Whenever I go to a new place, I try not to miss the first sunrise. Though I woke up at morning early, I missed my first sunrise here. Sun was already up in the sky. Out through the window of my room, I could see the streets getting busy with people even at 6 AM. I was late by an hour. The day begins very early here.
I spent my first day in Andaman around Port Blair town, hence didn’t get a chance to go into the sea. The second day was more exciting. Finally, I am heading to some islands nearby.
My day began from Rajiv Gandhi water sports complex. Since Port Blair is small, all the places in and around the city can be reached easily. From the complex, boats will take tourists to places around Port Blair. It is like a package. My ticket for the day included two places; North Bay and Ross island.
The boat was ready to go, it was fully occupied. The first destination, North Bay was 30 minutes away from the jetty. Most of the people call this place as North Bay island, but it is not a separate island, It is just another part of the main island. The boat ride gave a good view of the island from the sea.
Since these places are exclusive tourist spots. Expect everything about a typical tourist place here. As the boat was moving, a crew member came to the front and started to give a brief description of the North Bay. He cracked some jokes to make the group lively, then told that there is nothing much in North Bay, the only thing to do there is scuba diving and snorkelling. He then began to sell tickets for scuba from the boat. In my opinion, buy tickets only when you feel okay about the place to dive.
Reached Northbay, had to pay the entry fee to get into the premises. There are many dive centres operating here. The place was crowded with people waiting for their turn to go into the sea for some adventure. Since I was not interested in any of those happening there, decided to take a walk.
An important attraction of North Bay is a lighthouse, the same lighthouse which we see (if looked very closely) in the twenty rupee note. I found a trail leading into the island, it leads to the lighthouse. After 10 minute walk, climbed a small hill, I reached the bottom of the lighthouse. I didn’t see anybody there. Looked around, found a narrow path going through the forest in another direction. With no second thoughts, I started to follow the trail and ended on a beautiful beach on the other side, with coconut trees leaning all the way to touch the water.
The beach was so serene and silent, the only thing I could hear was that of waves coming towards the shore. I sat under the shade, looked at the ocean in front of me. Few kingfishers came and sat on the coconut tree near me before flying to the next shore. It was peaceful.
Before leaving the boat, we were informed to return after 2 hours. I checked the time, have to leave, walked back to the boat.
Ross island, a small island 3 km to the east of Port Blair, was my next destination. This island was the administrative headquarters of British raj in Andaman till 1941 when an earthquake destroyed the island. Again during the 2nd world war, The Japanese army took control over Ross island and made it their camp.
The first thing we see when reaching the island were those Japanese bunkers used during the world war.Before entering into the island, imagine about a typical British town during the early 19th century. The paved roads with beautifully built victorian buildings on both sides; bungalows, shops, church, hospital, cemetery, swimming pool, offices etc.
This island was once the most beautiful possessions of British in India.The earthquake has destroyed everything here and all you can see are remnants of an opulent past. Nature has taken the control of the island now. Roots are swallowing whatever remain here. Everything man has made are going back to the soil. The place looks haunted now.
The island is small and we can walk around. Though an air of melancholy surrounds this island, the place has something which makes it alluring.
The boat left Ross island after 90 minutes, reached Port Blair. I still had time left. On the way back, my driver told about a good place to spend the evening and took us to the top of a hill. It was a park where residents in and around will come to spend evenings. The airport is visible from there. The sunset was beautiful with the view of the sun going down into the sea, splashing shades of red over everything in its way back to the horizon. I called it a day.