Elephant Trekking in Phuket
I got up late, had breakfast from the most delightful little street side Pad Thai outfit and went and found a cab driver whose cab had actaul doors, with the plan of have a bit of a look around the island, perhaps a view from one of the higher points.
The gentleman I eventually hired was quite the tour guide actually, and a bit of a salesman to boot. Sensing my undecidedness (if thats even a word) he rattled off about 40 possible activities I might like to try. I assumed at first that he might have a vested interest in having me see a Cobra show or go shooting, but after about 10 I realised that he just knows his island and is doing his very best to get buisness going - good on him, this country is having a tough time and everyone is trying so hard. We could do with more of that spirit in the world.
I settled for Elephant Trekking. Actually, I settled for Elephant. I couldn't quite make out what my friend was saying after the word elephant, but, the animal alone was enough to sell me. We could have been going to elephant group therapy for all I knew.
Once there though, it was fairly obvious. You, a mighty Indian elephant, and a nice chap with a sharp stick and nack for driving an elephant by the ears with his feet set off for an hour or so through the jungle. Not having a hat or sun-screen I thought I'd made a terrible, terrible mistake... However Fortune smiled and after a couple of minutes and a knowing grin, my guide offered me the use of an umbrella. Fat white guy sitting 10 feet off the ground in a kings litter on an elephant, holding an enormous umbrella... Yes, the locals were staring...
Of all the methods of transport devised by human kind, Elephant Trekking has to be the most unusual way to generate sea-sickness on dry land :)
Once we'd completed our circuit, I had to refuel my transport. I fed about 3 roughly chunked pinapples to my amiable steed who made very short work of them, spines, leaves and all. He then blew Elephant Snot all over me...