Continued from Havelock Island…
Dec 2016: Stay at Neil Island
Silver Sands at Neil is again a very beautiful property – I especially liked the rooms. The asthetics of the room are done very well. A special mention of the bathrooms. They were very spacious and very neat and clean.
We relaxed in the hotel and had a nice lunch – food in this place was good. Post lunch we proceeded to visit Bharatpur beach. It is another great beach to spend some time in the waters. Waters were as blue as anywhere else in Andaman. The best part of the beach was very less crowd. We returned to the hotel in the evening and hit the bed quite early as next day we had to move quite early for scuba diving. It was a very tight itenary for next day as we had to complete scuba diving by 10 AM. Return ferry to Port Blair was scheduled to depart by 11.45 AM and we had to be in time to make it to the ferry.
Day 5 – Scuba diving, Neil Island
I was scared as well as excited to go for Scuba diving as I am afraid of waters but the thrill of getting a once-in-a-lifetime-experience gave me the courage to go for it. We were asked to arrive at the jetty by 7 AM to be taken to in-waters for suba diving.
Scuba diving needs some bit of training and it is the most difficult of all water sports (atleast I felt so) but the most adventurous as well since one is taken in deep under waters with all the gadgets (there is a proper swim suit with flippers, oxygen cylinder and a mask).
We were given some preliminary training cum instructions and taken in-waters to the spot for scuba diving. Many divers and boats were already present there with tourists who wanted to do scuba diving.
I was very scared initially to wear all the gadget and the swim gear and I was the last one to get into the waters. After seeing my son do it so bravely, I was inspired and told myself I have to do it. Once under the waters, I started panicking and gave the signal to my co-diver to take me to the surface of the sea. He counselled me and told me I was doing great and there is no need to panic. I dived again and as told by the diver, I deliberately made an attempt to focus on corals and marine life – it is all in the mind. He asked me to divert my attention and not to think that I am under water. This time it was better and I could see around some beautiful fish.
After spending 15 minutes in the water, we were taken back to the boats to head back to hotel. By the time, we reached hotel it was 10.30 AM. We rushed with the packing and just could make it to the ferry in time – it was actually a very close shave. There was no time to grab breakfast and we had to later take some eatables from the snacks counter in the ferry.
We reached Port Blair and checked into Sentinel hotel by 1 PM. All of us decided to have lunch at a vegetarian restaurant (called Anapurna) in the local market – food was amazing. We headed back to the hotel and as we were tired, we rested for sometime. We were given the day to ourselves for resting and local site seeing. It was decided that we will visit marine park close to cellular jail in the evening and we took autos to go to the place.
Near to the marine park is the children’s traffic park which has been set up with miniature traffic lights, roads and children are encouraged to hire cycles (for free but for a limited time) to explore the park. It was an enjoyable experience in the park. Some of the kids had rides in the park as well. Finally, we headed back to hotel at around 8 PM and after dinner (buffet at Sentinel was not that great – a piece of advice here. Buffets at none of the hotels were good. Go for ala cart), I finished packing and went to bed early.
Next day morning, we had flight back to Delhi – Andaman was a very different experience for me. I had never seen so blue waters (not even in Singapore or Philippines). They were pristine blue. Beaches had white sand. The land was painted green, blue, white all over – a beautiful display of these three colors by nature. I would recommend it is a must visit place in case you are looking for beautiful beaches and explore the place as soon as possible because in the years to come (once it is commercialized) it might not stay the same!!
Read on my other adventures at Destinations
Interested in planning for a trip to Andaman and Nicobar, refer to handy tips and budget ideas