Elephant walk

IMGP1997r

During our holiday in Chiang Mai in Thailand we decided to have a ride on an elephant –  to be honest the tour that we paid for was a for water rafting, which included a ride on an elephant.
Having ridden on an elephant at Chester zoo, when I was a child, I expected something similar – a slow walk around a large circle, or something similar. Wrong!

IMGP1999r

Each elephant carried two people, plus the handler who sat across the animal’s neck. For the record ours was called Jennifer, and whenever Jennifer felt hungry she would stop and help herself to a bunch of leaves or large twigs to chew on, during her walk around the area.

The elephant handlers had four animals, the above photograph is of one of them ahead of us as we approached the river.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jennifer caught up with the lead animal and wanted it to get a move on – there must have been something on TV that she wanted to see. Maureen and I are the couple at the back – Jennifer’s handler is the guy with the orange shirt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJennifer was quite happy now that she was out of the river.

IMGP2006r

We crashed through the undergrowth – and we went where ever Jennifer wanted to go . .

  IMGP2001r

Follow the leader . . .

IMGP2007r

She wanted a snack . .

IMGP2008r

Bon appétit, Jennifer.

We had to dodge the larger branches as she ripped them from bushes, waved them around her head, as we ducked, and she chewed on the best bits.

When we returned to our starting point we were encouraged to feed Jennifer with bananas. The trip on the elephant was about 40 minutes  – we realised later that we’d crossed this river on Jennifer as we rafted our way down stream.

IMGP2011rdon’t bother peeling them I like green bananas . . .

IMGP2014rMaureen talking to Jennifer, while offering bananas, the problem was Jennifer didn’t understand English – she was tongue Thai’d . . . (they get worse as I get older).

Baby elephant walk

Colombo

DSC05617rArrived in Colombo to be greeted, just below our cabin balcony, by an elephant.

DSC05626r
Not sure that I was happy with the use of the elephant as a photo prop.
The elephant, in my opinion, seemed to be stressed as he or she shook its head to make a large bell that was tied around its neck to ring as it shuffled its feet.
The animal’s left rear leg was chained to a bollard – the same one being used by our cruise ship – see the blue rope.

DSC05620r

Small stalls along the wharf.

DSC05621r

DSC05624r

DSC05623r

Our neighbour above, who is just aft of us, and the Sri Lanka navy across from us.

DSC05638r

We walked part of the way in to town – very quiet, because it was a public religious holiday – full moon day (12 times a year) when it is forbidden to sell alcohol. . . . .

DSC05627r

DSC05637r

A private ‘boat’- Vava, across from us, I wonder if it will be in Cochin (now called Kochi).
It was flying a defaced British red ensign. I couldn’t quite make out the defaced symbol, so I don’t know where it was registered.
Later we were told that it belonged to an Italian pharmaceutical billionaire, who lived in Switzerland.
What his vessel was doing in Colombo I have no idea . . but it looked deserted.
Swimming pool covered, heliport locked, and the water toys for rich boys, stowed away.

Maureen and I had a quiet lime juice at the Galle face Hotel – very oldie worldie – it was  refurbished last year, but sadly the old and distinguished doorman died last year who was well in to his 90’s.

DSC05628r

DSC05631r