Sunday, March 31, 2013

Me and my Heffalump

Elephants are such huge animals, needing lots of space and lots of food, and tending to be rather destructive if left to their own devices. And at the same time they are so very vulnerable to attacks by human poachers. In this part of Thailand they have attempted to make the elephants' lives relatively comfortable, protecting them and meeting their needs at the same time as protecting the environment (villages, jungle) - and making a few bucks on the side.

We thoroughly enjoyed our day visiting the "Chok Chai Elephant Camp" in northern Thailand.

The camp covers a large area with hillside, jungle, and river, and presumably village(s) as well.

First we had a short ride up and down the road in an ox cart, just to get into the swing of things.

Then it was time to cross the river on the wobbly swing bridge to go meet the elephants.

First of all we saw an elephant show, with a number of young elephants demonstrating their skill in sitting, standing, standing on their heads, playing soccer, and painting pictures.

And at last it was time to climb aboard and ride off into the jungle on our elephant.

I can assure you that this is NOT a comfortable way to ride!

I, for one, would certainly not be joining Hannibal in crossing the Alps ...

So finally we relaxed  on a bamboo raft, sliding along down the brown river ...

We all (all 7 of us from Brighton Education) had such a good time. We got back into our mini-bus to go to the orchid farm - and we were all sound asleep by the time we got there.

Yeah. Pretty!

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