Andaman - The Land of Diversity : A complete Trip Report

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#31 May 10th, 2013, 11:56
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  • soumiksett is offline
#31
Hi Ruchira..

I can remember your story of nightmare during our Zuluk trip....

Anyway your information are great........
#32 May 10th, 2013, 12:14
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  • SomaGhosh is offline
#32
Thank you very very much for this TP.Till now I have not come across any Andaman travel plan so precise and useful as the one you have written.
I am also planning to visit Andaman this winter and I will strictly go by your itinery and guidelines.

Again thank you very much for this report.Keep up this excellent work!!!
Warm Regards
Soma

My travel blog

http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.in/
#33 May 13th, 2013, 15:00
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  • ghosh.ruchira is offline
#33
Thank you SomaGhosh
#34 May 21st, 2013, 17:00
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#34
ruchira di

nearing so long 10days to gone ,,, kindly take a pen or mouse ---- give some mental food ,,, as per your detailed wright up -- i inspired to go Andaman after my daughter final examination on march 2014,, tentative journey 19th march 2014---29th march 2014

thank you

somen
"A man is not a human being if he cannot make the world better"
#35 May 29th, 2013, 15:38
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#35
Day 2 Continued...


The day was very tiring, especially for the incident with the boat.

We left Mt Harriet after sun set at around 6. When we were at the boat I realized that I forgot to call the canteen in-charge of Teal House for the dinner. I was supposed to call him by 5 PM. I immediately called him. But he refused to take order at that time.
We were so tired that we knew that if we went back to hotel we would not be able to go out once again for dinner. So decided to have quick dinner before went back to he hotel.

But it was so early for dinner. Susanta da suggested a short break at Jogger's Park before having dinner past 7.
Port Blair Jogger's Park is at a small hill just beside the airport. We had a good view of the runway at night.
But there was no light at the park and we lost each other in the darkness . I had to walk 360 deg round the park to find my mother-in-law .


The next day's plan was to visit Jolly Buoy Coral Island and Chidiya Tappu.
We left Teal house at around 7:30AM. Visited the Horticulture Farm en route to Wandoor from where the boat for Jolly Buoy starts.
Just after crossing Garcharma we found wet lands in both sides and wow...hundreds of Teal and Moorhen at the wet lands....

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We reached at Wandoor at around 8:45 AM. Forest Department Permit is required to go to Jolly Buoy. Our permit was done on the previous day with 4 other tourists. Susanta da handed over the permit to that group and told to follow them.
One staff was checking the ticket and permit at the gate. But there was no queue maintained. There was huge crowd in front of the gate. People were going ahead pushing others back. We were standing beside the group carrying our permit. We were almost in front of the staff checking the permit. Suddenly a young group came and pushed their way to the gate. We lost the 4 carrying our permit and the gate was closed. The staffs at the other side declared that the current boat was full. I was sure that the group having our permit had boarded the boat. I called the staff checking the permits but he did not pay attention.
Suddenly I found the staff Susanta da was talking to. I called him and told the problem aloud. This worked. He had a chat with the other staffs and then rushed to the boat. After few minutes came back checked our ticket and told us to rush to the jetty.
We boarded MV Maheswari and it departed. Jolly Buoy is around half an hours jorney from Wandoor Jetty. Our boat was very fast. It overtook two other boats left the jetty earlier and it was the first boat of the day to reach Jolly Buoy.
The journey through the creeks with mangroves at both side was a nice one.
Jolly Buoy and Redskin are two coral islands. They remains open alternately. The boatmen told that this year after 30th April Jolly Buoy would be closed and journey to Red Skin would start. This helps in coral growth. But the coral in Jolly Buoy is far better than coral in Red Skin.
Jolly Buoy has no more islands at its south. So, the waves and currents become dangerous during monsoon and bad weather. It also has dangerous under current beneath the apparently calm water. This island has till date witnessed many accidents. So it is wise to listen to the boatmen's instructions.

Jolly Buoy has no settlement. No one lives here. It is one of the hundreds forested island of Andaman group. It has eco changing room and toilet made of wood and bamboo. Tourists are requested not to leave behind anything specially plastic items in this island.

The island is surrounded by corals of 5-25ft height at all sides. So the main boat could not reach the shore. The boat was anchored at the sea at some 100 m distance. From their we boarded at glass bottom boat which showed corals and took us to the shore.
One snorkelling was free with the Jolly Buoy ticket. I was so enthusiastic about it that I was the first one to request for snorkelling. But it was the biggest mistake. I had no prior experience of snorkelling. When they put the mask and immediately took me far from the shore I started feeling uneasy. I was not able to breath easily, drank saline water 3-4 times. Even before reaching to the coral line I was afraid enough and told the man to take me back. Had I gone for it after spending some time at water and after watching few people returning from snorkelling I did not miss it.
After me my husband went and he was so excited to see the colorful corals and fishes that he opted for the paid snorkelling. They had option for Rs 500,1000 and 2000. He opted for the cheapest one. It took him to a distance from where he was not able to view the shore properly. The guide was holding a rope while swimming and guiding the tourist floating in a tube. Once my husband told the guide to leave the rope and swim for 10 mtrs to get a good glimpse of a fish. The guide's answer was shocking . If he cross the rope in the opposite side they would not be able to come back. The under current would take them .
I was standing in waist deep water near the shore. Suddenly I found a bunch of small fishes with two big one at the lead was circling me . I tried catching one, but they fled
After my husband returned back I requested the young guy who guided my husband to take me in another round of snorkelling as I did not do it in the first try. He agreed and showed me how to use the blow pipe for breathing. He started taking me away from the shore. This time I was more feeling comfortable. But the senior boat man who took me earlier came quickly and objected. Sankar, the young guy argued. The senior one declared the decision, 'Ok..show only one start fish and come back'. So i saw only one start fish at Jolly buoy .
After returning me and my mother-in-law who did not try snorkelling did glass-bottom boat ride for Rs 300 p.h. The coral reef in Jolly Buoy is most colorful and diverse of all that I saw in Andaman.
Last edited by ghosh.ruchira; May 29th, 2013 at 17:08..
#36 May 29th, 2013, 17:23
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#36
After returning from Jolly Buoy, we had lunch at a road side hotel at Wandoor with good Bengali fish meal. After lunch we visited Wandoor Beach, Rubber Plantation and headed towards Chidiya Tapu.
Chidiya Tapu has a Forest rest House. We went pass the guest house to Munda Pahar Beach.
Journey to Jolly Buoy:
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On the way to Chidiya Tapu:
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Munda Pahar Beach

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Setting Sun @ Munda Pahar Beach

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#37 Jun 2nd, 2013, 14:21
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  • smboser is offline
#37

Need few info about Baratang journey

Hi Ruchira,

I am planning to visit Andaman in near future and have a plan to visit Baratang Island with Lime stone cave etc. But after a short googling I come to know that the Andaman trunk road is closed to tourist since Jan 2013. Also, wiki travel is saying that due to this, visiting Baratang Island is not possible in these days. As you have just visited there, could you please let me know about the current status?

Thanks in advance...
#38 Jun 2nd, 2013, 20:54
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  • ghosh.ruchira is offline
#38
Andaman Trunk Road has been opened again in March 2013.
#39 Jun 5th, 2013, 17:37
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#39
Very informative and well written TR with excellent photos.
Thanks a lot Ruchira.
#40 Jun 14th, 2013, 11:56
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#40
I will be going to the Andamans in September 13 and your TR is most helpful Ruchira
#41 Jun 14th, 2013, 16:10
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#41
Thank You GSG9.
#42 Jun 14th, 2013, 17:21
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#42

Day 4 : Port Blair to Maya Bundar via Baratang and Rangat

The next part of the trip was to go towards Diglipur in North Andaman.

We started at 4 o'clock in the morning as we need to reach Jirartang before 6 o'clock. Vehicles can move the Jarawa reserve in between Jirartang and Middle Straight only in four convoys at 6AM,9AM, 12PM and 2:30 PM. So missing the 6 AM convoy even by 5 minutes means waiting for 3 hours.

Just after the Denalipur crossing we stopped near an ATM. A person came to the car and asked for a lift. Sushanta da toldus he is in "Jarawa Department" of govt and he has to reach to Jirartang as early as possible as he has allotted morning duty with the Jarawas.

We were curious about the aboriginals of Andaman and who could give us better idea of their lives than this person . So we gladly took him in the car. His name was Avinash.
Once he got into the car we started firing questions to him.
"How do you communicate with them?"
-"We had to learn Jarawa language. If you heard them speaking you'll not understand anything. But they have their own language though very primitive. Like, they have only 3 numbers: 1,2 and 3"
"What type of work do you do?"
-"We keep track of all Jarawa families, how they live,where they live, if some one falls sick we arrange for treatments.If they face any problem they contact us. If local people face any problem due to them they complain in Police and we need to talk to Jarawas to sort it out."
"Are they provided with food?"
-"No. Govt gives bananas and coconuts and clothes and medicines. But no other food. They are also provided with transportation facilities,like, today some Jarawas will go to Straight island. So they will be picked up in a car from here and separate boat will also be there for them."
"What are you going for now?"
The guy smiled.
-"Jarawas are all thieves. Yesterday one truck with rice got damaged in the area and could not move out. No one is allowed to spend night at that region except polices. So, the driver and helper were taken to middle straight in Police jeep and 3 police men were posted at the spot to protect the goods.But Jarawas stole 30 sacks of rice. Now I am going to manage them. I need to negotiate with them. I have to make them understand that they'll not need all those rices. If they want we can give them 2-3 sacks but rest I need to recover."

He told us story of 145 years old Kaham Jarawa, the story of 3 friends who went for fishing near the shore of the Jarawa reserved area, attacked by Jarawa young men, had a fight and both the sides succeeded to kill one opponent. The other two settlers are in jail now.

We were near to the Jirartang when Avinash stopped the car and went down. We were so busy in talking with him that we did not notice that day was beginning. When Avinash got down we noticed that the sun is rising at the horizon. But could not spend time to capture the moment as we needed to submit our form at the check post.
Last edited by ghosh.ruchira; Jun 14th, 2013 at 18:37..
#43 Jun 14th, 2013, 17:41
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
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#43
The Jarawa face extinction. See this link:
http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/8049
#44 Jun 14th, 2013, 18:15
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  • GSG9 is offline
#44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghosh.ruchira View Post The next part of the trip was to go towards Diglipur in North Sikkim.
You mean Diglipur in North Andaman
#45 Jun 14th, 2013, 18:38
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  • ghosh.ruchira is offline
#45
@GSGP

Yes, Thanks for correcting me. I have edited it. I was thinking of Gurudongmar and that caused the mistake
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