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Old 9th October 2009, 21:37   #1
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Default 'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.

'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.-antntripmap.gif

It was time for one of our annual holidays and the planning started from the first week of August 09. A few strategically placed leaves, combined with two weekends and some festival holidays resulted in a clear 16 day vacation from the 19th of September up to 4th of October 09!

With her new found swimming skills, Sangeetha was keen on a 'beach-weech' trip to indulge in some water sports and I was keen on going for a long drive. Somewhere along the way, a family commitment meant that a trip to Cuddapah also had to be included into our vacation plans.

So we decided to split our holidays into two parts; first a beach vacation + long drive and then a family trip to Cuddapah.
[The Cuddapah Travelogue is here: ]

First thought for the beach vacation was Lakshadweep! Calls were made, emails were exchanged, but not much of a progress happened. Looks like Lakshadweep comes to life only from October onwards.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands were the obvious next choice; they are more easily accessible and offer a wider choice of options for stay and activities. Comparatively a package tour to South-East Asia or Maldives would have worked out to be a cheaper deal... but the thought of visiting a remote part of our own country was more exciting. So Andaman it would be!
  • Step 1: A bit of research helped us estimate that 5 days would be ideal to cover the places we wanted to see in the Andamans.
  • Step 2: Booked air-tickets ex-Chennai for our intended days of arrival and departure.
  • Step 3: More research pointed us towards Havelock Island, which has some of the best beaches and adventure activities in the Andamans.
  • Step 4: Booked hotels and resort in Port Blair & Havelock.
  • Step 5: Googled around to list down the places we wanted to cover during the drive part of the trip and planned the route to balance the drive time & sight-seeing time.
  • Step 6: Packed two sets of baggage - one for the Andaman part and one for the drive part.
  • Step 7: Got the car serviced, clutch assembly, bearings replaced etc.
  • Step 8: Went shopping for some travel essentials and a new camera.
  • Step 9: Started the count-down for our holidays to begin ;-)
Trip started on 18th September 2009 at 6.30pm.
Trip ended on 30th September 2009 at 11.45pm

Distances covered:
By Car - 2291kms
By Kingfisher Red - 2738kms
By Ship - 54kms
By Helicopter - 54kms
By Bus - 25kms
By Auto rickshaw - 35kms
By Honda Activa - 14kms
By Cycle rickshaw - 4kms
By Jeep / Sumo / Taxi etc. - 50kms
By boats / Kayaks - 20kms
By walk - 30kms

* We missed out on travelling by train; else we would have used all major modes of transport; by land, air, sea & rail.

Travel overview
  • 18-Sep : Drive from Bangalore to Chennai
  • 19-Sep : Flight from Chennai to Port Blair
  • 20-Sep : Ship from Port Blair to Havelock
  • 21-Sep : On Havelock
  • 22-Sep : On Havelock
  • 23-Sep : Helicopter from Havelock to Port Blair
  • 24-Sep : Flight from Port Blair to Chennai & drive to Alambrai, Pondicherry, Chidambaram.
  • 25-Sep : Drive to Gangaikondacholapuram, Darasuram, Kumbakonam, Tanjore.
  • 26-Sep : Drive to Trichy & Srirangam.
  • 27-Sep : Drive to Thirumayam, Kanadukathan & Rameshwaram.
  • 28-Sep : Drive to Dhanushkodi, Kanyakumari.
  • 29-Sep : Drive to Suchindram, Padmanabhapuram & Madurai.
  • 30-Sep : Drive to Bangalore.
To be continued with pics & details...
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Old 9th October 2009, 22:49   #2
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oh boy! Great intro hotstuff - looking forward to an awesome travelogue
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Old 9th October 2009, 23:08   #3
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Interesting !! Bring it on, lemme see if your travelogue can convince me to do this trip some time soon. Am glued and the longer you make us wait am gonna be cursing you (pun intended) .

Some info regarding the expenditure undergone and hotels to stay would be useful too.
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Old 9th October 2009, 23:19   #4
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Wow!!! Just the travelogue on Andamans I was looking for.. I am sure your detailed travelogue will be very useful. Bring it on hotstuff with lots of photographs
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Old 9th October 2009, 23:21   #5
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What did it cost for the journeys by ship and helicopter? And the flight and resorts too, please!
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Old 10th October 2009, 07:19   #6
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Hotstuff, another hot and long itinerary. Eager to see the pics and the log. Would be interested in the total expenditure of the trip (Home to Home)?

