Blog note pai 24th July..
After having no luck fishing we were looking forward to a different watery adventure today... Luckily I woke up and checked the time.. 8.35, we were meant to be leaving for the elephant camp at 8.30 so alarm had been missed and I dashed out as quickly as I possibly could, leaving milly to collect all of the bits we need for the day as I held up the trip :p. it was raining again but that couldn't dampen our spirits.. We pulled up along a road with a number of elephant camps on, however ours definitely looked the best, with 5elephants there ranging from 20 years old and 52 we had the lot. These majestic beasts were standing together chomping down some of their 200kg a day diet and soon we were helping them and having elephant hugs too.. They played a bit of football with me, carried milly about with their trunks and then we were whisked away for our bamboo rafting down the river pai. We hopped on the raft and it caught the driver off guard and we span around and were almost in before it had even begun.. We shared the boat with a nice pair of kiwi girls, so we had a nice calm chat and chilled whilst floating aimlessly (and sideways) downstream.. Only disturbed once by crashing into a bush that then shook about 20 large floating spider onto us, we all panicked again and we were almost going for an early swim.. On the way back we had to walk through lots of mud so our feet were caked, but we were soon back and getting ready for our elephant ride!! As we climbed up the side of phanom (our 52 year old elephant) you could feel the thick bristles on her skin brush against your leg, and as I plonked myself down on her back the first thing I thought was, this is going to be uncomfortable... Thom's elephant camp is one of the only camps that does bareback riding of the elephants, as the chairs that other companies use can harm the elephants when they are doing 5 hours of rides a day.. That is why we picked this one :). Milly was up in front of me too, and we plodded along.. After a while milly moved up to the head and I moved towards the bum which made it so comfy in comparison to the boney back!! We trekked through some farmland.. Acres and acres of sugar cane fields ( their diet) stopping and starting as the elephants stopped to munch.. There was one mahout to each elephant and the guy taking us had been with her everyday for the last 7 years!! We eventually came to a clearing and our elephant turned on the gas, as we overtook the girls on their elephant we rushed towards the river! In no time phanom was splashing us with her trunk, dunk us in and even some bucking broncho style entertainment was going on!! It was so much fun, we could not stop laughing. We all fell in, including the trainers!! We headed back fr lunch, and a go in the natural hot spring hot tubs they had there, a nice relaxing way to end our day.
It is our last night in Pai so we decided to head somewhere special for dinner and to treat ourselves, we had a lovely spicy papaya salad, along with a yellow curry, some stir fried veg, some brown rice and a nice Chang to top it all off.. What a treat!! Once we had finished, milly noticed something moving in the bushes next to us, the guesthouse had some little white fluffy bunnies and sure enough we went over and chatted to them and had a substitute bunny cuddle!! We have seen lots and lots of different animals now! Sadly no piranhas from yesterday!
On the way back to the hotel we noticed someone selling tea, so stopped in for a cup. The Boy running the stall had made little takeaway tea cups made out of bamboo with Pai carved on, a nice little memento of our short stop in Pai.