We left the Cinque Islands in India feeling a little sad as it was our last stop after a month of exploring islands in the Andaman group – first in the north and then down south.
The Cinque Islands are definitely the jewel in the crown of this sparkling necklace of islands but Inglis Island and Neill Island also stood out for us.
We headed for Port Blair with the wind and current against us so it was a bit of a plod back but it only took five hours and we arrived in time for a late lunch.
As we motored up the coast of South Andaman Island, we were sad to see that a fire we had noticed a week or more ago was still burning. We suspected that the land was being cleared for a Palm Oil plantation, of which there are a fair few already in the Andaman Islands, including a massive one on Little Andaman Island.
The skipper spent virtually the whole trip with his head down in the bilges trying to stop the strainer in the water maker from cavitating.
The seal on the strainer was letting air in and try as we might, even with our driver Vijay’s assistance we couldn’t find a new strainer. We did however, find some plumbers tape which would allo us to use the water maker for a short period each day – easily enough for our needs until we could buy a new strainer in Phuket.
It was good to be back in Port Blair and to be taken around in the stately but elderly Ambassador car driven by Vijay, a diminutive man from Chennai who works in Port Blair during the tourist season (January to May) and then goes home to his family for the rest of the year.
The money he earns driving in Port Blair is much more than he can earn in his home town and working away has enabled him to put his two children through school and university. His daughter is a University lecturer and his son is also doing very well, so his hard work has paid off.
That evening we returned with Smart Choice and Yantara to the Megapode Restaurant where we had previously had a very enjoyable lunch. We had drinks first – in the darkened bar, so dark that we had to use a torch to read the menu.
Drinking alcohol appears to be regarded as a semi-illicit activity in the Andaman Islands, to be indulged in anonymously and away from the public eye.
We had quite a lot of bar snacks and bar food so by the time we went to eat our meal on the terrace we felt quite full up and couldn’t really do justice to the meal. A bit like an Indian dinner party where the guests are plied with drinks and snacks and dinner is served around the time you think it’s time to go home to bed!
If you would like to read a little bit about the history of theses beautiful and fascinating islands go to:
Or read more about our experience of the Cinque Islands at: