One night only
click on the photos to enlarge them
We flew from Lombok to Bali with Merpati air no complaints, I'd fly with them again. Arrived at the domestic airport fully expecting to just jump into a cab and drive to Taro, not so easy. Beyond belief in Bali of all places they wouldn't let the four of us with our bags in one cab, you have to be kidding! We had already been travelling for nearly two weeks, we all fitted in one car everywhere else.
We argued our point for ages at the taxi office but they stood firm and wanted 600,000 for a van. We remained friendly and tried our hardest to get a fair price, I told them we could get to Pemuteran for less than that!! I was so annoyed that we didn't yet have a local sim card and couldn't contact a driver, well no use getting upset. We had a huge crowd of taxi drivers around us, they were all nice about it, saying they understood but those were the rules... hmmm.
So we grabbed our bags and followed our driver. I wanted to find an atm machine and went into a shop while the driver got the car. When I came out Ross said "look" while holding up our passport folder, I didn't know what he was showing me "What?", "a guy just came up and gave me this". " What do you mean?" I asked.
While he was standing there with the kids a porter came over and said "is this yours?", knowing porters as we do he just waved him off, "no thanks", the guy was persistent but Ross wouldn't make eye contact LOL as the porter started to walk away Ross looked up just in time to see his picture in the passport!
I had dropped our passport folder with all four passports plus about $1000 cash! What a wonderful porter to give it all back, can you believe Ross was in so much shock he didn't even tip him!!!!
Ross kept on saying he felt sick, me being me just smiled and said I felt fine because I never really knew they were gone:) I was much more careful after that though.
We had just spent the last few nights on Gili Air, a tiny island off the coast of Lombok. Gili Air had no fresh water, we spent our time there swimming in the ocean, the hotel only had salt water showers. I arrived looking rather feral.
Can you imagine how surreal it was to go from the sand and salt waters of Gili Air to this five star hotel ?
There was even moisturizer for your hands, in case they were dry from washing? OMG totally out of our normal Bali environment, but quite happy to enjoy the ride:)
As is our habit we drop the bags then head out to explore, first stop feed the elephants.
We wander around the park and are very impressed, it is extremely clean and well organised. The staff are wonderful and everything is set out for us, they ring our room about ten minutes before our two elephants arrive to take us dinner.
Yes that's correct, an elephant came and picked us up from our room and took us to dinner:)
I'm a little afraid of horse riding as I feel like I can't control them. Lets just say I had to let go and not over think things right about now...
Riley and Tanna on their way to dinner
We ate dinner... then it was time to go on our night safari, it was also time for a huge,big,massive,scary storm to start!!
We are given ponchos and assured for the fourth time (I keep asking), that the elephants are fine, the rain, lightning and wind doesn't bother them. I can't help it..."are you sure?"... "YES", "ok ok... I'm coming"
Ok Tanna are you ready?
Tannalee and I learned quickly that thongs are extremely hard to keep on your feet when your on top of an elephant and there is a torrent of rain running down your legs, so we took them off. Therein lies one of my all time best travelling memories.
I'm riding on top of an elephant through the Jungle in Ubud while a freak storm rages around us, knocking down trees and whipping us with rain and branches.
It is black except for when the lightening flashes, Tanna and I pretend that we live in the jungle and our elephant is taking us home to safety.
My feet are moving up and down in rhythm to the elephants steps, the rain is cool but the soles of my feet are warmed by the thick skin they are resting on. "Remember what it feels like Tanna' I yell over the storm, "really, really, feel it Tanna"
I will never forget this, I go from being terrified of the storm, to feeling very lucky. After all.. anyone can go on a normal elephant ride.
We thank our elephants and mahouts, then head back to our rooms where fresh water, fluffy towels and moisturizer await!!
Our little cake
Let me tell you this elephant was dirty!
Worth the money?? Absolutely!!
Cheeky little babies!
Going on a day time ride, picked up from our room again
During this trip the elephants helped to clean up the mess from the storm last night, while we ducked around fallen branches etc.
Ohhh... don't look down.
Ross and Riley in front, us girls following
Time to get off
Just thought I'd show you how awkward I can be:):)
Wonderful, amazing 24 hours, but that was enough .....
Next stop Greenfileds hotel for fireflies, rice fields and 'nice cow'.
The driver from Greenfields comes to pick us up, as we drive towards Ubud there is a big clean up going on from the storm the night before! Everywhere we look the road is a mess and people are picking up branches etc.