Heavenly Havelock!

Sanjana Sequeira works at a corporate in the city, and also spends time rescuing and rehabilitating dogs. While she doesn’t get much free time to herself, she loves to travel whenever she does. “If I had to pick between living a highly luxurious life or travelling the world; I’d spend my life travelling,” she says. The young lady recently made a five-day trip to the Andaman Islands with a few of her friends. Here’s how it went.

The group landed in Port Blair and took a ferry to Havelock Island. Part of Ritchie’s Archipelago; Havelock is known for its dive sites, beaches, and coral reefs. “On the first day, we didn’t have time to do much, so we decided that the best thing we could do was to indulge in a scrumptious seafood dinner,” Sanjana tells us. “The seafood was fresh and tasted a million times better than it does in land-locked cities like our own!” The group rose early the next morning to go scuba diving, “I was extremely excited about going scuba diving,” she says. “I am through and through a proper water baby! After the diving instructors coached us on breathing underwater, how to use our diving gear, and communicate with them underwater, they took us in a boat to one of the diving sites off the coast,” she explains. “Once we got there, we had to fall backwards into the water and then each of our diving instructors guided us underwater.”

“Scuba diving was one of the most amazing experiences of my trip,” Sanjana reminisces. “It’s like a whole other world down there. Apart from the stunning coral reefs, we saw several underwater creatures like clownfish, trevally, coral trout, wahoo, dorado, octopus, and so many others that I don’t remember!” Sanjana continues, “The best part of my scuba diving experience was when I fed the fish bananas. There was a bunch of bananas lying on the reefs and my instructor gestured to feed the fish, so I broke off bits and fed them directly from my hand!”

After scuba diving, the group visited the famous crescent-shaped Radhanagar Beach. “We wanted to watch the sunset as that’s what it’s famous for. But sadly, we had to ride to the other end of the island and didn’t realise how early the sun rises and sets. We got to the beach at 5:30 pm and just missed the sunset by minutes. The beach, however, took our breath away! The sand was whiter and finer than I’ve ever seen, and the water was a stunning shade of blue. We didn’t get to spend much time on that little bit of paradise, though, because we had to ride back through narrow roads and hairpin bends before it got too dark.”

“The next morning we made up for missing the sunset, though. At 5 am, we walked down to the beach from our cottage and watched the sun rise up over the water. It was a sight to behold!” Sanjana tells us, “Another unforgettable experience was on the following day when we sat on chairs by the beach. One of my friends walked down to the shore and asked us to see what she was seeing. The rest of us made our way to where she was and she made us close our eyes, tilt our heads up and open. The sight was arresting! I’ve never seen a sky more filled with stars than I saw that night. It was so captivating that all of us just lay down on the beach and stared at the sky full of stars. We even saw quite a few shooting stars that night; my friend saw six!”

The friends took a ferry back to Port Blair on their last day, where they spent a chilled-out evening at a rooftop restaurant with live music, before returning home the following morning. “Havelock was one of the most divinely beautiful places I’ve ever visited, and I’d recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. In fact, I feel like I’m still in vacation withdrawal!” (laughs).   

- as told to Tanya