Sunday, May 17, 2015

Andamans - final part


Read the earlier post here...

In the last post, I had showcased images of some of the birds we could see on our trip. Continuing that in this post, I will few more images not only restricted to birds but also covering landscapes, butterflies and some generic.

Hope to have your attention :)

Also adding few notes to help the travelers out there who intend to explore the island for some birding and travel.

Notes:
> We traveled by Air from Chennai to Port Blair and return in the same way. Blr-Chennai was covered by Shatabdi express train. Taking a stopover flight from Blr-Portable would be ideal if a good airfare offer is on.

> Standard taxi fares in Port Blair (irrespective of vehicle size and make), so chose a bigger vehicle for space and flexibility. Rates are fixed for destinations and day long hires costs are also fixed, roughly about 2500/- when we went in 2013.

> We stayed at Hotel Aparupa that is a budget hotel and mind you budget hotel fares start only from about 1500+ tax for a small and simple double room. Food is extra.

> Only two (if I'm not wrong) 'vegetarian' hotels in Port Blair and are little expensive. In general, most of the decent hotels are expensive. Don't expect non-veg food to be cheap, they are equally expensive.

> Port Blair, being an island is very small and houses most of the facilities that you would need on your trip with the airport and the harbor.

> Rates compared to any other tourism places is on the higher side and you will definitely feel it if you are traveling on your own.

> Havelock Island is by far the most popular and the touristy island, renowned for its world famous Radhanagar beach, that we visited and sure is one of the best in the world.

> Havelock Island and Chidiyatapu are the locations for scuba diving, the former preferred more, but we did it in Chidiyatapu and enjoyed it. Read it here.

> Ross Island, Viper Island, Small Andamans, Neil island are some of the important islands on the tourist circuit.

> Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Caves at Ross Island, Sunset at Havelock are some of the places/activities not to be missed.

> Vikram Shil was our guide who is a localite and knows the locations very well and is the preferred person by any individual/group visiting. He is generally booked well in advance and can be reached on +91 9434262681

> Please remember, nature can play havoc anytime it wants to and could be in the form of cyclones, tsunami or dull, cloudy days. Any amount of planning or precaution may or may not work in your favor and keeping calm and having spare days on hand is ideal.

> Again, the airport / port functions if the weather is ideal, else you are 'stuck' there till the conditions turn favorable.

> Sun rises very early here and sets very early. So, at 6pm you are staring at pitch darkness and at 5am you have bright sunshine.

> Birding in general is difficult as the canopies are very high and light reaching the base is very less and in some places nil. The birding is mostly from the roads or near marshes and not many trails inside.

> You may see snakes, birds, butterflies but sighting the big mammals is very difficult considering how dense the forests are, in fact there are no big cats in the Islands.

> Narcondam Hornbill is a bird every birder would have on his wishlist, but unfortunately the island is a no-go with permissions not given to visit as it's a secured location. Nicobar islands hold many gems and again visiting them is practically difficult and permissions, very hard to obtain.

Below is a video of the nature's wrath we felt, cyclone Lehar unleashing its fury. Sadly, no news of Andaman & Nicobars is considered worth to be of national news importance and hardly shown in the mainstream media.



Below are other images that I was able to get through my visit to the islands.

(Light availability is difficult in many places)


(boundaries are only for man!)




(Andaman Tree Nymph, a very delicate butterfly that glides)


(Brown Shrike, this is a subspecies of the mainland visitor that visits this region)


(An un-id'd snake, found it crossing the road in the evening)


(Blue-tailed bee-eater, again a subspecies that visits this region)


(White-breasted Woodswallow, found only in the Havelock Island)


(Andaman Monitor Lizard, unexpected catch from the mangroves)


(Eastern Jungle Crow)


(A couple enjoying the sunset at Radhanagar beach, Havelock Island)



That's it from me folks for now :)

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