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it was weird after the andamans to enter into all that traffic, noise and smell again. gladly my guest house wasn’t too far from the port. on this crossing a car missed me slightly but hit a scooter driver behind me. just some bruises and scratches for both the driver and the scooter, but still… an accident. the car driver just took off.

one guy from spain whom i met on the boat is staying in the same street and tries to teach some indian guy to play the guitar. one evening we joined them and sang classics from “la bamba” to “piano man”.

the view from the guest house in the evening.

i met linus and peter on the andamans and then again in kolkata. on their last day before returning to germany we went out shopping for lungis. their are perfect in hot weather. and beyond any doubt fashionable.

our “guide” through the evening in his cycle wheelchair custom made for him.

i got some rest in kolkata and my last shot for the hepatitis vaccination before i started to varanasi, my last stop in india before nepal.

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the big boat again

the trip back was not much different from the first to port blair, a lot of water and some dolphins. except there was not even an empty swimming pool on board and no card games this time. but the last hours were wonderful when we entered the hooghly river.

after 3 days on the open sea the change to a river cruise was more than welcome. indian music from the board speakers filled the air,  little villages on both sides, fisherman waving from their tiny boats to the big one and children jumping from trees into the water made the last hours diverting.

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elephant beach

while the others were attending their diving lessons, i turned to snorkeling. i just wasn’t sure if i would like to spend a one month budget of traveling on a 4 days diving course.

one of the beaches, elephant beach, was just reachable by boat or an half hour walk through the forest, an old elephant trek. just before we reached the beach we had to cross a swamp area.

while wading through the water thousands of little fish were moving in perfect synchronization whenever you came too close to the swarm.

some people still camp on the beach and so we found a nicely made “flat” complete with sleeping rooms, fire place and even its own swing in the living room…

and the inviting om sign on its entrance.

snorkeling was nice in the morning but in the afternoon the sight was less than amazing. we started early on our way back as to get home before it gets dark. good decision. we got totally lost on our way back. the next day i started organizing the ticket back to the main land.

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flower movement prospering

on the andamans i saw the flower movement continue to prosper. this young man was obviously inspired by these members.

i didn’t meet the driver of this cycle which was parked in front of the market.

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beach no. 7

after arriving in port blair we hopped on another boat which brought us to the island of havelock. the beaches have indian names but for tourists they are numbered. so after staying at beach no. 5 and no. 2, i finally got to beach no.7 which is recommended by alex in the worldtourguide, page 27 and 28.

the sand is bright and the water clean and transparent. with its 29 degrees it’s still refreshing. there are no buildings¬† at the beach front that could spoil the view. the andamans seem to be a popular stop-over for people who travel by boat. we met some who are traveling around the world since 4 or 6 years and there are always some boats anchoring within sight.

sunset on no. 7


big boat

i love boats. it is a nice change from being on the road but somehow it has the same feel to it. the speed, the wind on your face and a lot of time to think about your destination before you reach it.

we left chennai with 4 hours delay, but if you’re traveling for three days it doesn’t matter that much.

the only entertainment on board was an empty swimming pool so we had to come up with our own ways to kill the time. we played cards, cards and again cards. some books helped, the daily lunch and dinner hours and sleeping were the daily routine.

seemingly endless water,

sometimes with dolphins, sea turtles and some even spotted whales.

on the last night on the ship we went to the very front of the boat. no-one except the crew was allowed there. but as it was totally dark, which made it easier to hide but on the other hand more difficult not to stumble over some ropes or poles hidden in the dark of the night, we reached the bow unnoticed. we ate a pineapple and watched the stars. it was surprisingly silent. no sounds of engines just of the boat cutting through the gulf of bengal.


the india sim breakdown

my india sim card isn’t working anymore. exchange is too much trouble. buh!


mahabalipuram (mamallapuram)

anna and me took the bus for another daytrip. after 6 weeks of cycling from the west to the east coast it was nice to have a swim in the sea again.


later we went to see some 1400 year old temples and stone-carvings.


with drastic words tourists are reminded of taking their trash back home…


or to find a bin which proofs difficult at times and tempting to open evil’s door.

the lighthouses – 20th and 6th century


the busride back home was one of the worst i ever had. the driver honked like a devil and the ticket-guy in the back joined in with his whistle. we were sometimes driving in the middle of the road and just last minute maneuvers back to the left side kept us from becoming one with a truck. halfway back to chennai the driver stopped and left the bus without a word. the ticket-guy ran after him and it took 5 minutes and some substance out of the guys pocket which went up his nose until he entered the bus again. in chennai i had to wait two hours until a bus was going somewhere near my guesthouse. still, a good day!

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the last sign said it was still 22km to go. the next thing i knew i was already in the city.  it took me two hours to get to the center. nice and slowly, for safety and to have a look at some of the colonial buildings.


i found a guesthouse of the salvation army and set out to buy my ticket for the andamans. i was running around for quite a while and nobody seemed to know where i can find the place. when i finally got there it was already closed.

i heard that it could be some trouble to get a ticket. but the next morning i just had to hand in some copies of my documents and off i went with the ticket in my hand.

for the rest of the day i just strolled around the streets, enjoyed the watermelon and fruit stands and had to make a photosession with these lovely kids…


food and drinks are available everywhere and in broad variations. but beware of the “painapple”


the beach in chennai is the largest sand beach in asia. still it feels crowded especially at sunset.


i met david on that beach and we went to some carnival in the evening.


there was lots of singing and dancing and some roundabouts and cotton candy which i didnt expect to find in india. there were also some merry-go-rounds at the beach which were still hand-operated by the owner himself. sometime you go places and sometime you travel back in time…

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tirupati – tirumalai

we spent two days in tirupati to be able to make a day-trip to tirumalai, one of the holiest places in india. we heard that before but located on top of a hill it would at least reward us with a view… there is a pilgrims path going all the way to the top but after spending the last days cycling we felt more like taking the bus.

there are several ways to get into the main temple. depending on how much money you are willing to spend you can enter almost immediately or wait until thousands of people before you find their way in… waiting while being trapped in a gangway pressed against bars and the only relief coming from people selling snacks and drinks.


we were later told it took more than six hours. we went for plan b and found ourselves a viewpoint. here with the pilgrims path coming up the hill which we missed out on.


their was distant music coming from the distance while we lay in the evening sun.

on the way back to the bus we stopped to get a taste of the colorful street-food…


after hampi we missed sleeping under the stars for a while. luckily our guesthouse had a substitute…


the next morning anna took the train to chennai but i decided against it after it was too much hassle to get my bicycle and luggage on the train. i was told at the cargo department that the bicycle would arrive but my luggage once put into a corner of their storage or the train might just get lost cause it was too small. i didnt want to take chances…