A view of nature from the back of an elephant
After a long lazy lunch and a few furtive looks at a dark monsoon sky, we jumped in the truck again and made our way to the elephant ride.
Life from the elephants back.
Again my conscience was itching, riding these graceful beasts just so we can have look around the jungle in many ways grates. That said, like we were told at the elephant sanctuary, if we don’t somehow monetize the elephants this way, poachers and criminals will do it in far more damaging ways. Mankind’s abilityto bring the beauty of nature down to solely a financial value really is a scourge on our species.
Anyway when we arrived we were immediately directed to the largest beast in the field. The girls were quick to note, that the fact that I was the fattest man in the room allowed us to get this graceful giant to carry us around the jungle. The cheeky buggers should really have been grateful, because the lofty heights of the back of this animal gave us an unforgetable afternoon.
Setting off, the loping gait of the elephant took a little bit ot get used to. That said, we were soon taking no notice of the rocking and rolling and were peering keenly into the jungle trying to make up for the mornings disappointment. Jumping at every movement real or percieved, saddled with the hope that we would see a great rhino, we were instead soon lolled into a comfortable daze that seemed almost impossible to break until we brushed through a particularly tight break in the trees and were rewarded with the most magnificent veiw. Wallowing by a water hole were two beatiful but sadly endangered Asian Rhino. Calm, graceful, and unfazed by our presence, these ancient looking animals reminded me of a time when humans were part of nature and not dominating it. I couldn’t help but wonder if we have dangerously overstepped the mark and should really revert back to a more sustainable place in nature for the benefit of ourselves and everything else that eeks out a living on this planet. The fact that we could endanger the very existence of such fantastic beasts just for short term financial gain really seems all the more ridiculous when you see these magnificant animals up close.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of more sightings, river crossings, beautiful jungle vistas and a wonderful feeling of being at least for a short time we were a part of nature rather than dominating and being disconnected from it.
Back to Kathmandu
The next day it was with a certain sense of disappointment that we raced back to Kathmandu to fulfull a few mediaobligations for WWF and more importantly wish Amand a fond farewell.