ple in my heart!

After my arrival in Port Blair (for the 4th time at LaLa­Ji Bay Hotel!) I booked a flight tick­et for the 29th March to Del­hi. My flight to Lon­don should go on the 30th. Only 1 hour lat­er my friend Rishab from Mum­bai told me, that all domes­tic flights in India are can­celled from the 25th on – and it was the 24th. He got the news from a friend who´s a pilot. Imme­di­at­ly I booked a flight for the fol­low­ing day for a quite huge amount of mon­ey but I was lucky still to get a flight to Del­hi before every­thing should be locked down. By the way: I´m sit­ting at the moment in the plane from Port Blair to Chennai 😉

At the air­port I met the Ital­ian cou­ple and Markus from Cal­i­for­nia again. I felt very sor­ry for Markus: he took the whole way from Philip­pines via Malaysia and Indi­an main land to Andamanes only for going surf­ing on Lit­tle Andamanes. On the sec­ond day on Lit­tle Andamanes he got fever and had to go into quar­an­tine so that he end­ed up after his long jour­ney in hos­pi­tal. For­tu­nate­ly he suf­fered only from a short peri­od cold. More­over I met Sophia from Aus­tria (the sec­ond Sophia from Aus­tria I met dur­ing my India trav­els ;-)) at the air­port. We had a very inter­est­ing dis­cus­sion and dis­cov­ered that we have a very sim­i­lar point of view on this whole sit­u­a­tion! I´m excit­ed to stay in con­tact with her and to hear about her expe­ri­ences in South East Asia!

Despite the sud­den and unex­pect­ed end of my stay on Andamanes as well as in India I´m very thank­ful and blessed spend­ing so much time on these par­adise islands and that I could explore each island, espe­cial­ly Great Nico­bar and Lit­tle Andamanes which show a very spe­cial seren­i­ty and pure beau­ty! I couldn´t do bet­ter by spend­ing the last time of my first India jour­ney on Andaman and Nico­bar Islands.

The emp­ty white sandy beach­es, crys­tal clear water, colour­ful corals, exot­ic birds cheap­ing, authenic locals and trib­al peo­ple who always wear a big smile on their faces as well as the stun­ning nature have been fas­ci­nat­ing me! I will car­ry this ener­gy for a long time in my heart and take it back to my home­land Germany.

“The trust and ded­i­ca­tion of these peo­ple who has been know­ing me for only hard­ly 1 hour is hard to describe with words.”

Restaurant/Bar Tips 

Sights & Insider Tips 


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