So we went and rode elephants this week. It was the most incredible experience. I mean just humbling. We took a van at 6 am to a sanctuary about 4 hours outside of Bangkok. It was the most uncomfortable ride ever. It’s a 14 passenger van, they are prevalent in Bangkok, that we filled. But this one was cramped and I ended up in the back row which had the least amount of leg room and the roads were so bumpy. But the company was great and made up for it. Lear, Lauren, Sam and I just chatted and told stories.
Rural Thailand is absolutely gorgeous and so content. The people there are so happy and they all take care of each other. It’s a true community. As we pulled into the Sanctuary we saw the massive creatures. They were finishing another ride and were snacking on some bananas. Adorable. We all took a moment to stretch and change then we lined up to get on. I was a little nervous but the minute Sam and I were in the harness seat it felt natural. We climbed up a hill and took lots of pictures and when we came to the pasture I was able to switch places with the “driver”, basically the guy steering the elephant. So I was sitting on his head behind his ears. I even got smacked with them! LOL Our elephant, whose name is Marco, was stubborn, he didn’t want to go anywhere. It reminded me of Ferdinand. Marco was happy to just mosey and eat/smell the flowers. We got so far behind the guide and I had to switch again. But it was incredible.
After the ride we went and bathed with them! How crazy is that? We went and met two others down at the river. I was in the second group to get on the elephants. It was crazy they knelt down in the water for us and then started splashing us with water from their trunks. The one Sam and I were on was younger and almost black. Again, we got a stubborn one that didn’t want to listen. He decided to take off down river with us on his back. LOL the trainer had to swim after us. Craziness then once he got the elephant back into place we were shook off his back like a bull. So cool. Then as I was getting out the elephant turned to me and I got to hug his trunk and pet him. Such gentle and intelligent animals. Their eyes are a little terrifying, not gonna lie. They were a bright amber color with pin point pupils. We watched the others go through thte same thing and the best was Nick and Kier. Their bromance reached another level when they were being shook around. Nick just attached himself to Kier like a Koala bear! We all laughed for about 5 minutes. I got to go one the elephant a second time and had a blast! The second time I got thrown off, it was literally a throw! Espy and I were on the big one that time and she just chucked me off. The guide got an epic picture.
We said good bye to the elephants and one of them wrapped its trunk around me and sniffed me. LOL So magical! We hiked back up to van and I got to see one that was dressed up for a ceremony. I learned later that these types of places are actually what keep the elephants from going extinct. When tourist pay to do the riding it actually pays to keep them safe and happy.
Next stop was a small local town. A nice old woman made us epic pad thai in a shack. We walked around for a couple of minutes. I found a convenient store that sold beer for 20 cents! Epic! On our way to the Erawan Waterfall National Park we ran into a herd of monkeys! They surrounded the van and basically stopped traffic on both sides of the street. Midwest has cows, Cayman Islands has crabs, Scotland has sheep and Thailand has monkeys, you know normal. The waterfalls were stunning. We had to hike for a good hour to get to the top one (The 7th) and then worked our way back down. It was like something out of a sci-fi movie to me. Some of them look like they had to be man made because they we so perfectly round. On the way up I got behind because I kept getting stuck in the mud literally. It was like glue! Of course I would be the one. As I we hiked back down Pip and I decided to go through the waterfalls and at one point I ducked under a branch and walked through a spider making a web. Pip told me it was on me and I freaked out. I flailed and screamed, the spider was no where insight but I decided it was better to stick to the trail at the point. We made it down to the first and went for a swim before heading back to the van. I got some epic pictures thanks to Mom and Dad being smart enough to convince me to buy a water/shock proof camera.
The ride back was long and sticky but again the company was amazing. Definitely a day I will never forget!
Thursday we went to see Justin Bieber in Concert! Yup, that’s right, I went and saw Bieber in concert in Bangkok, for free. Winning! It was silly. The Barbie’s at Bieber…you can’t write this stuff. It was slightly underwhelming considering he actually can’t dance and his dancer were no where near as good as ours are. We wanted to have a dance/sing off! We totally would have won too!
Off to Phi Phi Islands tomorrow! This life is crazy and I feel so ridiculously blessed. Give over and follow him and he will take you to places of wonder.