It has been storming the last couple of days. Rain and wind has been our constant companion. Landfall in the Andaman Islands was very wet. The rain started as soon as we pulled into the harbor of Port Blair and did not let up until just before we left. The promised filth and poverty never materialized. What we did see was a town that has made tremendous progress rebuilding from the terrible tsunami of 2004. The lovely people were friendly and wanted to show us around their island and seemed pleased that we were willing to brave the rain. The island has a terrible history as a British Penal Colony and the huge jail was not closed until India gained their freedom in 1947. We did tour the jail and also the local maritime museum. With all the rain, the roads were flooded and made access challenging in some areas. The busy city market was jammed with cars, trucks and mud so we had to pass it by. We returned to the ship with the feeling that these people are working hard to build a better life for themselves and their children.
Now, we continue southwest through a choppy, stormy sea. The outline of Sri Lanka can just be glimpsed thru the clouds on the horizon off the starboard side. Our next landfall is Cochin on the mainland of India. Everyone who has been there before tells us to brace for a wonderful overload of the senses. The sights and smells of India we are told can be both beautiful and horrific. Either way we are looking forward to our next two exotic and enchanting ports of call.