Thursday, January 30, 2014

Almost the End: Elephants

Well our trip is nearly finished. Hard to take that in now that we have gotten used to the rhythms of travel, hardened our tummies to the local bugs and the constant chiles, and learned a few words of Thai language so we can converse a bit.

I'm having a little withdrawal today. Not Another Temple. My one or two temple a day habit has slammed me, cold turkey, even a little shaky. Hope I can shake the habit! It's rough.

But we did have elephants today to console us. Hours of elephants, acres of elephants, up close and personal for sure. For a few precious hours I forgot all about temples and just delighted in every bit of this perfect day! These behemoths greeted us warmly by lifting us up in the air with their trunks ! Wow, what a sensation !

Next they all waded down into the river where they cavorted around and the mahouts scrubbed them down.

The elephant show featured about 15 of them doing all sorts of tricks for us, them wading right into the crowds to get rewards of bananas, sugar cane, and money which they gave to the mahouts (although a famous elephant used to take the money and run to the banana sales table!)

Several of them made paintings which people could then buy!

Finally we got our elephant ride, an utterly thrilling hour long walk across the river and up into the jungle, with frequent stops for bananas and sugar cane. Wow, wow, wow! It was fantastic!

After a delicious lunch at the camp we learned how they make paper from elephant dung (nothing wasted). We had a long visit with a young female and her mahout where we got to pet her, ask questions, and have some time when she explored us, nosing us everywhere with her curious trunk.

Finally we floated downstream on river rafts for about 45 minutes, pretty blissful.

And wait, there's more! A stop at the Queen Sikirit Botanical Gardens just to top off the day. Phew! Who needs temples??!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Chiang Mai, Thailand

No comments: