31 December 2014
We had to return back to Rangat that day but not before visiting the most beautiful place in Andaman, the Ross & Smith Island. Little did we know that it would be an amazing experience.
Travel to Ross & Smith Island starts from Aerial Bay which is about 8 km from Diglipur. The Islands are in control of Forest Department requiring tourists to get a permit. The process is bit elaborate but due to less number of tourists it does not get complicated.
We were given a speed boat; the journey would take about 20-30 minutes. It turned out to be the most scary boat trip in my life. Within minutes of leaving Aerial Bay we encountered huge waves. The boat jumped on each wave knocking us out of our seats. I grabbed by daughter to ensure that she is not thrown out by turbulence. We had seen such scenes in TV but now we were experiencing it. We were completely drenched within seconds as waters splashed across us. I asked the boatman whether this was common. He replied that it was not so in normal days. The waves seemed to quite rough that day. Not an answer I wanted to hear. It was nothing short of roller coaster ride. We were wearing life jackets but I doubted whether we can survive those waves in the case of boat collapse.
Any pain has to end at some point of time. As we neared the Island the waves softened a bit. We were now able to look at the beauty of the surroundings.
Ross is a small Island which is connected to the relatively big Smith Island by a narrow strip of sand bridge. That makes the Island unique and beautiful. If not disturbed by waves I could have taken amazing photos the two Islands connected together.
We had about 2-2.5 hours in the Island. The Island has changing rooms, toilet and resting places. Life guards are on duty. Coconuts are taken freshly from trees and sold!!
You can see the most bizarre board here. The permit letter from Forest department allows tourists to only Smith Island. All facilities are in Smith Island. A separate permit is needed for Ross Island. At the middle of the sand strip is the board on entry permit. A guy was posted to ensure that the rules were followed. But he could not stand the heat for a long time and people roamed freely between islands.
Chaya and Tanu relaxing on a swing!! The place is so serene and beautiful.
A good place demands a family photograph.
In our Andaman trip, it was Ross & Smith Island that was most beautiful. While I rate Jolly Buoy as the best place for Snorkeling, Ross & Smith Island stands on the top for its beauty. The strip makes it unique.