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Old 10th October 2009, 09:21   #7
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Wow, a two week holiday Sanjay, I really envy you ! Don't keep us waiting, come out with the travelogue, pics and costing statistics !
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Old 10th October 2009, 09:29   #8
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Great! Looking forward to the details, nice intro!
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Old 10th October 2009, 11:47   #9
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Default Rocking.............

I remember posting once about the beauty of Anadaman & Nicobar.

Waiting to relive the memories.

Go Hotstuff
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Old 10th October 2009, 11:58   #10
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Pictures where art thou?
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Old 10th October 2009, 12:47   #11
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Default Trip quick facts & stats.

'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.-tripstats.gif

'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.-tripstats2.gif

'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.-tripstats3.gif


- Thanks your your comments. I have put up all the basic stats and numbers above. I'll complete the log within the next couple of days in installments. With around 2800 photos on 2 cameras, trying to sort them out.

I really envy you!
- Kannan, please don't envy me... the holiday was the easy part... I am currently having nightmares with the huge mail backlog and pending deliverables at work
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Old 10th October 2009, 13:02   #12
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Waiting for picturers,details...
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Old 10th October 2009, 13:06   #13
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What caught me was the andaman nicobar s mention was wondering how could one ferry the car across !! Checked it that it was nt the car it was the airbus that took you there !! Hey how is the andamans been thinking of visiting them a very long time but then distance from mumbai puts me to think is it worth it ?? Do give feed back and the 2800 photos can be filtered to 28 atleast
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Old 10th October 2009, 13:58   #14
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Default 18th Sep 2009 - Bangalore to Chennai

To avoid the last minute rush, we had been working on the packing from the previous week and had completed around 90% of the preparations... but hey, what's life without the 11th hour running around :-)
Original plan was to start work really early and wind up from office post lunch and start off our drive to Chennai. Managed to complete all pending stuff, put an 'Out of office' and reached home only by around 5.00pm.

"Did you pack the Sunscreen..."
"I thought you did..."
"I would have, if you had bought it"
"Oops! lets buy it somewhere on the way..."

"Where did you keep the charger?"
"In the blue bag..."
"Where is the blue bag???"
"Good question"

"Should we take this along? do you think we'll need that?"
"No time to think... just dump them all in the car!"

"Get up! What are you doing?"
"Wait... I am copying some songs"
"Just one song please.. don't worry we'll reach chennai in time... only this song ok?"

As the phrase goes, we pretty much dumped 'everything, but the kitchen sink' into the car and completed the last minute packing.

Grabbed an early dinner and finally started off at 6.30pm sharp. We had to catch the flight from Chennai at 4.55am the next day. Which meant that we were probably cutting it a little close.

'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.-1.jpg

It was drizzling for most of the way upto Chennai. Initially I did have some niggling worries about the roads being blocked by rains etc. But decided to banish the thoughts and enjoy the drive!

'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.-2.jpg

These two guys were happily dozing away in the moving truck and I was wondering, how do they manage not to fall out? Wouldn't the guy holding the rope release it when he falls asleep??

'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.-3.jpg

Great road... we were buzzing away at a constant 100kmph. Crossed 110kmph and the car reminded me of what I had skipped. I had postponed getting the wheels balanced till it was too late and one of the wheels would start a rythmic vibration between 110 & 120. Thought of the vibration as a 'speed check' of sorts and kept the speedo at the 100 - 110 mark.

'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.-4.jpg

Stopped over at a couple of filling stations for a bio-break... otherwise it was a continous drive all the way to Chennai.

'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.-5.jpg


'Xing'ing around ! - Andaman & Nicobar and Tamilnadu.-6.jpg

We were caught behind some slow convoys along the way and some unexpected traffic pile-ups at the toll gates, finally reached Chennai by around 11.30pm and had a little bit of a trouble finding our way to our relative's house where the Xing would be parked till we returned from the Andamans.

Reached home, booked a call-taxi for 3.30am (It is a 20 minute drive from Nanganallur to the Chennnai airport.), set the alarm to 2.30am and tried to grab a couple of hours of rest... it was 12.30am.
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Old 10th October 2009, 15:46   #15
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Great Travelogue and Great stats. Looks like it will be "a Guide to the Andamans from Bangalore"
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