Monday, March 11, 2013

Long Island, Andaman and Nicobar, India

Approaching Long Island by ferry boat. The village can be seen on the shore.
The only place to stay on Long Island, Blue Planet. We followed the arrows from the jetty.
The island is dotted with abandoned wooden shacks that are in various stages of being enveloped by jungle. 
The tent we slept in on our first night on Long Island. 
The kittens at Blue Planet had been born less that a week before we arrived.
A five minute walk and we were on a pretty amazing (and empty) beach.
School kids play in the village park.
Main street in town, occupied only by goats in the midday heat.
Walking to town.
A big tree on Long Island.
A lone boat on the beach.
Matt getting a little 'Lord of the Flies' on the beach.
Walking down the path at night we heard a rustle in the leaves. Turned out to be  the nightly Crab Fight.
This dog, named Joseph Conrad, escorted us through the jungle.
After an hour and a half hike through the jungle, we emerged at Lalaji Bay, a vast pristine beach.
Getting well water near Lalaji Bay.
Downed trees buried in the sand were the only thing that interrupted the white sand beach.
Tree in shallow water.
The path back to Blue Planet after a long day at Lalaji Bay.
Our improvised sun shelter on Merk Bay. 
A tree grows on a sand bar between two islands.
Our second trip to Lalaji Bay included some new friends we made at Blue Planet.
Matt swims in the turquoise water of Lalaji Bay.
This hermit crab has good taste in real estate.
Frisbee on the beach. The group included us Americans, some Brits, a couple French and some local Indians.

For those who love the whole tropical-paradise thing, you'd probably like the Andaman Islands. Havelock Island draws the most people, receiving something like half of all the tourists to the Andamans. We chose the path less taken and headed for Long Island. With a total population of around 800 people, a village that consisted of two tiny restaurants, and only one 'resort' on the island; it was exactly what we were looking for. After over two months of never being alone in India, the quiet little island was pure bliss.

The days were spent making tough decisions like do we go to the beach with or without snorkeling masks. In total we spent 10 nights on Long Island. We could have stayed for months. There was no internet (hence us being pretty behind on updating the blog.). And there was no bar! We had planned ahead and bought some vodka but did find a shop that covertly sold beer, rum and whisky. After other tourists tried and failed to get beer, we think the shop owner only sold to us because we were some of the few American tourists he's seen on the island.

As the days went on, we met several people at the resort and ended up playing cards and drinking and doing other beachy things with them. It's kinda funny that we specifically picked one of least touristic island in the Andamans for it's isolation and ended up being more social than most places on our trip.

- Matt