Today we had booked a combination tour that seemed to be quite cheap – especially as food was included – so we could not afford to turn it down. The itinerary was – kayaking through the mangrove swamp, followed by a swim in a natural pool, followed by a visit to an elephant sanctuary for a bit of elephant ‘trekking’.
It took quite a while to get to our first destination as we were the first pick up and there were a couple more to be collected at various points along the way. Our journey had the iPhone foxed for a while as when trying to get our bearings I found that according to the iPhone we were actually driving in the sea, some 5-10 miles in at that!
We finally reached our destination for kayaking and to be fair from the jetty we could not really make out a great deal of the area we were about to canoe round, so we got ready – two-to-a-‘boat’ – me and Captain Liz, and off we went.
We started at the edge of the mangrove forest round some of the limestone cliffs but after a short while we were soon in the thick of it. The forest is a protected area and the trees themselves hard as nails – even keeping the mighty sea at bay! During the course of the trip we came across two sets of monkeys on either side of the bank of one watercourse who actually did not get on very well! The mangrove forest was great but we soon got into open water again where we stopped off at a sandbar for a swim in the water and a spot of posing whilst photos were taken – argh!
After the canoeing we were also fed which is suspect one in tomorrow’s HORROR!
From the canoeing activity we were then transported to a small natural pool so that we could all have a dip – very nice – and a go on a Tarzan swing – not so nice, as no-one looks good on a Tarzan swing and Liz insisted on filming me – does my bum look big on this? – lol.
From the pool we went onto Elephant trekking – this was one of those places that has you in two minds about whether or not the elephants actually like what they are doing but they seemed to be well treated. First we were shown paper made of ‘elephant poo(!)’ – yes, it had been washed and treated and coloured so you could have your own flavour of elephant poo paper! After that we were shown to a guy hand painting cloth in various colourful designs – could not fault it, very clever. Next was the main event – the Elephant trek. For the trek we went round this quite large field past some cows and then through the stream at the end but five minutes in, the driver (mahoot?) had had enough and passed it onto one of us – at this point I volunteered Liz being as she has much more experience of driving etc and we gave our (ex)driver our camera so he could take the odd snap or two. This unleashed the David Bailey in him and he went mad – if you stitched the million or so photos he took together you would have a film! It was great, Liz was a great driver and him a great archivist recording all that took place (even the bloody cows!), he was just a little over-zealous with the camera. We were then allowed to feed the elephants, who it turns out can tell the ripeness of fruit and veg simply by feeling it with their trunks – amazing eh!
Next time to go home, after such a great day we decided to treat ourselves and visit one of the foodstalls by the river which became suspect number two in tomorrow’s ‘Day of HORROR!’. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a bar and got into a conversation with an American called Dick who was extolling the difficulties of American Football and how no-one lives after playing it he also told us about his son who had had an arm and leg removed and yet seemed to be doing loads with his life shows that if you have the willing you can do anything really.
Then mid-way through the night IT began – the Dawn of the Day of The Dead!