Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I have trotted, cantered and galloped on a horse. I have ridden a camel, that swayed like a ship of the desert and now I have ridden an elephant.

This blog is becoming as fragmented as my mind! I thought it would help me to tie up all the loose threads that travel around my brain but instead it seems to be encouraging me to unravel.

I sat down to write this morning and this photograph came into my head. That's right I had an elephant up there - no wonder I can't remember anything!

It all started when we went to a charity auction and the opportunity to bid for an elephant safari was announced. Before I could help myself my hand shot up. The people we were sat with were mightily surprised, my husband took a long sip of his beer. The price crept up.... and so did my hand ... as did Mr Gee's eyebrows. Before I knew it I was the proud owner of a two night stay in a luxury tented camp for four people including an elephant back safari. We all have to do our bit for charity!

The drive there was an adventure in itself as the camp was situated on the other side of the Zuurberg mountains over a steep and rugged pass. Their website didn't mention that it was better to go in a 4 x 4 so we bounced there slowly in my son's new Audi trying not to think of the paintwork or look over the edge to the chasm below! We arrived shaken but not stirred. You could hardly call what we stayed in tents - they were really luxurious homes draped in canvas containing everything a person desires. There was even a small plunge pool on the wooden deck, from here we could enjoy nature and watch the elephants eat. They eat all day! So did we!

The elephant ride was wonderful - but I had not given any thought to how wide the elephants back is and I never imagined that I could get my legs to straddle one. We sort of hopped on from a deck constructed at the right height and once securely up there it was magic.

Elephants trundle - you feel that you are going so slowly but because of their size you cover a lot of ground whilst gently rocking from side to side. We rode bareback so I could feel his mighty backbone sway beneath me. They stopped regularly to snack on branches and it was altogether a different view of the the world perched up there, as this photograph shows. Afterwards we got to walk with the elephants, interact with them and feed them. An unforgettable experience! I am so glad that I put my hand up for this one!

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