It’s almost like in The Beach movie: there is a secret paradise on the island. On our island the secret paradise was a waterfall. Travelers who made it there told us it’s amazing, it’s something they had never seen before. There are stories about crocodiles and leeches. The are rumors that locals are destroying the road leading there, in order to keep the place hidden. But somebody always finds the waterfall, draws a map and hands it to other travelers.
We also set out to find the waterfall. First day in the jungle was difficult, we only found dead ends that lead nowhere. We returned back to the camp. On the second day we found the right path with our bikes, walked in the jungle, crossed two small rivers, got bitten by leeches and finally, the waterfall!
While we were in the Andaman Islands Hannu was surfing almost every day. He went to the beach, set up his hammock and lay there in between surfs. The spot where he hang his hammock is also famous with locals and other surfers and people had left a lot of rubbish there. Thus, every day after the surf he brought some empty bottles and other rubbish from the beach. Nice job!
(Second picture by Stefan, third picture by Brook)
Above you can see our home in the Andaman Islands where we stayed for 3 weeks. In the first picture is the common dining area where we had dinner with other travelers, in the second picture Hannu is attaching a hammock to our own “veranda”. Then it’s me and Azad, the guesthouse owner.
When Azad was young, he inherited a bookshop from his father. He was running the shop in Calcutta for about 20 years until he decided to fulfill his dream and set up a guesthouse. He moved to the Andaman Islands and set up a small bookshop there to earn the family money until he found a perfect spot for his guesthouse. Now, for 3 years, he has been running his own “Blue View” guesthouse.
Azad is quite a personality, he is one of those people who still have the same spark in their eyes they had when they were kids. He is a person who plants papaya trees to his garden, not to eat them or make money by selling them, but to invite more birds to his garden – he loves birds. I like this man.
We stayed in his guesthouse for 3 weeks. It was the first time we spent such a long time in one place. We got to know the place well, we got to know some of the local people, we watched as other travelers came and left. I was also helping Azad to promote his guesthouse and designed him a visiting card and some promotional stickers. It hit me that you don’t need to be working in a orphanage or volunteer to dig a well in order to do some good while traveling.