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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Silversands at Havelock Island – A fabulous holiday resort!

If you are planning a luxury holiday to Havelock Island in the Andamans, I would recommend the Silversands resort on Beach No.5 aka Vijaynagar Beach. Set in a secluded corner of the island, this place invites its guests with swaying coconut trees.


This place like all other resorts on Havelock Island is blessed with a great view. But, this is one place where you can get royally pampered if you are willing to go deep into your pockets. Though this resort is not as expensive as the premium Barefoot hotel chain, they nearly offer the same service. At least, that is my personal opinion. Further, you have Lacadives, the CMAS diving agency on the same property to take care of your deep sea diving needs.

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The Whidbey Horizon!

A fine summer evening and you are at the extremely picturesque Whidbey Island in the state of Washington. Nature’s bounty is truly abundant here.


The views of the horizon from Whidbey Island are simply heavenly. Whether you see them from a secluded beach, from a speed boat or during a hike up a small hillock, they just seem to be where just positivity flows.


This place mesmerizes me to such an extent that I wish I could visit this place whenever I get the opportunity. Does this place have the same effect on you?

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Take the Makruzz to go to Havelock Island from Port Blair!!

There are three options to get to Havelock Island from Port Blair. First, you have the slow, but cheap government ferries. Second, you have the slightly expensive, but difficult to get helicopter seats. And third, you you have the expensive, but extremely comfortable, stylish and fast Makruzz.

 
The Makruzz is one of the most advanced ship for its size on the Indian waters. Since it is privately run, great quality and comfort is provided inside the ship through LCD television, great snack bar and sea-hostesses. It is totally air-conditioned and one hardly feels it glide the sea waters at very high speeds. Personally, I would recommend it with two thumbs up!

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Beach Tourists strike different poses!

You are at the No.1 Beach in Asia. You are at Radhanagar Beach aka Beach No. 7 in Havelock Island that forms an integral part of Ritchie’s Archipelago and arguably the most famous destination in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

 
What would you do if you were at this place? Traditionally, depending on your age, you would either go into the waters for a swim, be at the shore and let the gentle waves wash your feet, go click click click, go on a long beach walk, build sand castles, engage in some water games, munch on some beach side snacks or just simply relax with family and/or friends.


But, if you do get the opportunity to visit this beach time and again, then you should try just studying the behaviour and actions performed of the various beach tourists.

 
Not only will it be an interesting experience in terms of noticing various styles and mannerisms, it will also be a great opportunity to capture some of these precious moments in time.

 
I firmly believe in this methodology and put it into effect during my fourth visit to this beach. Sometimes, I would find myself a nice spot and perch myself there for a while and cover a 360 degree view.


At other times, I would keep moving from one end of the beach to the other, but running parallel to the shore line. Sometimes I would move from the beach entrance to chest deep water. Each way is great fun as a lot of data is available for my grey cells to process.


And, it gets even better when you see your picture shoots from this ordeal. You end up having so much character in your photographs.


You have family get-togethers, honeymoon couples, happy-go-lucky kids, crazy photo sessions during sunset, sea shell hunting sessions, crab chasing, water games, poker faces, dumb stares, beach cricket, frisbee, beach volleyball, loud cackling and sober laughter and so much more that you don’t realize how time flies by until your camera runs out of memory space.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sound of Waves Lapping Asia’s Best Beach!!

Do you seek to rejuvenate your tired souls even if it is just for a brief moment? If your answer is yes, then listen to the sound of the waves lapping Asia’s Best Beach in the video below.



If you wish for bigger pleasures, then go ahead and plan a beach vacation to the fantastic Havelock Island, which houses this beach (Radhanagar Beach or Beach No. 7) and many more on similar WOW scales!!

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mud Volcanoes of Baratang Island

Have you ever visited or seen a mud volcano before? The chances are quite slim as these breed of volcanoes are few and far between.


But, if you happen to be in India and wish to visit such a place, then the tropical Baratang Island, nestled in the Andaman Islands of India should be your go-to destination.

 
This was my first mud volcano visit too. I have heard so much about volcanoes and how they erupt and spew lava, but hardly knew anything about a mud volcano.


So, when I did visit this place, I was in for a surprise. I soon found out that a mud volcano is very much the opposite of a traditional volcano. It does erupt like a lava volcano, but the eruption is cold. The traditional lava volcano after eruption creates fertile grounds, while the mud volcano renders the entire eruption site infertile.

 
In my mind, I had visualized a large conical structure, but this mud volcano ended up being puny in size. It was only later that the found out that that the size of the volcano cone is caused by the intensity of the eruption. If the eruption is large, then the volcano looks bigger due to the larger amount of mud outflow.


While I was at the mud volcano site, I could see some mild activity and some bubbles and gases that were being emitted. The entire volcano area is fenced to carry out scientific testing and as a safety precaution. Overall, a very good learning experience for me. Now, I know what a mud volcano really means!!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The world of mangroves

When you are going through the dense mangrove swamps amidst the various creeks of Baratang Island, be aware as you will definitely be caught by surprise. For their world is truly unique and extremely inspiring.

