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November 13, 2015

Chiang Mai – Elephant CampĀ 

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , — mat @ 2:45 am

We have been at an elephant camp yesterday , even for us it was the first time. Pickup was around 8 and one hour to drive to the mountains. We got the instructions about the camp and the elephants, their life and food and for sure how to handle them. Small group of 6 people. It was a little bit difficult to get on the back to ride. A small bamboo stick helps , rub on the front head and yell “thoi” means go back , jut means stop. After the lesson was done we had a lunch and afterwards we were making balls of tamarinds , salt and rice to feed the elephant. Our elephant was a female and her name was Khon-Dee. The mahout was with us for sure. one elephant one mahout – a relationship for an entire life. It felt scary for the first meters , sitting on the giant. You sit on her back , 2 meters high, nothing to grab and you will realize that a wrong move might be the end of the journey. But Khon-Dee was really good, we stopped when she was hungry and found a lot of green plants on the way. It was a great feeling to ride an elephant. An elephant needs a bath 4 times per day. So let’s go swimming :) A small pool fits up to 3 elephants. They were scrubbed and washed , and they obviously enjoyed it. When we finished the  elephant washing ceremony … we brought them to the mud bath. It’s like a body lotion , bacteria protection and sun protection as well to them if they over and over covered with mud. 

It was really an enjoyable day and to ride an elephant is a once in s lifetime experience , if you have the chance , do it.

Pictures will follow. 

March 30, 2010

Yala national park safari – Mirissa

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , — mat @ 12:54 pm

Knock knock. 5:00 am reminder for wake up. So we did. And started a fantastic safari into Yala national park. The old Landrover jeep belongs to us, no other couples on this trip. After passing the office a guide (so-called tracker boy) jumped in and now the bumpy roads are ours. Both of them, driver and guide, were realy take on and brought us to best places to watch animals. So we ‘re lucky to see a lot of elephants, specially a female with two baby elephants. Very exciting. We saw crocodiles and little warans as well. Yala National park was affected by the tsunami in 2004, 47 people died but no one animal. I guess animals must have a special sensor….. After 5 hours we went back to guesthouse and had a rest. It was a great experience on our first safari. Never done that before. Nice dinner (for me they served devilled chicken and french fries as pre-ordered… means very spicy *g*) when Paul and Nataly came back, they booked whole day safari. And we got Arrak from our guide which is like a cognac made from coconuts. Well, not too bad but one is enough. Next day breakfast was great too, fresh fruits and srilankan-style omelett with toast and butter. After that we started again to Mirissa, dropped Paul and Nataly in Tangalle and arrived 1 pm. We booked the Ocean Moon guesthouse in advance but as soon as we were in we went. The rooms much too expensive, dark and no interieur than a bett. No power at this time (nobody could tell me when they will have power again…) and costs 25 $ for a cabana. No thanks. Paradise beach club next door offers a double room, clean and nice with fan and power for 40 $ each night. Halfboard is included and wireless internet access as well. And they do laundry (and also underwear..). Well it’s more than a hotel than a backpacker guesthouse but price is ok and I pay for having comfort. At least the have a …. coffee machine! Amazing. Real coffee. We ordered as soon as we could a double shoot espresso and it is really good stuff. So we’ll stay here for 3 or 4 nights.

Morning wash for elephants….
with task is very rare in Sri Lanka...

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