Riding Elephants

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, December 19, 2005

When morning came I think most people were relieved the night was over. It had been really cold in the night and the prospect of getting out in the sun was incredibly tempting. For some reason it was colder in our hut than outside! All of us had been snoring in the night and I informed Julia she could punch me if I did again tonight!

After some toast and fruit salad we settled the bar tab and got off on the trail again. It wasn't as tough today but still knackering and the majority of the walk was along a river so we constantly had to keep our guard or fall in the water.

It wasn't just falling in the water that we had to look out for as Juliafound out when she stepped on what she assumed was a rock but in reality was a huge pile of buffalo crap! The whole group was in hysterics!

Our first port of call was a small village, meaning 1 house with only 2 occupants. A little kid of about 6 living with his grandad. It was a terrible story with his mother dying during birth and his dad running away. He had boundless energy and seemed happy enough but I couldn't help feeling sad that he had no other little kids to play with.

We stopped here to visit a waterfall. The water was ice cold and I lasted all of 20 seconds in the water before bolting and sitting in the sun. My circulation is terrible and my feet were blue after the quick dip in the water and took 30 minutes to warm up. The other guys somehow managed to stay in for 20 minutes! Clinically insane I tell you!

Stopped for some noodle soup back at the village before getting back on the road. Walked for another hour or so and came to our second stop of the day, elephant riding!

Now I've ridden a camel before and that was uncomfortable to say the least and I was expecting a similar experience from the elephant. But it was in fact quite the opposite. I think elephants are incredible creatures and there was something quite regal about riding on top of one. It felt like being a king or sultan of previous generations! It was pretty scary stuff though as you had to hold on tight or you would fall. I know they do the trip daily and know the route inside out but they still took some strange routes. Our elephant seemed to want to race all the others and I was quite happy to let it, in fact I was egging her on to go faster! At one stage going downhill we had to hold on for dear life as we were facing nearly vertically down! Our elephant won the race and it took longer than I had expected, about an hour.

After a further hour of trekking we came to the next "village", where we were to stay the night. I say village, it was 1 house custom built to accommodate the people trekking. Same style as yesterday so another cold night was in store.

After dinner we sat around playing poker with left over sweet for a few hours, that is except Tiffany who went to bed at 6pm! I tried to hold out for 10pm but gave in to tiredness at 9pm! It was freezing in our hut and I used 2 blankets today. Still wasn't enough!
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