The Elephants were one of the events of this trip I was most looking forward too. And I had a lot of Elephant interaction today!
First up was Elephant Bathing time. I put on a life vest (which smelled terrible) and waded out into the river (which was an unfortunate brown color). Climbed aboard the Elephant with what I’m sure was great grace and dignity, and then set off into the water. The Elephant would drop his trunk in the water, suck in 9 litters and then shoot the water backwards. Over it’s head and straight into my face. 5 or 6 times. Needless to say, both myself and the elephant were completely soaked by the end of our “bath”. To end my ride the elephant simply rolled over, dumping me into the river. That part was not graceful.
The texture of the elephants skin was so interesting. It felt like really tough leather covered in a thin layer of sandpaper. There are also small hairs all over its head and neck which were very sharp and prickly. And he had amazing long eyelashes.
Next up was our jungle safari on elephant back. The platforms on each elephant seat 4 people so we teamed up with our new friends John and Mike to share an elephant. Side note here: Meeting other travelers along the way is one of the best and most interesting parts of travel for me. Wanderers are amazing people.
Our Elephant turned out to be very stubborn. She did not want to carry a bunch of tourists through the jungle. She wanted to eat tall grass and wander around. And it’s hard to argue with a 10,000 pound beast so we did not go as deeply into the jungle as planned. I was more interested in the elephant so I didn’t mind. The gait of an elephant is slow and wobbly. It was a constant, slow, rocking back and forth on a wooden platform. Not very comfortable at all. But I would still take home an elephant and ride it every day if I could.
Katie had dark visions of being crushed underneath the elephant if it decided to dump us so she did not enjoy the experience as much.