Back in Sauraha we had one final activity and Bishnu took us down to the river. Elephants were being scrubbed with stones and washed all over. Bob and tom climbed up onto the back of a female elephant which was sitting down in the water. The Mahout (elephant keeper) said some words and she stood up and began throwing water all over her back and the chaps clearly got a thorough soaking. With a different word from the Mahout, she shook her back and Bob and Tom came flying off into the river. Ed and I had a go and then Cas and Hat. It was a cool and funny way to end the morning. One elephant seemed to particularly like playing in the water and she would disappear until only the top of here head and back were visible, rise up for a big gulp of air and then splash her trunk to make lots of noise - perhaps a teenager?
For an early lunch we ate at a local restaurant and ordered five portions of Thali. I suggested that we ate with our hands, just like the locals, and we tucked in and had a delicious and memorable meal,
especially as a Elephant was 'parked up' by our table.
Our transport back to the hotel was horse and carriage and we split into two groups. As we trotted down the high street I asked the driver to stop. There was an old gated entrance to Chitwan Resort Camp and it seemed strangely familiar to me. I asked the owner when it was built and the green painted tin roof huts had been put up in 1988. I think this is where I stayed with Al, except back then there was no high street, just a dirt track, a few reed houses, lots of vegetation and only one telephone in the whole village. Later on I email him a photo and he also thought it looked very familiar.
We were back by 11.45am and we all felt like we'd had a whole day out given how much we'd seen and done. It was a roaster of a day, so we all avoided the midday sun in our rooms. Several trips to the pool to keep cool and chat.
We caught a jeep to the local village and took a garden table at KC's. It was still very hot and we
almost moved inside to escape, however, the sun went behind some trees and it was bearable. Ed and Hat played on a giant bamboo swing and I showed Bob snd Yom some early Ali G comedy sketches which set us off.
Naturally, a dip in the dark was required and it was a relaxing way to end a really great day.
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