Jungle Trek Day 2March 14, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C
I woke up much earlier than the rest of the group and took some time to myself to write and read my book before the crowd stirred. I think some of them slept almost 12 hours, recovering from the stomach bug. We had breakfast and then began our day of hiking.
I learned that the mountain we climbed yesterday is called Baby Mountain, and before lunch we did Mama Mountain then after lunch was Papa Mountain. In total we hiked about 6.5 km in about... 4 hours? I honestly don't remember. Again, it wasn't all that strenuous, it was just hot! We stopped partway for lunch in another village and had some instant noodles for fuel lol.
When we got to our final destination we were greeted by two Elephants! Such gentle creatures. They were just hanging by the water eagerly waiting for the treats we brought with us, watermelon and pineapple rinds. Their skin is rough and leathery and they took the fruit from us so gently after smelling it to make sure it was actually food. When they breathe out they're so loud and when they walk they're so quiet and they hardly leave a foot print. It must be true that Elephants remember everything because as soon as they smelled Toni they got all excited! Pretty neat :) So these two Elephants are owned by a couple of men that live in this... It's not even a village, but their home plus a few guest houses. They allow the elephants to roam on their land so that they don't get poached. Basically, the elephants come to the river each day to bathe and be fed by tourists when there are tourists, and otherwise are allowed to roam as they please. Each morning the mahoots (spelling?), the man that each elephant is bonded too or the caretaker, go out to find the elephants and guide them back to the river and houses. After they've bathed and eaten and done their elephant thing, the mahoots walk them back out into the jungle and let them do their thing. It's pretty awesome, because the elephants are being allowed to live as they're naturally intended to. Not cooped up in elephant camps for a tourist's viewing pleasure.. We went to their home!
Anyway, part of the experience with the elephants was getting into the water with them and being able to throw water over them to clean off the dirt (which they promptly covered themselves in again when they got out of the river). It was a pretty neat experience :) We stayed in the water long after the elephants tired of it, just swimming and relaxing.
At some point we got out of the river and hung out on the lawn just socializing. At a later time we ate some dinner and had a bonfire! That was lovely, and reminded me of home. It's cooler in the mountains for which I think we're all grateful for. When it was dark Eric and Toni procured two Lanterns that we released into the night sky with fire crackers attached to it. Before releasing them we wrote on them, one Lantern for things to let go of and one for things learned to remember. It was a bit of an emotional experience to be honest... The whole trekking thing anyway, made me miss Nepal and I was feeling a bit lonely even though I was in a group of people. But I got over it! And went back to the fire to continue playing a game that I can't recall the name of but was pretty fun. We split into 4 teams, and Each person put a word or phrase into the hat, and the first round you were able to describe the word so that your teammates might guess it, this continued until all the words were used up. The next round was acting only, but the same words as the first round, so it helped to pay attention and remember what slips of paper the other teams pulled. The third round was only being able to say one word to describe the item on the paper! It was fun, there were some ridiculous phrases in there that just didn't make sense but somehow we made it work. Good times!Read more