Mahouting experts

Ban Nonsavath Travel Blog

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After a blissful nights' sleep in our wooden hut, we got up to a chilly morning and back into our mahout outfits that were still cold and muddy from the day before. We walked into the jungle in a line, looking like escaped convicts in our matching denim outfits. We waited on the track about 20 minutes walk from camp and then along came the elephants that the mahouts had already collected from their resting place. We all clambered on board our individual elephants, climbing on while the elephant lied down (us shouting 'map long, map long'!!) so that we could use their leg and then haul ourselves on (there really is no graceful way of doing this). Then came the wal back along the jungle path to the camp. It really is a wonderful experience to ride an elephant on the neck and we soon got used to the movement of them.

Once back in camp it was straight into the river for a drink and a morning bath. More scrubbing and laughing as we cleaned our elephants whilst they enjoyed submerging themselves in the cool water.

This was the end of our mahouting experience and we had to say goodbye to our elephants and pop back to our huts for a quick hot shower and to change out of our prison attire. We went to the restaurant for breakfast of eggs and baguettes and then it was time to take a truck ride to the start of our kayak trip. We kayaked down the river in 2-man kayaks to the elephant camp that we visited a few days ago with Thon. Here, we enjoyed the waterfall and some of the group took a swim in the cool water. A few dive bombs and lots of pics of the action later and it was time for lunch. Then it was back to the kayaking. It took about 3 hours to kayak down the river, past little bamboo hut houses built on the river side and locals fishing in the river.

The kayaking was quite long and tiring in the heat of the day and we were all relieved to see the camp. Once back, we were taken back to Luang Prabang.  

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Ban Nonsavath
photo by: siri