Freitag, 24. Februar 2012

Chiang Mai, Thilassou, Noi and sore legs from Elephant riding !

20th of Feb and after a quick 3/4 hour flight we are back in Thailand again and ended up in the North in Chiang Mai, Thailand's second biggest city! A driver from Funky Monkey GH picked us up and after a 30 min into the Old Centre of the town we were welcomed at Funky Monkey Guesthouse by Nuy and her British husband David! Kjell felt at home straight away as they have fish as well as two sweet dogs, Mutley and Fat Dog. They all became best friends straight away. David and Nuy are just great hosts. The room is incredibly spacious and hooorray for Kjell: they do have Kid's TV. We just relaxed, discussed a few options on what to do the next days, went out for a nice Dinner at the Tiger Kingdom Restaurant and went to sleep early!

21st of Feb and we just went discovering the Centre of Chiang Mai and went for a swim in one of the Hotels that David recommended to us! After an hour of diving and swimming it came to an aprupt end as Kjell cut his toe really bad. We didn't do much for the rest of the day and just relaxed in the GH, having Dinner there as Nuy is a brilliant cook!

22nd of Feb and this was a very special day... we got up at 6.30, had a big breakfast and were then picked up by a taxi to drive a 45 min trip into the Mountains to the Patara Elephant Farm. I had picked this Elephant experience really cautiously and according to Tripadvisor this was supposed to be really awesome.... It was!! We were introduced to the owner, his philosophy and vision, the staff of several experienced Mahouts and - the Elephants! Patara exists for 10 years now and since then they had no death but 5 births to be announced! The latest elephant girl born was only 2 months old and she was strolling around us all the time and blowing her trunk like an old one when she had lost sight of her mother. So sweet, so funny, so great! I wasn't sure whether Kjell was going to be ready to ride his own Elephant and go along with the Mahout or just share one Elephant with me.... But there wasn't even the question of it! They say at Patara that they try to choose the Elephant according to the person and therefore he got this "small" Girl Elephant Thilassou (meaning Waterfall) and was quickly best friend with her and the Mahout Tip. I only looked after him once or twice and could then completely concentrate on my pregnant Elephant Noi (little) and Mahout Lai. We started by learning the health check of an Elephant including a close examination of the poo...;-) Several times we took Thilassou as example and therefore Kjell was upfront most of the time with the Owner Pat talking to the other guests. He wasn't shy at all and afterall the first to climb on his Elephant! We went to take them for a cleaning bath, scrubbed them and splashed them with water! You could really tell they were enjoying us... The whole time pics and videos were taken of us and we did not have to worry about cameras and good shots. After feeding and getting to know them, health checking and bathing them we went for a ride through the Jungle! I have to admit that at the beginning I really felt incredibly uncomfortable as the Elephant was moving his head pretty often, trying to grab bamboo sticks and leaves... but after a while I got used to it and will never forget this American guy in front of me who really had to struggle hard with his stubborn Elephant and her active baby Elephant! We had excellent food on huge banana leaves and went for bathing together with the Elephants besides the Waterfalls! That was such a fun thing thing as the Elephants kept on splashing us with water.. Kjell was out of his mind for joy! We rode back and could not believe that we had already spent 9 hours at the Farm! We got the chance to say Goodbye to our Elephants and somehow this was a very close and intimate moment! I will never ever forget these sane, clear, interested eyes looking straight into my heart! Kjell told me he had felt the same... On our way back, Kjell fell asleep straight away .... At night he stated that this was the best day in his whole life! Again and again he kept on repeating "Mom, I really rode an Elephant!"...

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