It was about 2:15 p.m when 3 of us checked in to our hotel in Port Blair. My thought has previously determined to visit Chidiya Tapu on the same day.
On my earlier visits to Airport, I used to view the name Port Blair flashing on the flight information display system.
I felt that it must be an international flight because I didn’t hear of a city termed Port Blair in India before.
Later, when my understanding & maturity developed, then I got to perceive that Port Blair breathes in India. Ha-Ha! Silly!
I understand we’ll be fatigued following a long journey. Although I just needed to head out and begin the exploration.
After a 40-45 mins freshen-up, we stood ready to begin toward the Chidiya Tapu from Park Inn Port Blair.
Network Connectivity in Port Blair
I prepared a day-wise plan, and the precedence task was to confirm Network Connectivity on reaching Andaman because I need to do remote work for the next 5-6 days.
High-five if you are already an Airtel user.
Airtel works moderately well for calling and internet usage in Port Blair and Havelock. I faced no problems there.
Airtel launched 4G in Andaman with the Optical Fibre Cable Project, solving the Connectivity obstacle.
Before arriving in Andaman, I was concerned regarding the Network since I was required to do online work. However, while in flight, my worries went away as I noticed that Airtel Network continued coming in mid-air enough before landing at Port Blair. Ha-Ha! Moreover, The phone of a fellow traveler rang, and I was mesmerized! What a network Sir-Ji! Ba-Ha-Ha!
Spoiler alert, However, in flight, the Network remains in the atmosphere for a few breaths, then disappears.
Correspondingly, consider reading – Middle Seat in Flight? How “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” Rescued Me?
A friend of mine had a dual sim phone, Vodafone and Jio. So he sometimes had to remain dependent on me for the Network. In some places, you will find the Vodafone network and essentially nowhere for Jio.
Renting a Scooty in Port Blair
Without delay, we enquired around concerning the Scooty rental shop nearby. I was glad to know that town people converse in Hindi too.
Renting Scooty stayed the exclusive option.
We got 2 Scooties for Rs.800/- at Port Blair for the same-day return. Usually, the shop proprietor provides Scooty/Motorbike from opening till closing time. That equates to about 9-10hrs, and we had half the time left.
We initiated the journey of 25kms one-way accompanied by google maps. Although, I have pre-downloaded maps if the internet doesn’t work. Yet, Airtel is impressive. A suitable Network was a luxury in Andamans till the past few years. Yet presently, when you visit, several hotels will not provide you with Wifi.
The fuel station was nearby too. I was surprised to see the petrol prices in Port Blair. It was about Rs.74-Rs.76. Both the Scooty seemed ideal to cover the long route of the Chidiya Tapu.
Andaman continues to be stringent in following the COVID guidelines, so wearing a mask becomes a topmost priority every time you step out of the home.
On Our Way Towards Chidiya Tapu
At an overcast lunchtime, we commenced our total 50km journey.
I continued following the other Scooty operating google maps on their mobile phone. Though I understood that the way was straight, there was greenery in the surroundings and ideal driving conditions. Yet, I wanted to follow them…,
The drive was going pleasant.
A few minutes later,
I noticed that our buddy with Scooty was standing still in the middle of the road without any movement whatsoever.
What I looked ahead left me astonished!
I saw a reptile in the middle of the way. From far, I can distinguish it is a 5-6ft lizard. But, before my eye-lens inches closer, the lizard rushed back into the woods. That was a remarkable & unique moment.
I observed a roadside stretch that had an overlooking sea. My artistic mind directed me to stop and move to snap.
Inside a minute, it began drizzling, and within the following minute, it was showering heavily. I kept an umbrella. However, it was relaxing in the check-in baggage. Ha-Ha!
Rain was our constant companion. Not simply here, but also the whole day when we are progressing Havelock Island.
I made sure nothing happened to the camera. The camera protection case is always with me.
We spent around 10-15 mins there. Hurriedly sat on Scooty and hastened towards Chidiya Tapu.
Reached Chidiya Tapu
We arrived at Chidiya Tapu around 4:50 p.m approx.
Chidiya Tapu is present outside Port Blair. Hence, no network exists there.
Upon enquiring with the security guard, he left me shattered by stating that Chidiya Tapu got closed at 4 p.m. The signboard says Chidiya Tapu Biological Park.
I moved on the straight path, and the security guard ahead solved my confusion. Biological Park closes at 4 p.m. However, Chidiya Tapu Beach closes at 5 p.m. A slight sigh of relief!
Conclusively, we still had 5 mins in hand. Hence, we cannot go far from there as it’s about to close.
I took pictures and asked the security person to extend our time a little more?
He kindly responded, yes, you can extend your time. However, you have to exit from a gate a few m’s away as the main entrance gets closed on time.
I had planned for Chidiya Tapu to see the Sunset. But unfortunately, the only dark patch of clouds is noticeable due to overcast conditions.
Additionally, I believe that Sunrise or morning would also be an excellent option to see Chidiya Tapu. Plus, you will have considerably more time to explore than coming at the time of Sunset.
Nonetheless, I remained content viewing the surroundings!
We showed no smartness in staying there longer. However, we have to return, and I know it will be challenging.
In other terms, we had covered approximately 50 km to spend 15 mins on the Chidiya Tapu. Haha!
I was exhausted + the wet clothes. The night at the Andaman begins early. Unfortunately, it turned entirely dark at 5:30 p.m. So until we ultimately left Chidiya Tapu, the sky crawled towards dark.
Let me tell you that:
Port Blair does not have traffic lights red, green, or yellow. However, Andaman still follows the old procedure, where a policeman stands in the middle of the road and directs the traffic.
Accordingly, we decided to obey the following steps:
- Arrive at our hotel,
- Change our clothes as they become all wet,
- Leave for dinner somewhere nearby.
Thus, afterward returned the Scooty to the vendor with more than sufficient petrol in it. He must be a happy guy!
Here’s an overview of the article in a web story format:
Nightlife in Port Blair
The nightlife in Port Blair seemed very much inspired by the lockdown.
On a serious note, the stores at Aberdeen Bazar close at approx. 9-10p.m. Since we were sojourning near Aberdeen Bazar, I can tell about that location specifically. I believe that applies to the whole of Port Blair.
The lifestyle is simplistic.
We started searching for restaurants at Aberdeen Bazar. After roaming and hunting for eateries for half an hour. Finally:
We stopped at a North India Restaurant, checked the menu, and ordered. I was so starving when I got back from the Chidiya Tapu. I wanted something to go inside my stomach hurridly.
After an hour,
My desire was full-filled.
We went back to our hotel. Meanwhile, I was doing an overview of our plan for the next day.
However, tiredness made me sleep early for the moving days coming further.
You can further read the articles on the Andaman series;