Randal and I took a taxi to Ao Chalong to check out at the Harbor Master’s Office. Then we stopped for groceries at the "Westerners’ Market" with imported anything. Fritos for a zillion dollars and Ziploc bags among other things. Now we’re just waiting for the tide to rise high enough for us to leave Boat Lagoon. We’ll be back in Rebak soon after a 3 day passage. We’ll anchor at night. No Mooring Balls!
This email has the fun photos of our elephant ride. Suza or Rick, not sure who, took the ones of us.
Thailand Island Safari part 2
Next time they asked for volunteers I jumped up actually believing they asked, “Who wants to massage an elephant?” Actually, they asked, “Who wants an elephant massage?”
First lay down on mat
Next get comfortable and try not to think of everything that could go wrong even though everyone ahead of me had survived
Tap, Tap, Tap very gently
Honestly, I hardly noticed the elephant tapping on my back because I was focused on its trunk “kissing me!
Actually it was over all too fast before I could really absorb the experience. I’d like to spend time with a very little elephant because the “hugeness” of the big ones intimidated me.
They are so quick with their trunks though not aggressive. I’m feeding the small one a banana. (Photo by Suza)
The ground seems a long way down.
I have just fed the elephant a banana. They know tourists buy bags of bananas and so continually stick their trunks back to be fed. (All of these photos of us on the elephant were taken by Suza)
All of the other elephants kept going but our driver stopped at the pond and began to hose down the elephant who is asking for yet another banana.
While we were at the pond the cutest little elephant came along and went for a swim. This man is the elephant’s keeper. Apparently our elephant is the mom so we stayed at the pond while the baby bathed.
The point of this photo is that we have no driver!
I sounded a bit worried so our driver he handed me the elephant “control stick” and told me to drive.
The stick had a small curved piece of metal on the end. And I guess if you can control a huge horse with a small metal bit, you can control and elephant with a small bit of metal. A well trained elephant anyway.
He’s not really holding on to Randal’s knee.
The year before I got my library degree I worked in the stable of a resort taking out trail rides. One day I decided to ride my horse bareback. He was a retired carriage horse so quite big. During the ride I had to get off and this photo reminds me of how I had to pull my way back on. Our driver was quite quick and graceful. I was not.
I don’t know how it felt to be sitting just behind the head, but it was really rolly on the back like being on the boat with waves hitting us on the beam. And there was really no place comfortable for our feet. I kept thinking I was telling the elephant something depending on where I put my foot. I guess that’s a left-over from my horse riding days. Our backpacks kept us from leaning back to get comfortable.
Everyone else was on the other side of the pond. That’s Rick and Suza on the right.
I just kept waiting for our driverless elephant to try to race over to join the herd. That’s what trail horses tend to do.
Getting off at the end.
Interestingly, while the elephants would lean against the platform and rest their trunks on the floor while we got on an off.
So ended our elephant adventure which was the last part of our tour. We were then taken for refreshments: juice, oranges, and, of course, bananas!
We learned about rice growing and rubber plantations and how to make a simple Thai salad. We also saw a demonstration of Thai kick-boxing and a monkey show. That will be next email.