Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Elephant Riding in the Jungle

Elephant riding in the Jungle

Thailand is fast becoming one of my most favorite countries, and I've been to many.  There is so much to see and so much to do, if one says that one is bored, then it's through no fault other than your own.

Now that the weather has fined up, the monkeys have come out in their hordes.  It's great to watch them - they are a pest to the resort staff, but an absolute novelty for me.  The monkeys here at the resort are incredibly intelligent and so funny to watch.

The staff walk around with kata poults to frighten the monkeys away, but the monkeys are too clever.  They hide behind chairs or balcony posts and peep around the corner until they see the staff leave, then they come out of hiding and cause their mischief again.  Today we saw a huge family, with about twenty babies.

They warn each other when they see the staff members looking for them and when the staff get close, the monkeys all keep deadly quietly until it's safe again!

I have not posted a blog for a few days because we've been so busy with no time for writing and no Wi Fi connectivity.  I'm now trying to catch up, and also remember all the things we've been up to.

We did elephant riding in the jungle!  It was awesome, I kid you not.  I love animals and was a little worried that the elephants might be mistreated, but this wasn't the case at all.  Our guide was a young boy, who clearly loved the animals and the animals seemed to respect him.  The guide rode on the elephants head for the first while, then he climbed off and walked behind the elephant until we got back to the base camp.

The elephant had a seat strapped to her back and we were lead to a platform where we had to wait until the guide brought her to us.  We climbed from the platform onto the elephants back and then sat down in the seat.  We were then taken on our ride.  It was not easy at first.  The elephant lumbars on with big strides, over rocks and into streams.  At times it feels like we will slip off the seat and fall to the ground.

I was amazed at where the elephant would walk and what she was capable of doing.  At one stage there was a broken branch in her way, so he picked it up with her trunk and broke it three more times and moved it out of the pathway -all while we were on her back!

Our guide spent most of his time speaking on his mobile phone and occasionally shouting out instructions for the elephant, who obeyed his every command.  We crossed a couple of streams and every time, the elephant would stop and suck up water in her trunk and spay it over herself (and us).

When our ride was over, we got to feed her some bananas before she was put out to pasture.  The guide then brought out a baby elephant, who did a little show for us.  They gave her a harmonica and she played a tune on it!  She then took a hat and placed it on our heads and did a curtsy for us.

The guide then told her to go to sleep and she lay down on the floor in the fetal position and slept until the guide told her to get up.  She was the cutest little elephant.

We were told that at night the elephants are let loose in the jungle, where they will sleep for about four hours a night and will eat for about three hours non stop.  They apparently do not try to escape or wander too far from the camp and will be waiting at base camp every morning, ready for a new days work.

Please feel free to comment or share your stories.

~ Vanessa

I blog with BE Write

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