Chhop!

by Annalise on December 31, 2009

The beautiful Royal Chitwan National Park lies along the southern border shared by Nepal and India. It is in the flat jungle area rather than the Himalayas which is the immediate association with Nepal. Sophie, Robin and I had traveled there for just a few days earlier in December and found it to be fun and warm. We went for an elephant ride, a jungle safari and then Sophie and I spontaneously took up the offer of an elephant driver passing by our hotel to go help him bath…. the elephant.

The driver got the elephant to kneel down and we climbed up onto its back. As we passed an areas of tourists lounging along the river bank, a woman sitting near quickly took all of our electronic stuff so it wouldn’t get wet. She caught and held our watches, phones and even used our cameras as we continued our ride bareback on this huge but gentle beast lumbering toward the river. The rough hide and sparse hairs of the elephant were warm and leathery to the touch as we pressed our palms down for balance and to sense the next motion to anticipate. Once the elephant was in the river, the nimble driver climbed over the two of us saying something about having to move to the back and then we heard “Chhop!” and before we knew it we were enjoying an elephant shower. Trunk after trunk load of river water was sprayed on us from all angles. We laughed ourselves crazy. Once fully drenched, the driver guided the elephant into several sitting and lying positions to safely throw us off into the chest deep river. Each time we’d climb back up his leatherly side to the top or what we were hoping was the top; we’d only know once he stood again. This went on for about half an hour and although we both had a true shower when we were finished, the grin just wouldn’t wash off!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

carla December 31, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I’ve got a huge smile on my face just thinking of it.. what fun!

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