Sunday, December 13, 2009

Incredible India!!! Incredible Andamans!

This was a 5-day trip that we made to Havelock and what a vacation it was...

The Port Blair airport is just 10 minutes away from the dock where the ferry transports you to this island. The ferry charges could be a little high (around 13$ - 20$) but it takes just 1.5 hours to get you to Havelock as against a boat which could take you anywhere between 4-6 hours. Also, the ferry is air conditioned with plush seats and a food counter inside where you can pick up snacks.

DiveIndia picked us up from the airport to the ferry and from Havelock ferry dock to the resort. One of the first things that strikes you about Island Vinnie's is the proximity to the beach the the lush greenery. The Cabanas are adequately big, clean with water and electricity. Each has a hammock for lazy evenings. There are hammocks on the beach, under the shades of big trees, for a quiet snooze by the beach. There are the two huge and absolutely adorable dogs - Frodo and Sam, one a golden retriever and the other a Labrador - who are everywhere, frolicking in the waves or rolling about in the sand or getting petted by everyone.

The biggest attraction for this resort are the dive courses - PADI, SSI etc that they offer. The instructors are extremely competent, patient and jolly. There's never a moment's unpleasantness in this place. Everyone seems to be looking at the brighter side of life and that is so contagious.



Most of the travelers there are foreign nationals who keep coming back for their love of the sea and diving and if you are someone who loves a good conversation over some good beer (or lemonade), this is the place. Mornings, the resort wears an almost empty look with almost all guests and Dive teams out in the sea but come afternoon, the boats start heading back and with it, divers with diverse and incredible stories to tell - whether it is the colourful soft corals, the barracudas, octopus, the schools of vibrant fish or the sharks or just the excited first-time diver who has managed to stay underwater with the Buoyancy Compensator and wet suits - it is an infectious enthusiasm.



The evening wears on with people reading up their theoretical course books or just reading up on the aquatic life.



The Full Moon Cafe serves limited veg and non-veg dishes. I would recommend the roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, masala omlette, lemonade with mint and fish / chicken fried rice. The portions are adequate.

If you are not diving, there is plenty that you can do. Rent a bike / scooty / cycle and explore the Island. Radha Nagar Beach No. 7 is another not-to-be-missed location. The beachline is long with lush green forests, giant trees and elephants. The way to the beach is winding peppered with lush meadows, clusters of coconut trees, lotuses and wild flowers.


If you are someone who likes the comforts of home, wants a spa and air-condition in your room, Havelock may not be for you. But if you love the unknown, the sand, sea, surf and meeting new people and prefer pristine beaches, this is it.

Even if you don't stay at the Island Vinnie's resort, the warmth of the people, the experience of the Divers and the diverse people that you will meet here, makes it sure worth a visit. And am sure, the resort will grow on you...