Andaman & Nicobar islands

It was back in 2009 when my sweet E and I went to the Andaman islands and to be precise to the incredible Havelock.
The trip was exhausting since we were coming from an endless (and sleepless) night spent in the Calcutta airport (one of the ugliest and most uncomfortable I've ever seen), then a flight to a hot Port Blair (little tour of the main attractions such as the cellular jail), a short visit to Ross island (fantastic military reserve with old colonial building being swallowed by the surrounding nature) and finally a ferry to our last destination.
The arrival at Pristine Resort (10 euros per night for a deluxe hut!!!) was very nice thanx to Subi and Macca offering us a fresh juice and showing us right away our humble hut. The place is completely eco, all made of natural materials and settled right next to a wonderful and endless beach called beach #5. Here beaches are named by numbers (they also have indian names but this is the easiest way to get oriented a bit), and probably this island is world famous for its beach #7 (a.k.a Radhanagar Beach).
After getting comfortable with our place, we changed and headed straight to the beach to rest a bit and hang our hammock on some palm trees. Beach #5 is a huge, thin and long beach with crystal shallow waters thanx to the reef you have about a hundred meters out. To be honest this is not the best place for snorkeling or swimming (expecially if low tide is going on), but for that purpose you'd better head to beach #7. I suggest to rent a motorcycle to move around; they're cheap and most of the times in good conditions (indians fix everything very well) and the only two gas stations on the island will never disappoint you.

As I was saying Radhanagar Beach (let's call things with their name) is breathless! Most of the people (especially locals) tend to stop where the path to the beach ends, but I can assure you there's plenty of space both on the left side and the right one. If you like walking and want to discover a little bit more of the island, at the very end of the beach on the right side, just behind a hidden corner, there's a small lagoon with a sweet bay and some reef where you can have some decent snorkel, but if you're too lazy that day place your towel on the divine white thin sand anywhere, enjoy the amazing refreshing waters and wait for one of the best sunset you'll ever experience in your life. If you're lucky enough you might be able to see elephants walking on the beach or in the forest right behind it...but those are not wild ones, and they're always with some man next to them.
But our favorite beach among all was Elephant beach! On the way to beach #7, pretty much half way from where we staid, there's a path starting, and that's where you gotta drop you vehicle and start a nice trek (about 40 minutes walk) in the jungle leading you to a huge deserted mangrove field. Careful with the tides or you might get stuck either in the mangroves (muddy and sticky) or on the beach on the way back! The reason why we loved this beach, was beacause of the tsunami effects and its privacy. Since it's not so easy to reach unless you take part to one of those sad boat tours with hundreds of people, this area of the island is the wildest and most fascinating. The huge trees killed by the tsunami back in time are still there lying on the beach forming a labyrinth you have to go through and scaring you with their massive roots sometimes 3 or 4 times higher then you.
Once you pass this pretty rough area you finally get to a deserted part of the beach where a small river flows into the ocean. That's where you have to stop!!! The beach gets larger and probably you'll be the only one around there for the whole day, and if you're a snorkeling addicted, jump in the water and go find the big reef you have in front of you to spot some amazing fishes.
We also had a one day boat tour to a tiny island called Button if can, go for it! Only Seychelles gave me such feelings in front of such a huge amount of colorful fishes.

I don't know if things have changed a lot since last time I was there (things in India move pretty fast lately), but the island was still quite pristine, with a wonderful rural area in the inside, friendly and not annoying people (people who have visited India know what I'm talking about), and cheap like no other islands around the world with that kind of beaches and natural beauties! I suggest you to try the local restaurants and not to stick around western resorts or diving centers...this is not where you get the real taste of an area and most of the times the quality is not necessary higher then in the small characteristic eateries.
Keep the Andamans clean and enjoy them!

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