Wednesday, 10 February 2010

from chennai to thailand via andaman islands

we are now on the andaman and nicobar islands. Had a very interesting boat journey from chennai. Was three days long and we decided to save money and get bunk tickets.... possibly worst idea of the trip. The ship was massive and stuffed full of people, the bunks were at the bottom of the ship, really reminded me of titanic with the first class bunks at the top and the cheapest bunks in the disgusting hold of the ship. I (Finn) got ill after a day or so, this was mainly due to sleeping in the bunks. Cockroaches everywhere, no air con and because its the bottom of the ship no air really gets down there, we were sleeping with maybe a hundred indians in our room, rows and rows of bunks with no privacy at all. After 3 days it stunk! lots of the indians lived off grapes for the three days and they dried them out on the bunks so after 3 days they were mouldy, rotting and covered in insects!!
But all this has made the Andaman islands all the more amazing and spectacular. we were planning to hitch a lift with a cargo ship or a private boat of some kind to thailand. But we discovered that the only boats going from the islands to thailand were small private yachts. We tried in Port Blair to find a suitable boat but most of them were too small and didnt want to cram us in their boat. We were advised to go to Havelock island, because most the private yacht owners anchor their yachts there, because it's meant to be the nicest. we spent a week on Havelock island (paradise island) lying on the beach snorkling the coral reefs and relaxing in hammocks! Was very rewarding after our ordeal on the boat from Chennai. We asked ALL the yacht owners in Havelock, by lying on the beach next to their dinghy boats which they use to get to their yachts which are quite far out from the land, and when we saw anyone getting in a dinghy we asked if they were willing to take us on. Most were not going to Thailand, but those who were didn't have a big enough boat, plus probably couldn't be bothered to take us on because it's not exactly a touch on the romantic mood having us with them (a lot of couples were sailing). We even braved it and swam to a couple of yachts, because we didnt catch a them off their boat at all. So eventually with no luck, we reluctantly decided to book a flight to bangkok. We are now flying tomorrow from Port Blair and are planning on spending a few weeks on one of the small islands off thailand before cycling from Bangkok to Singapore. This route is approximately 2000km long by main road according to google maps, but will probably end up at 3,000 for us as we will be on the smaller roads which are nicer but more zig-zaggy and have more hills. We have heard a lot (positive things) about the roads from Bangkok to Singapore and are both looking forward to it!!! Hopefully our legs will remember how to cycle. We are hoping to arrive in australia around mid April, but that is an estimation.

We will update the blog once again with pictures from thailand, we are all very sad to be leaving india and will be waggling our heads at everyone we meet in thailand.


Steve Hoge said...

We're taking a side trip from our own bicycle tour of India and wondered whether it would be worth bringing our bikes to the Andamans. (We'll probably fly, especially since reading your post!)

You didn't mention whether it was possible or practical to cycle the Trunk Road, or whether touring bikes would be useful or just a hassle on Havelock. If we take ours will they just be expensive and incredibly awkward pieces of luggage?


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Steve Hoge said...

Wow, it's been nearly 3 years and I totally forgot about having commented on this blog post.

We DID fly from Cochin via Chennai to Pt Blair with our bikes (which was a fair bit of hassle, no thanks to Kingfisher Airlines) and did several days of riding and exploring the Trunk Rd north of Pt Blair - at least the sections that are open to foreigners - ending up with some lazy beach combing on Havelock (just missed the man-eating crocodile).

A photo album from that leg of our trip can be seen on Flickr at:

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Akahaya Rawat said...

Oh, what a lovely story! It’s nice to meet some interesting people on our travels. Meeting someone different gives another level of meaning to a trip.
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Here I am sitting by the fire reading some of your great adventures out loud to my husband, and we are both laughing so much ))) It reminds us of many hilarious situations we ran into while traveling and meeting the most amazing and random and bizarre people ever!
LOVE your blog!
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