A Travellerspoint blog

Saturday, 8th of march 2008

Chitwan, have you ever bathed an elephant? We did!

sunny 26 °C

Saturday, 8th of March 2008.

Knock knock, 7 o’clock.
07:30 breakfast.
08:30 with the jeep, which needs to be started at the front with a swinger, and Michael Schumacher as driver to the river for a kanotour.

With Suk and 2 German women in a long kano over the river: birdwatching and some crocodiles.
At one point Renske and I were joking about the croco’s. Most of them were laying at the riverside with their mouths open. ‘Have they been put there and is the battery empty?’

Back ashore a small walk to the Elephant Breeding Center, founded in 2005. Up to now there are 20 elephant babies born. We were very lucky, 2 weeks ago babies were born.
Feeding the ‘young’ elephants (2 and 3 years old) with special cookies.
Renske got scared one moment. She was feeding an elephant with only one eye (which she did not know at that time). He came closer and closer to her with his trunk, trying to find the cookie. Suk took pictures of us feeding the elephants. It was great fun to see one of the babies jumping and humping around. ‘Grapjas’, Suk called it.
(jolly joker).
A French woman irritated us too much. She let the young elephant eat the plastic bag from the cookies. Walking past the other elephants again she was holding a plastic bag in her hands. Later, going down to the river, she threw the plastic in the bushes. ‘Don’t you have pockets, you idiot?’

Time for another highlight of our trip: elephant bathing!!!!
Quite scared after my bad elephant-experience in Thailand, but hey you have to try everything at least once in you life. And why not on the back of a giant elephant as Bha Shanti Kali? (Kali means big, huge).

Ascending the wobbly tower from where we had to crawl from the back rear to the front of Bha Shanti. Me first, Renske behind me. She squeezed me hard, not to fall of. I could hold on to the elephant driver in front of me.
Going down the riverbank was scary and then the fun started.
The driver climbed to the back of us, so I got the full splash of the elephant shower. She showered us a few times from the front, then both sides, to make sure we got soaked.
On command of the driver Bha Shanti rolled over to the side, so we landed in the water.

[Saturday night I have been dreaming about this, that I got trapped under Bha Shanti. Telling this the next morning to Renske she answered: Ah, so that is why you were screaming in your sleep No, No, please stop, No don’t! ]

We could climb back on Bha Shanti, but instead we swam back ashore. The driver took Bha Shanti to the shore, where she lay down on one side and we scrubbed her with a stone. She really enjoyed this. Rolling over, scrubbing the other side. Back on her back for a last shower.
Suk took pictures of our bathing, they are great!!
Time for a hot shower now.

15:00: elephantride through the jungle.
The German women wanted a private elephant. The charge was 3.600 Rs, they were discussing it over and over, mentioning sharing. Renske and I were deaf and dumb.
If they could pay an airplane to fly over the Everest, they can also pay their own private elephant!
Finally it turned out that we had just one elephant, the four of us squeezed in the basket. A shame that Suk could not join us, but he instructed the driver to search for wild animals.
We saw a Rhino mother with her baby, later on a field 4 rhinos grazing, loads of deer, peacocks, crocodile, birds and monkeys.
At one point we spotted a Rhino mother with her baby in a small muddy river. Our driver made the elephant taking out some trees, following the rhino.
Besides the big wild animals we also met many small animals: spiderwebs in our faces, mosquitoes, flies, etc.

A 2 hour wonderful tour through the jungle.
When we came on an open field, another elephant came out of the jungle, trumpeting and running.
Our elephant slapped her trunk on the ground, it sounded like a gunshot. Our driver told us they were sisters, happy to see each other.
To our pleasure (yes, we are bitches sometimes) we saw it was payback time for the French woman we saw at the breeding centre. She sat on the running elephant, her face ugly from fear.
She was asking our driver if her elephant was angry, she was scared to death. Serves you right, Madam!

Arriving back at the hotel a long chat with Suk, diner, a slide show of the animals in Chitwan and again a long chat with Suk.
Happily tired from all the events of this day time to sleep.

Suba Rathri.

Posted by Sanghita 05:43 Archived in Nepal

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