Day 249… Ok… today is an early riser to consolidate bags into fewer room so we can checkmout. First up is another lovely Starbucks brekky before 4 of us head out to an elephant sanctuary and another real treat of a day. Out here we change into supplied clothing to spend half a day feeding g 3 elephants. A mother of 25 yrs… her 8 year old son and a “tiny” 8 month old baby elephant… who was still 4 feet high and weighed 300kgs. Feeding them sugar cane sticks and bananas was spectacular (junior needed hers peeled) before we took hand scythes out to the grasses and bamboo to slice down more chow (they eat 250kgs a day)… then we walked them out to a paddock to mix elephant medicine from tamarind, ginger, rice, sugar cane sugar, salt and bananas in a giant log-mortar and pestle. Then we ball it up for feeding. Then we walk through the jungle as the gigantic, magnificent beasts graze on more plants then we are treated to the elephants grabbing us in thier trunks and hefting us aloft! To say these guys were kind of strong is like saying that piranhas are kind of peckish. Then its lunch time and an hour siesta in super comfy bamboo solid hammocks before following them to a clay lick to watch them eat minerals, and finally out to thier bathing pond where we all get in with the gorgeous, gentle giants and scrub em down before they dowse us with water sprayed from the trunks and hefting us aloft again in a different way for our final group piccy. Then we get back with 80 mins to spare before we board another overnight train for Bangkok (approx 13 hrs).
In that time, Chris and I walk out to an illusion art gallery and power through an expansive 3d gallery full of interactive forced perspective and illusion paintings… a blast! Would like more time, but we are out of that so its back to final check out time and more railway shenanigans. The staff on board are quite freindly and have are good sense of humour. .. marked difference to most other train staff I’ve ever encountered. Beds flipped down… its off to hopeful sleep.