Sunday, April 10, 2016

ALLURING ANDAMANS - DAY 3 - HAVELOCK ISLAND



24 Feb - Havelock Island - Radhanagar Beach

Waking up at 5, we finished our morning rituals including morning cup of coffee prepared in our room, we left our big bags outside our rooms to be collected and locked in the resort's cloakroom. We returned our keys at the Reception of Rose Valley and boarded our bus with our little bags at 6.30 am. We were handed packed breakfast of vermicelli upma and juice. Only Kaustubh was going to accompany us; Ulka had to stay back for another batch of tourists. I wondered whether he would be able to single-handedly manage all the 28 sixty plus guests including a couple of 75 plus guests. He did and pretty well - with care and concern. We reached the jetty at 7.15. 

We showed our I card, waited in the queue and boarded MV Makruzz - a luxury mini cruise with ...

plush seats with pull-out trays as in aeroplanes ...



a mini restaurant, huge LED TV .....  Those who carried big bags could check in their bags and collect them at the destination - just as on planes. None from our group needed to check in our bags.


We settled down on our seats for the 1 1/2 hour cruise to Havelock Island which started at 8.10. We also got to watch a nice documentary on Andamans which familiarized us with the numerous islands and landmarks there as well as the history of the place. 
We reached Havelock at 9.50. Before we disembarked, we celebrated the anniversary of one of our tour-couples with cake-cutting. Then we disembarked, boarded our waiting bus and in minutes we were at Symphony Palms Beach Resort. 

Symphony Palms beach Resort
While Kaustubh was completing the formalities and collecting our room keys, all of us walked down across the road to the resort's private beach. 




Such a beauty! So calm and relaxing as well as shady. 



We enjoyed on the 'chair-swing' and hammock and the waves. 

Then we got our keys and occupied our cottages. 

Ours was 29 - the greenery in front was pleasing. 



The room was spacious, again mostly wood, the latch reminded me of our home in Kerala 50 years ago! These rooms did not have geyser but we could get hot water for bath in 15 minutes after calling up room-service. 



We went to the restaurant around 1 pm. Buffet was a lavish spread from soup to 2 desserts. As we gorged on the food,we couldn't help noticing some guests who were making the trip on their own, look up the menu card and choose a 'biriyani' and raita / vegetable - it was a pretty expensive affair.

After a good rest, we were ready for the 30 minute drive to the famed Radhanagar Beach - the best beach in Asia as per a recent survey. 




One thing has to be admitted about all these beaches - they are pristine, with clear water and peach-colored sand. Small beaches resonating with the tourist crowds. But the authorities kept a strict vigil to check littering - Modiji's message was seriously practised there. 

We enjoyed the sand and waves and breeze till sunset at 5.30.





Once again a glorious sunset! After that we enjoyed our tender coconut water followed some minutes later by tea.

On our way back, our bus had a minor ailment and could not make the uphill with all of us on board. So 17 of us were transferred to a Tempo Traveller that had been summoned (we never realized any trouble in the offing). We made it to our hotel at 7, relaxed and enjoyed dinner at the restaurant. We slept early - soon after 9.

The next day it was Elephant Beach.

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