One thing I wanted to do in Thailand was ride an elephant. Most of the options for that also included hiking, orchids, butterflies and some form of rafting.
The butterflies were, well, disappointing I thought. Not many around, and not a lot of colour. But out the door, turn left and things picked up. More colours and varieties of orchids than I knew existed (note - I'm no 'green thumb').
Back into the van and a drive of about I'm not sure how long because I dozed a bit, then it was out and onto Shanks's pony.
The intended elephant ride from the mountain village which was our next stop turned into the lunch break. Not because we suddenly developed a desire to try elephant meat, but because the guides were an elephant short for our group and had to bring another one back in from the jungle - or so they said.
Noodles, pineapple and a Thai-time lunch break over, and we walked on a bit to meet up with the other guides and the elephants. I asked to ride on the elephant's neck rather than the 'chair' which was strapped onto it's back - a
little akward getting on, but we all made it. It started to walk off as soon as I got on but fortunately someone came running after it, because I couldn't see a steering wheel anywhere to turn it back around :-) Maybe it had also slept in and missed breakfast, or was just a 'hollow-legs' - it kept wandering off to the side for a munch. Sure, I don't mind, but ummm, it'd be appreciated if you kept away from that drop on the right....
Quite a smooth armchair ride - just a long way down!
Elephants returned and we were back on Thai time waiting for our ride to the rafting place. When we did get there and get organised the other two in my group Maggie and Colin, and our raft guide and myself jumped onto a few pieces of bamboo strapped together - or for the purposes of this story, a raft. We did try to capsize it at one stage but wasn't able to, so I just jumped in. As I was stepping to the edge of the raft my leg slipped down between a couple of the poles and earned myself some
decent bruises. Just as well I had insurance this trip or no doubt I would've broken something ;-)
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