Sailing off


Friday, April 6, 2012

Port Blair the first few days

Cowes people cars heat and lots of beautiful and exciting
The grea tview of Port Blair from the indian restaurant

Delayed 23rd March 2012
Gosh I certainly haven't seen one like that still in use.
 It had a bird on the bonnet that turned out to be an eagle
 and when the car drove he flapped his wings- priceless.
There are always lots of things to do in t.he first days in a new country. It is exciting and busy.
First is the checking in to make us official. In our case the process took 1 1/2 days. We were well prepared with MANY sets of copies of boat papers passports indian visas and of course the boat "stempel"(stamp)The first day we were visited by the Coastguard with 6 officials boarding  there was much very detailed paperwork. Some of it even required Roberts father's name. The following day we made our way to the"city"in a car we booked and it turned out to be a "gem"

Starting out in a new country is like setting up home. There are always basics we need like sim cards  to call & Internet to find out weather some fresh bread and vegetables washing to be dropped off at laundry rubbish to be disposed of etc.Than maybe something to eat and a coffee.Barrie developed an infection from a cut so we needed a hospital. Both boats needed diesel and this time mechanics galore.
We managed the sim cards for phones and 2 G Internet after completing another set of very involved paperwork and tried to understand how the local system worked from a very hot and half sleeping on a desk young woman. Trying to chose internet plan was a treat and after calculating that the cost was about 3 dollars per month it didn't seem to matterwhat we chose but sometimes it is really heard to get ones mind around many hundreds of rupies.
 Coffee was a tall order! Barrie was set on a cappuccino and asked the driver for a coffee machine ...oh dear. The driver after a hot and humid drive took us to a copy machine which closed the subject of cappuccino forever.
We thought lunch would be great like some Indian food and that one we managed after a  let's say not so fantastic option we ended up in a very nice place with great food. On the way we drove past this amazing biggest laundry I have ever seen.
Aberdeen bazar is a very busy noisy dusty hot and humid place.
 With friendly and helpful people everywhere generally just shopping.
The local drivers waiting for customers in their taxis and tut- tuts
just adding to the already busy traffic.

 Next fresh "stuff".Vegetables are usually easy it is just a matter of what one is prepared to try and so on our first visit to the famours Aberdeen Bazar that was dominated by men we found the usual choices of soft cucumbers really bad tomatoes nothing green to speak of. We clearly had to come back to the bazar as it was a bad day for shopping.
Hospital turned out to be well expect the unexpected place. I personally expected that and have not really understood the full meaning of it and how things can be - not at all.
This really struck us.
The Incredible India poster and the smaller asking to donate eyes on the wall
just outside the doctors room which was attending to few patients at a time.
the rest well lets just say...Staying healthy here is the only option.
(you can enlarge the image by double clicking on it)

By that stage it was time to arrange boat needs so diesel was negotiated  and arranged for the next few days and mechanic /s appointments were set in place. All of us were anticipating what the next day would bring because of the mechanical problems. We were happy to proceed with the travel plans.The mood was still tense and a possibility of making a turn around trip and return to Thailand was spoken of and still very much "on the cards". Robert fixed the alternator on Apsara unfortunately their engine developed problems also?
Before the end of the day our dinghy's motor" died" which was possibly due to condensation. Another appoitment with a mechanic really early in the morning. Anticipating tomorrow.
Priceless. We have not seen anything like this for a long long time.
There was nothing in the booth.

The fruit market - lunch in the shade...hmmm

Not sure what to say here...lunch in the box sort of. A different king of a box.

This wonderful man has a shop just outside the market
 with old cans and all things metal.

This was a classic. A beauty parlour where you could have face bleaching
babay cutting hair curling and" Piece de resistance" shampoo hair washing.

Hmm rice was clearly not to be bought here.
The blck specks - flies.

The dock. All deals are done here.

We are getting used to the place and the cows...

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