Lakshadweep and back
Written Thursday afternoon and evening, 11 May.
I still have no idea when I'll be able to actually post this. I'm hopeful about a cybercafe in Fort Cochin, or maybe I can make the dialup work from the hotel.
I'm currently on the ship back to Cochin. The ship ride really isn't
too bad, in fact, and since I made friends with the Indian tourists who
were also at the resort, and are also on the ship, I'm among friends. There's an enclave of about 16 of us all seated together on the ship, which has been most useful when there have been some problems with seat assignments.
The Agatti Island Beach Resort is actually exactly what a beach resort
should be, I think, given it's on the far side of the world.
The rooms are clean and quite comfortable, only missing the bedside
reading light to be ideal. It is India, so there's no hot water, but
it's hot enough so that doesn't matter. Energy is a problem here,
with electricity being supplied by a noisy diesel plant (well up the
road) and a 100KW solar array. And you pay for that energy- an air-conditioned room costs 50% more than the same room with the AC unavailable.
The diving was pretty good, with much better visibility than I found in the Andamans, but I was the only tourist diver, so I was
diving with the dive master, Willy (originally from Edinburgh) and his 13 year old daughter, Zenobia. He lives in Goa during the off season <firstname.lastname@example.org>, (starting tomorrow, apparently) and Zen goes to school during the monsoon. Apparently largely because of my enthusiasm, several of the Indians did the lagoon dive, and because some of them were very inexperienced in the water, I ended up leading one around, showing many of the sights in the lagoon very successfully. There was lots of interesting stuff to see near beach, for a maximum depth on that dive of 1.9 meters. The more conventional dives produced sightings of many turtles, several rays, lobsters, some amazingly colored puffer fish, several moray eels, a shark, a lion fish, a BIG grouper and many small reef fish, as well as a lot of good hard corals.
I borrowed a bicycle,and rode the 7 km length of the island and back,
visiting the pier and the village on the way. My right arm got tired
from waving at everyone as we exchanged greetings. I found the local bike shop, and if we get back here on a VU7 DXpedition, I'll probably buy a bike.
I'd picked up William McCall Smith`s book, _44 Scotland Street_, set in
Edinburgh, because it was published in The Scotsman as a daily serial,
after a conversation Smith had with Armistad Maupin about _Tales of The
City_. I'd enjoyed that the Chronicle when it came out, but don't
really think it held up to the rereading. This book reminded me a lot of _Tales of the City_, but the surprising bit was when one of the major
characters, a woman from and living in Edinburgh, had lived in Cochin
and some of her story was told. I left the book with Willie,
obviously. I'm now reading _The Moor's Last Sigh_ but I knew that was
set in Cochin. It has made a bit of difference in my sightseeing plans, too.