It's All Irrelephant...

You know that thing on your bucket list, like at the top of your list that you have been begging to do for years? Yeah, that was me and elephants. I have wanted to ride an elephant for as long as I can remember. So when Andrew decided to take me to Thailand, there was one thing that would be top of my list.

Patara Elephant Farm ticked all the boxes for me. There is a lot of animal cruelty in Thailand, for example, many tigers being drugged just so we tourists can visit. So that wasn't what I was looking for. I wanted animals that were loved, cared for, and happy in their habitat.

There are a total of 52 elephants on their farm with tons of tourists visiting for their elephant fix every year. They want you to care for the elephant and not just leave with a jolly ride...Andrew called this paying to work, but I was happy to do so!

We were picked up bright and early at our hotel, and traveled 40 mins out to the jungle.When we got out of the jeep, we were in a courtyard surrounded by elephants running in every direction. I'm not going to was a little frightening when you see how big they are!

But I settled in pretty well...

We all huddled together for a little chat about the day, then we got to walk around as a group with the elephants and feed them. Now, when you have two massive elephants on either side, and another coming straight for you, you do slightly think it may be your last breath. But they are so calm and loving, I soon was running about with them.

We all got our own elephant too. Meet Pata and Menoi (no idea how to spell them, so I shall spell how I say it!)...Menoi was 3 years old, with big mama Pata to keep watch over her.

And aren't the shirts they gave us just so glamorous? No? Well wait until you see the trousers...

Elephants seem to eat everything in sight, with the basket of bananas getting munched up in 5 minutes flat.

Andrew wasn't quite as cuddly with his elephant, but we all know he secretly loved it. He just kept repeating "It's not often there is something bigger than me".

I walked around with the baby, wanting to cuddle it...but every time I tried t it ran away!

We then brushed down the elephants with instructor just kept shouting at me "HARDER, HARDER".

Then we got taught some Thai, like "ma" means "come", and you grab their ear, and they walk - just like a dog!

This walk lead them to a well deserved hosing down.

Before the instructors, who can I say are amazing, walked us all down the road for us to start our climb onto the elephants.

You think your going to get loads of training when your dealing with such huge animals. But no. Over in Thailand it is learn by doing, learn by getting on and going from there!
There are no steps up onto their backs, just their trunks and a big push!!

One by one we got lifted by their trunks onto their backs, then you turn yourself around and sit bare-back on the elephants head. Ahhh!

You could sense the gracefulness...

Big push...

Little more...

YAY! And we were off...

We walked through the rivers, with the beautiful views of the jungle in the distance with the towering hills. I thought I would be scared, but it was so calm and lovely. The elephants would stop to munch on trees and splash in the water. All six of us in the group just sat back and enjoyed the trip.

We even stopped for some couples photos.

But Andrew soon got sick of that.

We arrived in a field, beside a stream, and got gracefully off by the trunk again.

I tried to get an elephant selfie, but they seemed to think this was irrelephant (like my pun, eh eh??)

We walked up to a beautifully laid table with a typical Thai lunch. It was a feast for us all!
Everything was wrapped in banana leaves with rice and fruits, chicken and pork - the lot!
I loved tasting all the different foods, especially when you werent quite sure what it was, but that is what these new experiences are for!

We then got our stuffed-selves onto Menoi again to head back.

I was completely in love, and still am! This was a dream coming true and we were all having so much fun, meeting the elephants, the workers and the other travelers with us.

But there was one more adventure in store, washing them in the river!

So we stripped down to our swimsuits and got into the river with the elephants.
My scallop swimsuit with is my favourite swimsuit EVER, so comfortable and flattering on is from Topshop, but sadly its sold out. There is a polka-dot pink and blue one here if your not feeling the black and white.

Its a strange think walking around an elephant, with their massive feet no-where to been seen under the water. You think they are going to stamp on your, or wrap their trunk around your ankles, but thankfully my imagination running wild didn't last for long.

My instructor was great, we even had a bit of teasing going on, but this was my "You want me to do WHAT?" face!

It all ended in laughter and a bit of a drenching from the elephants!

We traveled back to the main courtyard to say goodbye to by beautiful Pata and Menoi...they said elephants never forget, and neither will I! 
One funny moment was when we arrived back and there was an American couple with their son and his wife all sitting there miserably. We asked if they had a good time, to which they replied that the woman's elephant had mounted another and she had fallen off. Her son was also too scared of heights to even get on the elephant the whole day. I know I shouldn't laugh, but their faces were priceless!

I hope someday I will get to try this again because it was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. If you ever get the chance, don't hesitate, just DO IT! Andrew said I couldn't bring her back on the plane...Don't know why...

Cheers to an amazing life with new experiences to never forget...
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