Blog Day 59 Mon 4th July 2011
We wake up early around 7ish; Willo (tour guide) said that breakfast would be around 8ish so we go over the commands we learned yesterday so that they are fresh in our heads.
Breakfast is toast with barbecue fried eggs for Dan & the rest of the cereal bar for Trish. We watch an Elephant paint a picture using its trunk & we get told we can keep the finished article, it's apparently a way of training them in the early stages to trust a human & get used to their voice & commands, and it's also a way of bonding with the elephant. We then have a long walk to camp, it proves to be very difficult & it's so hot today it's unbearable, Dan struggles & Trish is verging on passing out when we finally reach camp & can stop for some water. We almost think we will not be able to continue with the day as Trish's energy resources are so low where she cannot eat or sustain anything, but we figure we can get through a few more hours then head back to the doctors tonight. The Mahouts have to go & find the elephants as they stay in their natural environment at night & sometimes wander off. Fortunately they find them & Boon is our elephant for the day again. We are very lucky today as we have the whole family to ourselves. We use our commands to ride them out of the camp & towards a river for another bath, on the way it is very muddy as it absolutely hammered it down again last night, Boon has great pleasure in sucking up the muddy puddles & spraying it at us! By the time we reach the river we are caked in mud. As we start to wash Boon (and ourselves) off, there is a cable car above us & as people are coming across it seems to scare the elephants out of the lake, (we think they may really be scared of mice you know).
Once Boon has stopped freaking out by the noise of the car we use our command to get back on. We then ride back to the camp where we slept last night, stopping along the way to buy bananas for the elephants, they always seem to know when the next stall is coming up! We get passed up a couple of non-carbonated red bulls for ourselves which is really weird, then attempt to eat banana of our own though it doesn't last long when they get stolen from us by Boon. Along the way the whole time we have been riding the elephants they stop to pull down branches & leaves from trees, sometimes oblivious to the fact that we are sitting on them, we get to taste the delicacy of leaves as well (tasty). Once we reach the camp we can barely walk, we actually are now walking like we have [email protected]*t ourselves!
Next thing is to make Vitamin cakes for the elephants (especially good for when they have recently given birth) but an extremely tasty & healthy treat for them. It's a hands on messy job, ingredients of rice grains, bananas, salt, some kind of huge sultana fruit & small bitter sugar cane all mixed together & rolled into cake sized balls. Once we have fed them we say our goodbyes to Boon & the other elephants & they are herded of back into the jungle for the rest of the day. Willo our guide has been great and as a 'tip' of sorts Dan gives him his trainers, which now look like they have been passed through an elephant. He is over the moon with them and puts them straight on! What a great experience. Unfortunately our camera died for day 2 but we get given a disk with pictures they had taken from day 1 plus the ones we were able to take. All in all a fantastic couple of days.