maaliskuu 08, 2004

Maesa Elephant Camp

The next day we had better luck both with the scooter and the elephants. The tickets were more expensive than lonely planet told and elephant riding was nearly 12 euros, but it was all worth it.
We walked into this small "village" where the elephants and their mahouts live. The camp had about 73 elephants of all sizes and ages and they were very well taken care of. You could get really close contact with them of course under the watchful eyes of the keepers. It was obvious that the camp was more or less founded for the tourists, but it was all on the terms of the elephants.
The elephants did a show for us showing bathing in the river and after their skills in football, harmonica playing, dancing, painting and skills of the old when the elephants were used more for working in the forest. These elephants and mahouts were much older and had probably been working in the forest industry in their younger days.

After the show we went riding an elephant! One of the highlights of the day. Our elephant aged 30, was called Mae Porntip... figures.
It was better than any rollercoaster ride I have been on and it's good that I'm "not" afraid of heights. Sometimes we got a little upset seeing our elephant rider beating the elephant with a stick to make it go faster, but after thinking about it, even if a human would hit as hard as he could, for the elephant it would still be a tap on the head.

It was remarkable how careful and agile the beast was while crossing through country with sure steps , which would be almost impossible with a horse.

Our ride ended quite quickly, but we decided to stick around even after the closing hour and the mahouts didn't seem to mind.

We found a baby elephant nursery which had a new born, only 3 month old baby with its mother ,which seemed to be a bit nervous about all the people touching its calf. There was a one year old as well for whom I gave the last of our water which she happily sprayed over me.

After a while there were only us and a few more people and as the tourists lessened the at

Posted by carita at 08.03.04 11:42
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