Saturday, August 11, 2012

Havlock – visiting Kalapathar Beach

Andaman & Nicobar - The Enchanting Coral Islands of India
(Havlock – visiting Kalapathar Beach)

Day 3 (Day 10 since arrival in Port Blair)

The submerged stone because of which the beach is named as Kalapathar

      The next day we started leisurely at around 10.30 A.M, as we had planned to visit Kalapathar Beach, which is situated at a distance of about 5 Kms. from the Dolphin Resort & 10 Kms. away from the jetty, on the extreme end of the Island and draws its name from the similarly named village in its vicinity.  However, the driver of the auto had another reason for the name of this beach, he pointed out towards a huge stone in the middle of the Sea that appeared black in color, he stated that it was a huge rock that has denuded over the years and the place derives its name from it.  The auto driver wanted to cover this beach the previous day itself, but since he had already charged from us and we would have had nothing to do on the third day, we therefore, asked him to make the tour the next day.  The road to the beach runs along the coastline of the island and there are village homes scattered along the inner side, standing in calm seclusion, with small kitchen gardens dotted around.  The area around Kalapathar is surrounded by very dense forests and if one goes about half a kilometer inside from the main beach side along the mud path, one will come across a clearing where young elephants are trained.  Although the beach is very small, but the surrounding crystal clear blue waters make up for it.  In addition to this, being a virgin forest area you come across a plethora of birds chirping away to glory and you may also get an opportunity to photograph a few.  I walked along the jungle path carefully and slowly, my efforts paid dividend and I was able to spot & photograph a few birds here.

Black naped Oriole - Kalapathar beach

Kalapathar Beach - fishermen at work

Another view of Kalapathar Beach

We lazed around the place for quite some time and at around 1.00 P.M headed back to hotel, but as we were already late, we had to go to a local restaurant (that served south Indian food) for lunch.  Later we retired for the day as we had to head back to Port Blair the next day. 

Day 4 (Day 11 since arrival in Port Blair)

Sunrise over Dolphin Resort Bay - last day at Havelock

            The catamaran Makruzz that reaches Havelock at 10.30 in the morning leaves back the same day at 4.30 P.M. and many of the visitors visit the Radhanagar beach and head back to Port Blair the same day.  The check out time in the hotels in Andaman is by 9.00 A.M. in the morning and thus, we had our Breakfast and checked out of our rooms by 9.00 A.M.  As we had nothing to do, we lazed around the reception area, playing games on the tab and wandering around short distances.  We wiled away the time till 2.00 P.M. after which the auto driver came and took us to Jetty No.1, we surveyed the market around to get some snacks, but nothing was available to our liking and thus, we had to do with some Chips, Biscuits and Cold Drinks.  The check in counter of Makruzz has a small reception area, where one can wait and as the boarding was to commence only after 3.30 P.M., we had another hour or so to kill before boarding.  We had purchased some fresh snacks at the counter of the Catamaran during our journey from Port Blair and had planned to purchase the same during the return leg as well, however, to our dismay nothing was available (as they stock up at Port Blair only and do not replenish at Havelock) and we had to do with some chocolates & Cold drinks.  But this became a boon for us, as the sea had started turning a bit choppy by late afternoon, because of the monsoon clouds that were setting in and the return journey was a horrendous experience.  The catamarans are double hulled boats and achieve greater speeds as they skim across the surface of the sea, but very little movement or choppiness in the water makes the fast drive uncomfortable, unlike the bigger ships.  Accordingly, as soon as we left the Havelock jetty, the boat started tossing and diving, like an airplane caught in turbulence and in no time many of the passengers started throwing up.  Despite the best efforts by the crew onboard, who were constantly providing vomit bags and also cleaning up with buckets et al, the journey was far from comfortable.  I was told that the catamaran services usually terminate on the 8th of May every year, but because of LTC benefit being extended to Tamil Nadu Government staff, the services had been extended beyond the scheduled date.  We made it to the Phoenix Bay jetty in Port Blair at about 6.15 P.M. and as we were totally famished, immediately dashed to Ananda Restaurant for an extended lunch cum tea session.  However, my digital camera too was out of battery and I could not take any shots of this mayhem on my way back.  Thereafter, we checked back into the Circuit house and as it was the last day at Port Blair, we were scheduled to return back to our home the next day, we had a small shopping binge at night.  We bid adieu to Port Blair next day morning i.e. 12th day since arrival.
(This concludes my visit to Andaman Islands during the summers of 2012)

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