Day 5 – Nepal Day 4 – Chitwan Elephant Day

We had canoe ride first thing in the morning.  The canoe was very narrow.  According to our guide Santa, it was craved out from one single tree trunk.  So it should be very solid and safe ;-) Yet the feeling of sitting on was the exact opposite.  The canoe kept on swaying from left to right.  I had a constant fear that it would tip over in anytime (this feeling was especially strong when we were close to the “vegetarian” crocodile).  After the canoe ride/bird watch, we had an hour and a half of jungle walk.   Before we started the walk, we had safety warning that if we rhino (which can be commonly seen in Chitwan park area), we should be prepared to RUN RUN RUN for our life.  Even rhino is vegetarian, it is very big and can be very harmful if it decides to attack human.   Luckily the jungle we only saw white/black face monkeys far far away at the top of the tree.  No need to run for our life but my friends were a little disappointment how uneventful this has turned out to be.

At around noon, finally the event I had anticipated the most — “Elephant Bath” .  The elephants in the breeding centre take their bath daily around noon.  With 150 rupees (which is less than $3 CND) we got to ride on the elephant while it was splashing water.  Later the elephant knee to let us get off and then it laid down on its side and we could brush and wash it.  It was such a fantastic to feel elephant skin next to mine.  Its hairs was spares but very long and tough hair.   I really feel how small us human are when sitting on an elephant.  I was sitting up in the front, follow by my friend Betty sitting right behind me and Elaine (a new friend we have met during this Chitwan resort tour) set at the end.  I tried my best using all my upper body strength to hold on the rope around the elephant neck because every time when the elephant dip its head down to suck up some more water for splashing, I felt I would slide down from its head and drop into the river.  The river is rather shallow, no fear of drowning.  But it must really hurt if I indeed would have fallen.   It was such a memorable experience I truly enjoyed!!

Later in the hot afternoon, we went for elephant safari jungle ride.  This on the other is a very uncomfortable experience.  Four people cramped into a wooden basket.  The legs position very uncomfortable.  I also wonder the elephants would rather not be stripped by these heavy basket.  I felt awful that I was hurting the elephant.  Next time I will probably not consider riding on elephant like this.  Learning to train or giving elephant a bath seems a lot more humane.

After the elephant ride,  one of my friend and myself was wandering around (was only planning to get to the store just outside of the resort)  But we kept walking and walking and before we knew it, we were in the local tourist market.  It was very relaxing and wonderful.  I also found a rhino t-shirt and a wooden elephant box that I really like!!   Even for the tourist store, it would not turn on the light until a customer has walked in… can’t help but think of how much energy I am wasting everyday.

In the evening, a group of us played crazy 8, learned black jack (like crazy 8 but more combination and red jack and cancel out black jack punishment), use silliest way to play poker(using rolled up tissue paper as balls as fake money).  Still fun, but couldn’t play long because my legs were very itchy from mosquitoes bites…

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