Post hitching and a formal engagement ceremony, we had good 8 months before the D-day to plan a perfect holiday. The fantasist that I am, I knew exactly where I wanted to be for this special unwinding. And, the travel enthusiast that he is, I was mostly sure that he wouldn’t mind agreeing to any destination that I pick; given his explorer spirit and more importantly his new role in our lives ‘The Husband’. But lucky for him, both of us had a similar proposition for this special vacation and hence instantly agreed on it – no hills or snow or desserts or rivers; just lots of water, little sand and us – an exotic ‘beach-y’ destination!
The shortlisting process got further simple as I didn’t have a passport and due to certain logical reasons was in no mood to get it done before the wedding. Hence, very effortlessly the locations boiled down to two exceptionally beautiful Islands within Indian territory – Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Both quite stunning and perfect for a December vacation. After few research and reviews we were about to finalize on Lakshadweep, when their tourism authority solved our little dilemma by closing the destination for that season. So, after not much deliberation or confusion, the very easy and awesome choice it was – Andaman & Nicobar Islands!
Moreover, to add to our interesting compatibility, one perfect dream that we instantly shared was travelling the world and trying as many new experiences as we can. Given that, we immediately made a little pact for life – To travel to at least one local and one foreign destination each year and have at least one remarkable experience every year! This is our little ‘mantra’ that makes us live life and not get lost in its own chaos!
Now, by the time we were officially coming together it would already be December of 2013 and so, we had very little time to accomplish the ‘new destination’ and the ‘new experience’ for that year. Hence, we decided on the most happening activity ever possible in those beautiful blue waters of Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea – Scuba diving for 2013 – at Andaman. It was perfect!
This being our first vacation together as Mr and Mrs, neither of us wanted to go through any trouble or hassles before or during the trip. Thus, we chose to book a complete package via a good, well renowned holiday enterprise so that we can simply pack our bags, travel and have a wonderful time in leisure!
In that eventful most happening month of December 2013, post all the wedding ceremonies, it was time for our much awaited vacation. I couldn’t decide who was more excited, the explorer in me or the newly wed honeymooner. It was a tough one. We had so much to look forward to. The beginning of a new chapter. The foundation of a new relationship. The experience of a new companionship. The excitement of being together in every experience. The thrill of trying new adventures together. The serene beaches. The beautiful cottages. And so many first ones. Our first little cruises. First time glass boat riding. And of course our very first scuba diving. Actually, Our first holiday as ‘Us’. It was all so exciting!
To Bangalore – Chennai – Port Blair
17th December 2013.
The plan was very simple. Take our wedding-stuff packed suitcases, catch the evening 7 pm flight from hometown to Bangalore. Reach ‘our’ home in Bangalore by 11 pm. Dump these bags. Pick the ready & packed vacation bags. Do some last-minute shuffling. Catch a pre-booked taxi and travel to Chennai airport to reach by 6 am. Well in time for our morning flight to Port Blair.
Well, everything started exactly as planned, except only almost two hours late!
Just as we checked in and settled down on the chairs near the boarding gate to relish the beginning of this most awaited journey, we heard an announcement. The always so punctual airlines decided to ditch us on that very day and got an hour late. Stunned with the news, but recovering very quickly, we started calculating the consequential delays. Thanks to the buffer time that we generally tend to consider while planning any travel, we quickly realized that although we might have to hurry at certain places, we can still comfortably make it to Chennai airport in time.
Done with our calculations, we had just started smiling and thanking God for the cushion time we kept in mind while making the bookings, there was a second announcement. The smile was gone and the prayer became more intense. The flight had been further delayed! This time delaying the entire schedule by almost two hours. And this was only the beginning of it!
We quickly got back to our calculations only this time extremely nervous. After almost two hours of nerve wracking anticipation and design of a full proof plan, the flight arrival was announced. Starting that very moment, we wanted everyone to do everything at a lightning speed. But of course, there wasn’t very much there under our control. So, slowly and steadily we followed the fellow passengers in the queue and got into the flight for Bangalore.
While in flight we kept the clock and worrying at back of our minds and ensured to enjoy the moment we were in. To enjoy the beginning of this most awaited journey – To Andaman and more importantly To Life, Together! The 3 hour flight appeared really short as we got engrossed in our conversations of the newlyweds. Soon, air hostess announced the landing and the time-calculator took front seat in our heads again. We were ready to jump off the plane and run at lightning speed. The ball was finally in our court now. Post landing we ran, ran like ‘the flash’, much slower, but very close (given our capacity) towards the taxi stands to take a cab home.