 
It is this world of mangroves that makes Baratang Island so special. Baratang Island is located in South Andaman and is one of the best tropical environments in India.


These mangroves are so twisted and convoluted at so many places then one wonders as to where they start and where they end. While some of these mangroves grow up to 30 feet in height, the others grow only up to 30 centimetres or just slightly more.

 
Now I have been to the mangrove forests of the Sunderbans in West Bengal, India a couple of times, but the mangrove forests of Baratang Island look more like a truer representation. Now, I might not be an expert, but I guess the remoteness of this place and the lack of habitation might be the reasons behind this inspiring environment.

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Boats during sunset at Havelock Island’s Beach No. 7

This beach located on the western side of Andaman’s Havelock Island has been voted as the best beach in Asia. It is not only an amazing beach, but it gets extremely colourful during sunset.


Every stretch of the beach gets dressed in different colours during sunset. But, it is not just the beach that gets adorned by the setting sun’s colours.


Even the boats moored off the beach seem to dazzle at such times. I have watched the sun set from this beach on different days and on each such day, I would just stand and admire these boats that stood out against its surrounding colours (water and the sky).

 
These sights are completely mesmerizing. Actually, I have a fascination for boats and might have a biased opinion.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Speed boat on the waters off Whidbey Island, WA, USA

Come summer and most of the people living in the Pacific North West take to the water, though the waters are quite chilly. The calm waters of the Puget Sound and the heavy rainfall that this state receives make it a famous boating destination.


I went through the same emotion one fine summer day and took to the waters on a speedboat off the Whidbey Island. Exploring the vast waters with the controls of a speed boat in your hand is an exhilarating experience.


Even better when you anchor your boat in the middle of nowhere. I certainly get an awesome kick out of it. Do you?

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tropical Rainforests and Mangrove Forests – A Beautiful co-existence

It is very rare to see tropical rain forests and mangrove forests co-exist. But, one can see such beautiful co-existence in the Andaman Islands and especially at the Baratang Forest Sanctuary of Baratang Island.

 
I passed such sights very frequently during my visit to the Baratang Island. It is extremely good to know that such sensitive environments are thriving here and the locals are hardly doing any harm to such fragile ecosystems.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Beach near Deception Pass, WA, USA

A summer weekend is a treasured event for folks living in the Pacific North West and for folks living in Seattle, the closest weekend getaways are Whidbey Island and Deception Pass.


Deception Pass is more like a day trip. One can simply admire the beauty of the Whidbey horizon from here or take a stroll on the amazingly quiet beaches or go on a hike around the lovely green countryside or take a boat on the amazingly pretty waters. The getaway opportunities are aplenty!

 
Only the really brave ones actually get into the extremely cold waters to take a swim. But, even for the timid tourists, the beach offers a lot of exploration opportunities. It’s rocks offer an amazing beach hike. And, its logs act as near-perfect tables and chairs for a family picnic.

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Wonderful accommodation in wonderful destinations

When you are planning your holiday, the choice of a marvellous destination is the first step you should make, having your own budget in mind. A significant part of the expenses while travelling is the cost for accommodation. Therefore the good research helps the practical choice for a better holiday. Spain is one of the most attractive countries in Europe, blessed with a great diversity of outstanding destinations.

Madrid is the capital of Spain and its major business, cultural, educational and tourist centre. It is one of the most thriving and exciting cities in Europe where you will not have time to feel bored. Visitors from all over the world find different reasons to come to Madrid. If you are planning a fulfilling vacation through the Spanish reality there is no better place than Madrid for a starting point. The city is the major bullfighting centre in Spain and keeps alive everything symbolic for the Spanish folklore, from the fantastic bullfights to the exquisite local cuisine. Everyone who admires the rich historical and cultural background will fall in love with Madrid. Among the most remarkable highlights is the Royal Palace, the Santa Ana Square, the Plaza Mayor and many more. The city is one of the cultural centres of Europe with a wide range of cultural events happening almost every week and the incredible collection of museums, galleries and exhibitions. Madrid is also among the greenest places in the country and on the continent, with wonderful parks, gardens and green areas. Finding the perfect accommodation for your stay in the city is not a challenge because of the wide variety of choices. Madrid hostels are a common choice of visitors to the city who want to be flexible during their stay and seek for affordable lodging with excellent conditions for living. They provide high quality services and facilities, as well as a Madrid information desk with tips and information for everything topical in the city.

A holiday in Ibiza is a dream comes true! This fascinating summer resort on the Mediterranean is endowed with irresistible beaches, beautiful natural landscapes and great people who will welcome you to spend the best holiday in your life. Santa Eulalia is one of the most charismatic and stunning resorts on the island that will give you complete rejuvenation and inspiration. The hotel Santa Eulalia beach lies just next to the strip and has everything you need for a perfect holiday. The fabulous view to the Mediterranean and the elegant fully equipped rooms are just to start with of the benefits of the hotel. You will feel great and fully relaxed regardless if you are a business traveller or you enjoy a family holiday. Santa Eulalia is a famous resort for vacations with children, because of the especially created facilities that assure the safety and the amusement of the little ones.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Boat Cruise through Mangrove Swamps of Baratang Island

The one thing that mesmerized me completely at the tropical Baratang Island were the mangrove swamps.


They are so very different from what we get to see in the rest of the world and their presence signifies that all is not lost in this era of environmental pollution.

 
Their low dense canopies, their ever convoluted roots and their mesmerizing glaze of green add a glint in the eye of the tropical loving tourist.

 
These mangrove swamps that has settled itself amongst the many creeks of the Baratang Island in the Andaman sea are no less than a natural wonder to me. These mangroves are the reason this island and all such nearby mangrove occupied islands escaped the brunt of the tsunami in 2004 and continue to escape the fury of the tropical cyclones.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Inside the world’s largest limestone caves

It takes an hour long boat ride through mangrove swamps and a thirty minute hike through bamboo forests to reach the world’s largest limestone caves.

 
These caves are situated in the Baratang Island of the Andamans. One needs a good source of artificial light before entering these caves as it is pitch dark inside.

 
But once you are inside these caves, the beauty is unimaginable. The stalactites and stalagmites that have withstood nature’s erosion process over time form various interesting shapes and figures.

 
You have to just let your imagination loose to recognize an elephant or corals or a shiva linga amidst these limestone forms. Only a small portion of these caves are open to the tourists, but this small portion is enough to let your imagination run wild.

 
These largest limestone caves in the world are not only a great natural wonder, but offer a fantastic experience for the travel lover.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Countryside Harbour near Deception Pass, WA, USA

Deception pass and Whidbey Island are famous tourist getaways and very popular with people living in Seattle. Both are very picturesque locations in their own right, but if one were to hike around Deception pass, then more such picturesque locations can be discovered.


In this instance, it was a fine summer morning and my friends and I were at Deception Pass. We decided to explore the nearby countryside by hiking through the densely forested trails. It was during this hike that we spotted this serene looking harbour that was lined with boats of various shapes and sizes and the entire harbour was set against tall pine trees and tiny settlements.

 
It was one of the most pleasing views that I had seen all summer and one of the most peaceful looking harbours in the state of Washington.

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Tropical Trek that leads to the world’s largest limestone caves

This place is tropical at its very best. The tall tropical rain forests had been left behind. Then came the mangrove forests and then the extremely humid mangrove swamps. All this while I was on a small boat. Now, the time had come to get my feet kicking.

 
As I started walking on the thin nature trail, I kept checking my surroundings. First, the mangrove swamps started disappearing and they lead to open fields. This was the last relaxation spot for the tourists with shade and bench around.


Local Andamanese people were selling extremely tasty lime juice to help the tourists beat the extremely sultry and sapping conditions.


After a relaxing sip, we moved forward and within a short distance, the trail got completely enveloped by bamboo forests. This continued for thirty more minutes before leading to steep rock cut surfaces and large roots jutting out of these rocks.


This tropical trail is situated in the Baratang Island of the Andamans and can be reached via a small motor boat through one of the many mangrove creeks that adorn the perimeter of this island.

 
This tropical trail leads to the world’s largest limestone caves. It is believed that millions of years back, these limestone caves were submerged by the Bay of Bengal.

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Art of doing pushups at picturesque locations

It was a brilliant summer day and I happened to be by the Rialto Beach in the Olympic Peninsula. Rialto Beach is located on the western end of the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington and faces the Pacific Ocean.

 
As my friend and I were hiking through the uprooted tree trunks that lay on this beach, we were dumbstruck by the beauty of the entire beach, the backwaters and the lovely harbour.


The massive tree trunks, which get uprooted during the Pacific storms form a mesmerizing sight. It was during this state of nature intoxication that we decided to knock down some pushups on these tree trunks and amidst picturesque sights. A natural workout it was…

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Boat on Azure waters of the Andamans!!

This boat had completely gone un-noticed during my boat safari through the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park as it was tied to the rear end of the ferry.


I noticed this small glass boat only when we got ready to board it to cover the final stretch of shallow waters. The view was so tempting that I decided to capture this all blue combination in my lens.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mangrove Swamps of Baratang Island

From the outside, Baratang Island looks massive and green, but as one enters one of the many creeks of this island, the charm is totally different.


Only small speedboats can enter such creeks coz at some places the canopy is really low and might not be more than four feet from the water level.

 
These small creeks are completely inundated with mangrove forests and the play of tide makes this area very swampy and thus the name ‘mangrove swamps’.

 
If one is visiting Baratang Island in the Andamans, then a visit to these exotic mangrove swamps is a must for your travel agenda.

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