Such a fantastic day! We rode elephants in the forest which was amazing. We were picked up from our hostel and met rowan on the bus. It took about an hour to get there and we were in a little truck which was cool. We had a guide called 'wood' and it was his families elephants we would be riding. We were first taught all the commands that we would need to control the elephants. Yoh kah - lift leg sooong - higher hwa - right sai - left toy - backwards pbai - forward bonnesoong - open mouth yut - stop. We met the elephants and fed them some treats of sugar cane, using our new knowledge of bonnesoong. After that we were shown how to mount the elephant, grab bottom of it's ear say yoh kah, it bends it's leg you pit one foot on his foot, the other on it's knee say soong and then jump over and sit on it's head. All looks very easy when done by them!! We all then had a go at getting up and getting down, on the biggest elephant there, pregnant, 21 year old Christina! After that we were shown how to make them move right and left using the hook, and nudging with the foot on the opposite side you want them to turn. We all had to do that turning it full circle left and right. Finally we were taught forwards and backwards. For forwards you place the hook flat on their head and rest your hands and say pbai pbai and tap it behind the ears with both feet to move it forward, for backwards you had to say toy and wiggle forwards and backwards! yut was stop by placing the hook on the forehead and squeezing with both feet.
We had a break for a delicious cooked lunch, literally ate so much! And then went back to te elephants and were paired up and put with one. Arthur and I were on Fim, who hadn't been fed sugar cane that morning or given any attention because he had been naughty the day before, so they have time out for 2 days!! I was a bit scared at the front so Arthur rode there instead but the back was so so uncomfortble! It was fun riding the elephants, downhill was pretty scary though! The scenery was pretty too, so green and very exotic! We stopped off and switched over riders at one point and finally made our way to the river where we bathed our elephants. They lay in the water and we scrubbed away!! If they started to poo one of the guides would pick it out their bum and throw it onto the bank! After their wash we had a water fight the elephants started spraying us with water so we splashed them back or aimed their trunk at someone else, we all got completely soaked!! One of the elephants was loving it and stryed splashing about and lifting it's legs up.
We had a final group photo and the elephant picked us up by their trunk! We made our way back and said goodbye to them and then returned to Chiang Mai.
we were pretty tired when we got back so got a quick dinner and went to bed!