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Khao Sok National Park, Day 4, Tuesday

Written on: Tuesday July 10th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

The noises of the jungle hadn't managed to keep us awake for long the night before, even with the ever increasing frog chorus! We also heard several loud bangs on our hut, which we had been warned were monkeys playing around in the area! Still, we were pretty tired after the night on the train, so we got a good night's sleep. Waking up at 7am wasn't as easy though, but it had to be done for the elephant trekking expedition!

It had started raining again by 7:30am, but we had been informed that the elephant trekking would be on no matter what the weather was like, so we went to the meeting point for breakfast. We rode a songthaew for 30 minutes to get to the trekking centre, where the elephants were all lingering around waiting for us! It was a different experience to the elephant ride in Nepal. For a start, it was far more comfortable, with a bench that seated two people, rather than a hard wooden box for four! Our elephant was a 40 year old female named Haito, and seemed very placid. Once we set off though, we realised it had a mind of it's own, and her trainer seemed to find it amusing as she tried to walk into trees to wrench down branches for tasty snacks!!

The scenery was different altogether to Nepal, with lush greenery everywhere - a typical rainforest scenario! We spent a lot of the time wading through fast-flowing rivers, and muddy trails but the elephants didn't seem to mind! Half way through the ride, we stopped at a set of waterfalls for around 15 minutes so that the elephants could rest, and we could have a swim. It was pretty cold though due to all the rain, so we opted out, but Ellie and Jenny braved the water (and the leeches!).

Once we arrived back at the trekking centre, we were handed bunches of bananas to feed our elephants and this was a fantastic experience! They were so greedy, and hungrily grasped at our hands as soon as their trunks sniffed out the bananas. The trunks are so strong, and a couple of times I felt my hand get a bit squashed in their grip! It was another thing I'll never forget!

On the way back to the resort, we made a quick stop for a photo opportunity, and then had lunch before planning the afternoon's activities. The idea was to go 'tubing' on the river, which is basically floating along on massive rubber rings. The rain was still falling, and it didn't look like it would be feasible, but the guides decided it would be more fun, so we got ourselves ready to brave the cold water!

We headed out, rolling our tubes, at about half past twelve, everyone shivering as we walked! We had had to take our clothes off before we set off, so our attire of bikini and life vest didn't do a whole lot to ward off the chilling rain! After a short pep talk of what to avoid, and what to do if we fell out of the ring, we were pushed into the middle of the river and the current took over from there! It was great fun! Normally the route we took should take around an hour, but we did it much faster due to the higher water levels, and the faster current. It was pretty much like a tamer version of white water rafting, but in a giant inner tube - fantastic! We had to duck and dive under branches along the way, and both Sophie and I sustained some minor grazes, but we were laughing the entire time, and were glad we did it, despite the terrible weather.

That night, we had booked to go to a barbeque at the 'Rasta Bar' across the street from our hotel. It was a lively atmosphere, with good food, cheap cocktails and cheesy music - what more could you want?! The locals seemed to enjoy a good dance, and we had a great night, leaving at around half past eleven to rest our weary eyes! Our last day at the National Park had been good fun, but we were definitely looking forward to hitting the beach at Krabi the next day! Bring on the sunshine!!

 

From Kate on Jul 11th, 2007

Loving the blog and you're doing so brilliantly - intrepid, dealing with local transport and food: so much better than so many tourists who stick to aircon taxis and organised tours. You should be really proud of yourselves!

From Mum on Jul 11th, 2007

What fantastic fun, you're both so lucky...and brave! Enjoy the horse riding on the beach tom. Love Mum xxx

From Pauline on Jul 12th, 2007

Sounds brilliant - Martyn would have loved the tube ride down the river! Enjoy the sun and sand but don't get burnt. Love P xx