I want one...an elephant that is...as a pet....sort of. okay not really.
04.11.2008 - 04.11.2008 28 °C
What an amazing day! *slap* another mossy bites the dust.!!! Dusk is falling in Pai. The sky is pink, and a few brave stars have begun to twinkle. The vendors have begun to set out their wares: textiles, leather, trinkets, handicrafts, useless bobbles and as well as very desirable home goods. Hippys, bohemians, Rastafarians, travelers of all varieties, expats, and locals are beginning to fill the streets brim to brim, as the air cools and the colors of the sky hint that another beautiful evening is approaching.
Today, I rode an elephant. I LOVE ELEPHANTS! We drove about 15 minutes outside town and it was 4 of us: a British couple and a Canadian lady and myself. Our elephants were waiting for us, happily chewing huge bamboo-like shoots. We climbed up on a platform and I was the first to scramble on the back of the elephant. Karla the Canadian was in front. Wan was our guide, and he sat with his legs around the elephants neck. As we headed out the British couple, especially the female, expressed quite a bit of discomfort. She had expect us to be in some kind of seat. I’m glad we weren’t because the seats I’ve seen look like they sway back and forth and this was “real” elephant riding.
Karla the Canadian and I on top of Elephant
What you see when you're on the back of an elephant
Now I'm on the back of Mai. What a great place to sit and watch the scenery pass by!
We walked along the road for a few minutes, then turned off onto a dirt path. It was good that there was blankets beneath us because the elephants skin is very thick and their hair is really prickily. My calves went beyond the length of the blanket and got pretty irritated, but no matter: riding was fun. It wasn’t really uncomfortable: I really enjoyed it. After a time, however, the couple had enough. They opted to get down and walk…so I asked Bop, their guide, if I could have their elephant.
So now it was just me and Bop and Karla and Wan on our two beautiful elephants. My new elephant, Mai, was quite a bit bigger than the first. I was easily 10 feet off the ground. Bop let me sit up front, and he stood on the elephant’s back behind me! I sat right on his neck, my legs just behind the elephants ears. She kept flapping her ears, which felt nice, as the sun was very hot. There is lots of room atop an elephant, really. I could lay back, hands behind my head, or crawl around if I wanted too. Mai’s head was SO frekkin big!!! I would scratch behind her ears and pat her head: I think she liked it.
It was really hot, so when I saw water ahead I was ready for a swim. I sort of peeled my shirt off as we approached the water and flung my glasses and bag to the ground and in I went, elephant, Bop, and me. We waded right out to the middle of the river, and Mai sat down with us on her back. Bop has her trained to splash water out of her trunk of demand, so I got a thorough soaking. But that wasn’t the only trick Bop had up his sleeve. He then commanded Mai to roll over…half way…so that I fell off into the water! Then Bop flipped off the elephant into the water himself. We spent about half an hour splashing about. Mai seemed to really enjoy sitting in the cool water, splashing water on herself all the while.
I swim with Bop the guide and Mai, the elephant outside Pai
Fun with Bop and Mai in the River Pai
Bop and Croft...Mai is below us.
as sad when we had to go home. I really enjoyed the elephants and I daresay the nearly 3 hour experience was worth the 16 bucks I paid!!! Gotta love THAILAND!
So I met up with Gavin again, and we ate dinner. I had a delicious red curry and rice (spicy!!) and he had Pad thai, and we spent less than 3.50 between us. Tonight I’m going to try to make some plans with people to get out and see the country side tommrrow. *smash* there goes another mossy. Time to move
I’ll keep ya updated. Lots of loooove!
ps. Here are some pictures I had trouble uploading last week!
Monkey Love. A little statue at GAPS guesthouse in Chiang Mai
The walk way to GAPS
The Reclining Budda up close bearly fits in the photograph, never mind the temple.
Croft and "Raggs" or Rachael-from Surry, England in Chiang Mai
The LOVELY Sarah-Nat's Guesthouse, Chiang mai
Me about to dig into some Thai Fondu, Chiang mai
Temple in Chiang Mai