05 April 2014 | Andaman Islands, India
Andaman Islands – India
The Andaman Islands are 350 miles off the coast of Thailand and are owned by India. It took us 2 days to sail there. It’s out in the middle of nowhere in the Indian Ocean. Most the tourists are Indians although we met quite a few Europeans. The bureaucratic paperwork & visa process is a nightmare but worth the trouble. Checking in the country was the most rigid of any country we’ve visited. For all the copies required to check into the country, we killed a whole tree all by ourselves! This is what the British handed down during their rule….which by the way is a fascinating peek into history. We are only allowed 30 days and did it go fast! There are 350 islands but with only 30 days, we made only a few of them. It’s one of the top diving spots in the world. We dove 5 days with an outfit called Barefoot Divers. The diving is great! Visibility was 100 ft+, there’s giant mantas, turtles, sharks, incredible coral life & a dizzy amount of fish life. Barren Island is a smoking volcano & the backdrop is black volcanic ash. The colors of both the coral & fish were a kaleidoscope of vivid, intense colors with the black background. Snorkeling on the other hand, was disappointing as El Nino bleached the coral a few years back, wiping it out. It’s just now starting to come back. What a shame.
There are mostly deserted islands, with long white beaches and azure water. They are all very beautiful. We only saw a couple of boats the entire time we were there. There’s no internet except in Port Blair, the capitol and Havelock Island. The internet is so slow it’s excruciating to watch Yahoo take 15 minutes to load! Yikes, we couldn’t stand it and did without.
We loved the friendly locals of the Andaman’s and hope that when we head west that we can once again visit this remote part of the world. Enjoy the pictures –
Colleen & Tom