Racing our way from airport to home and co-ordinating with our next driver, we managed to reach home by 12.30 am (instead of 11pm, as planned). Very proud of our achievement so far, we quickly dumped our suitcases and picked the next set of luggage, only to find that our next cab hadn’t arrived yet. There was some navigation error and the driver was just not able to find our pickup location. Helpless again we sat near the door, with keys in our hand, to rush down as soon as he arrives. Waiting there with our luggage, every passing minute reminded us of every minute that we thought we had covered up with our ‘flash-like’ speed. Finally, almost half an hour later, there he was. Yet again, thanking God, we took the inter-city cab by 1 am and left for Chennai.
For next 5-6 hours there wasn’t much that we could do except requesting the driver to take us as fast as he can yet in the safe limits. So, while he was racing in that dark night, we decided to calm down and relax for a bit. We started pondering over the last few hours of terrifying excitement, and how funny it was to start our new big adventure (i.e. Our Married Life) with this little adventure.
Soon the past few hours were behind us and we were totally drowned in the wonderful dreams of near and far future. When suddenly, (Yes, you guessed it right) there was a jerk and we instantly knew that the thrill for that night wasn’t over yet! We all know Murphy’s Law. When you cross your fingers for nothing to go wrong the most random things will go wrong and so did our dependable taxi. We got a flat tyre. We looked at each other and then at the driver. We wanted to laugh at our situation, but also to be taken seriously in gravity of that moment. We saw around for someone. Anyone. Who could help us. To our ‘good luck’ (Yes! That’s right! It was luck to know that something was right in that night) he had a spare tyre and started replacing.
While on that highway, in middle of nowhere, we started wondering. We still knew we were going to reach Chennai, we knew we were going to reach airport and we were going to attempt to check in, but will we reach Andaman today had now become a blazing question!
By the time we started again it was close to dawn. Once again, the mood of honeymoon had taken back seat and we were feeling no less than F1 racers. Cruising at our fastest; in not much time, at break of dawn, we entered the Chennai city.
We were extremely happy and awfully scared at the same time. It was about 6 am, the time we were supposed to reach airport. If we manage to reach airport even by 7, we still have a good chance to catch our flight. We were on the edge of our seats gazing through those city roads when, in middle of nowhere our driver decides to confess, that he isn’t very sure of the city roads and would prefer asking for directions. Bahhh! With no time in hand to react to his extremely late declaration we started our navigation systems on phone; and kept confirming with the tresspassers along the way, the shortest and absolutely correct way to the airport. And all thanks to the ‘buffer time between transits’ that we tend to consider every time, as insecure; unsure humans, we reached Chennai International airport.
Once more at flash-speed, we rushed to check in counters, dropped our bags and took the deepest sigh of relief as we got the boarding passes. Hoping and praying, that from here on there wouldn’t be any scarier thrills, and only lot of fun and happy adventures!
Well, thankfully we were almost right there. Further to this it was all a happy most voyage.
To Port Blair
It was a 2 hour 10 minutes’ flight to Port Blair, and soon, all the fateful adventure was behind us as we saw this beautiful view from our flight. Serene blue ocean and periphery of this enchanting cluster of islands – Andaman it was!
Close to 10.30 am we landed on a very small runway of Veer Savarkar airport of Port Blair. And from here on the trip was pretty much perfect! (Do catch the complete feature on this exhilarating holiday at – ‘Voyage de 2013 – Andaman & Nicobar Islands’.)
This was the first tiny adventure from our journey together. It was no doubt a considerably minimal episode, but too soon en route our ‘new’ life to give us a very marginal stroke! But trust me, this was just the beginning, only to prepare us for all the other exhilarating adventures awaiting us (and, I MEAN it).
Stay tuned for many more nerve wracking, spine tingling yet heartening and enriching experiences ahead.
And before I close this, I must say, amidst all the bumpy rides that we’ve been on so far, I have still; always managed to find my solace in two most precious elements – We have always been together through all the escapades and, It has always been a happy ending!
– On a journey that will go on until it has seen it all.
~ suchita@mylifediariez ~
PS – Read the complete feature on this exhilarating holiday with details on things to do and places to visit, at – ‘Voyage de 2013 – Andaman & Nicobar Islands’.