2001

Travels with Caitriona

Caitríona's Journal

2006

Egypt (photos)

Africa (photos)

India with Richie

The Andamans (photos)

India and the Andamans with Benen

2007

Thailand (photos)

Travels with Lorraine

The Andaman Islands - Cyril's own story

The Andaman/Nicobar Islands are a group of 567 islands situated between India and Thailand lying on the Andaman Sea. The length of the island chain is up to 400km and it's greatest width is 51km, they are located 1200kms from Chennai (East India's 3rd largest city) and only 26 of which are inhabited. Vessels set sail from Chennai or Calcutta 1 every 2 weeks depending on weather conditions, EAT 4 days, flights have been recently available to Port Blair (most developed island) at a price.

The Andamans belong to India but the Government issued a 30 day permit to travellers wishing to visit them to protect them for mass tourism. The islands are home to many indigenous tribes, all of which have been exposed to culture outside their environment, except one, my personal favourite "The Sentinelese".

Sentinel Island is located 29kms from South Andaman and is home to "The Sentinelese" a tribe that's managed to resist any contact with outsiders, they are one of the most isolated people on earth. At the time of the tsunami a Navy chopper went in to check for survivors, as the chopper hovered over parts of the island spears and arrows were flung from the jungle. Amazingly no fatalities were reported from the tsunami, Biologists believe this is due to the animals reaction to the wave before it hit the island, they all went ballistic and immediately made way to a higher ground, the Sentinelese followed (Naturally) and survived the tsunami.

My time on the Andamans was spent on Havelock Island, the island is slightly geared towards tourism but it's a million miles away from anything I've experienced. The areas on the island are all numbered due to the locals not coming up with proper names for places yet, eg village no 3 and beach no 2 etc, the island runs out of petrol and sometimes beer. I spent Xmas/New years there, me and my friend put together a cocktail bar in one of the most popular camps on the island, we also played our own music and were making Pina Coladas in coconuts etc .......... the nights were very sucessfull, the owner gave us free food/drink and a days free diving saying this was the best new years he's seen on the island so far.

cyril and the deer

Every morning on Havelock consisted of waking up with a blinding hangover, walking out of your hut and turning your head to your neighbour and just saying "HAVELOCKED" with a huge grin your your face. After chips/fried egg for breakfast we'd drive to beach no 7 and make our way to the lagoon, the lagoon is great for snorkling, you're guaranteed to see a huge array of colourful fish/turtles sharks etc. We made so many friends on the island and we all chilled out together by the beach with the occassional dip for snorkling while recovering from the night before. After sunset we all made our way back to our huts, there was a few nights when we managed to rent an amp/speakers and hold small funky parties on the beach where the only light were a few candles and the fantastic light from the moon. The morning after we'd wake up.........walk out of our huts ........ turn to our neighbour ......... laughing saying "HAVELOCKED" ....... and start the same cycle again .......... Havelock Island is a very special place ...........

 

 

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