There's never a good time to get ill, but it felt particularly annoying for it to happen, as it did for me and the kids, in the middle of the remote but paradisiacal Andaman Islands.
I was first to be struck down by the fever and aches of what felt like a really bad cold. Flu seems a ridiculous idea in the tropics but maybe that was it. Anyway I was knocked out for a day before Jess was struck with the same ailment and Otto followed shortly after. All of us taking it in turns to lie motionless in the sanctity of an overpriced air-con room or to sweat it out on the beach blanket.
My views on the Andamans is sadly tainted by our illness but one thing I cannot deny is that aesthetically it is stunning. White sands and turquoise seas abound. And thankfully no crocodiles were sighted.
My paranoia on that front was thanks to the lonely planet guide and the terrible incident 7 years ago (look it up if you want my fear). My phobia saw me carrying a knife with me to the beach most days. I'm not too much of a scaredy cat but if there's one animal that freaks me completely it is a crocodile. Those beasts are ruthless predators and I didn't want to be fighting with my fists (although I don't fancy my chances even with my knife: Mick Dundee I am not).
We stayed initially on Port Blair as everyone does, it's where you fly in and out of from the mainland and where you wait to get your onward ferry (which can get sold out for a few days in advance). We also stayed on Havelock and Neil islands and visited Ross and to summarise these were my impressions, (sorry I can't give more detail but my sickness has tainted me somewhat).
Anyway, not to disparage it further, I have no regrets going there. It was stunning and often we were the only ones on the beaches which gave it a remote desert island feel unlike any other we've been on (with maybe the exception of the Corn Islands). However, we won't be hurrying back.
We left Port Blair for our mammoth journey back to Europe, almost looking forward to the night train from Chennai. We would be disembarking in beautiful Kerala albeit at 4:20am!!!
Boarding the train was traumatic, having just finished reading Lion, the situation we found ourselves in with two big bags and two young kids negotiating a path through thronging crowds all scrambling to get on many trains about to traverse the lengths and breadths of the country freaked me out a little and involved a lot of me shouting stay close, hold my hand, where are you. But we made it and the train was bliss. New, clean, quiet and on time! It was like India knew we were leaving and was desperate to leave a lasting good impression.
Our journey was thankfully totally uneventful; a sleep filled night followed until 4:20am when we arrived in Kalicut on time. We checked into the immaculate Raviz Hotel where we were given an enormous suite. We only stayed one night but managed to eek out two breakfasts and 38 hours of 4-star bliss.
India, Oman, Turkey and we landed in Barcelona. Back on European soil.
Search posts by destination:
Useful Links to other sites:
Authors (in a very loose sense of the word)
Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!