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2004-10-28 08:02:00

I am trying to pound out a story on my computer for my newletter. I am behind, too late, time is going on and on, and I have not told you folks in a newsletter what I am doing. Contrary to some mis-guiede belief, what is in the blog is not necssarily in the newsletter and what is in the blog is not in the newsletter, sometime it is close, but not the same same, it is different.

You really have to read the newsletter to see the photos easily, but I wrote this story and I am excited to tell you about Elephants, so here is another rambling story of mine about the Elephant, and before I have time to change it here is the uncensored meat of the story.


I have had a few experiences while traveling that have my attention, not just a gaze and a wonder, but sometimes there is something that takes this old jaded traveler and wakes me up. The trip I took recently to the Royal Chitwan Park in southern Nepal did this; it took me to the highest alert stage on the travel index.

A similar experience happened in Pie de La Cuesta, although that experience is not easy to experience to repeat. I would go for a daily morning walk down the beach, then one day I walked out my bungalow and sleepily wandered down to the beach. It was gone, like a huge shovel, held by the hand of God came down and scooped up my pile of sand and took it away. The residents of the beach were using ladders to lower themselves to the water level. My nice soft sandy beach had been dredged away and would take months to resume it former stature.

This is want puts my travel senses on alert, and one reason I am looking to go visit an active Volcano. There was so much sand moved you would say to yourself,
“This is impossible to a happen while I was sleeping.”


So everyone has seen an Elephant, in the zoo, or walking around giving a ride to children. This I now realize is an insult to the Elephant, it now almost give me the same feeling of anger when some young 22 year old wanna be rich and smart starts to dis-respect the extremely slow older man of wealth and fame, but past his prime and kicking over 80. This older person is a proven asset to the world; the new wanna be is un-proven.

I have visited the Jungle in Costa Rica, the Jungle of the Amazon River, went into the Jungle on the island of Koh Tarutao in southern Thailand, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and on and on…

Truthfully, there is no way to visit the pure jungle. It is not a place for people; it is a place for animals and birds. The real jungle is too thick, too much water, to many thorns and mosquitoes and is beyond the will of a modern man. I often carry a machete if I get near a jungle just so it is possible to get in a fair fight with the jungle. I need an army of tools to attack the jungle, or…


An Elephant I have learned while looking down from up on top of a mountain of moving power that and elephant take a look a the jungle and says to himself,
“I can’t be bothered”
Then proceeds to walk ignoring, but scaring the crap out of me as it just walks toward what seem to be a wall of green trees, brush, grass, and every way the world could grow too much green stuff and somehow we move it. Wow, hard to explain when it takes it trunk and removes a tree big enough to put any tree hugger into an ecological spasm what it feels like? This is like the power of one of them tanks I seen in Iraq, when they turn on the jet engine inside or maybe a bulldozer when you buy the giant economy size.

This Elephant, me, a Park Ranger, my friend, and the driver that kept hitting the Elephant on the head very hard for some unknown reason were chasing down Rhinos. Looking down, turning, spinning, and changing direction on a fast and furious quest to see the Rhino, before it took off. A Rhino is afraid of an Elephant and so am I, but an Elephant is afraid of a Tiger. I am afraid of a Rhino and in that one day I learned that in the Jungle, I am not capable of defending myself alone. I need an Elephant, money, guns, and lawyers…

A Rhino will sit down and smash the grass, big feet, tracks, broken trees, and walking down the river and climbing to the other side. An elephant does not care if the hill in front is straight up, it will proceed to climb, and the riders just hold on and hope. Please do not fall! Nevertheless, the animal is sure footed, and I am sure better protector of my frail body than even Tarzan. So from our safe perch we seen what I have learned from reading to many Wilbur Smith books is called spoor, we was following the footprints or spoor of the Rhino.

What does it feel like when an Elephant breaks into the river, and starts going down river, waving it trunk back and forth, clearing the path, tear the world apart and say, Yo, I be bigger than you, so move.

I think in terms of Alpha theory, red meat, and I will tear off your face, like any good Big Dog, but that Elephant was a bigger dog than I.

Like my friend Mike says to me, Andy if you ever get mad at me, remember whatever got you confused, I am always on your side, even if I am right, or you are right, remember you are right, and I am temporarily insane, I am on your side, and please do not turn your rage or attention toward me. I am on your side.

So for me, I plead in my brain, please be with me Elephant, do not for a second forget I am at your mercy, sitting on your back, you are my protector from Rhinos, the Jungle, Tigers and any other comers!

I was NOT visiting the Royal Chitwan Jungle when I took this Elephant Adventure, but was just outside the Jungle and through friendship, and exploring the world a group of Nepali boys took me for free on this trip. You may be able to repeat with a pay to play trip to the Jungle, but I think it will be less than what the real trip was, note that it did cost me one chicken for lunch, and I paid the one low-caste rice farmer 500 Rupees to take us on an even more frightening walk through the jungle where we seen two Rhinos. I was on foot within 20 paces of a Rhino in the still dark of morning, without enough trees to climb. The Nepal boys kept saying, if we see a Rhino, climb a tree.

I would constantly be counting trees.
Wow, only 5 trees and 7 people.
Wow, only 4 trees and 7 people.
This is not right, no trees and 7 people.
Hey, did you guys see any trees?

There is a Rhino, where is my tree?

For sure ride the King, the Elephant, your protector.
I wish you were there.


Fun to write about things that are intense. There is an adventure in my brain, because I traveled to another place, I try to share it with you, because who would want to see something like an elephant and not tell your best friend?


This is a small tree, hard to take photos when the Elephant is ripping up a 6 incher as the Elephant is in attack mode, and I am holding on for dear life.

A rice tending, low caste family. Not rich, but in some way a lot more socially free to be themselve than the stuffy upper class Brahman. The Brahman have arrange marriages, cannot do this, must do that, have to pay for their brides, the parents, the cousins, and anyone else with a hand out. Poverty has to pay for no one.

Note that I learned tha poverty is defined .. (I think by United Nations) .. as earning less than one dollar per day. These people are probably rich in rice, and poor in dollars. I really have not seen many hungry people, I do see a lot of drunks with no money.

Hey kid, put it back in your pant if you can find them.

For those of you not on the program, or have not figure out the plot.
UP top you can subscribe to the Blog, here is a link to go subscribe to the Newsletter, with both of them you can at least get a clue as to what happens on the road, in never never land that only Peter Pan can really understand or a traveler.

The real world is a lot different than TV, CNN and BBC make it up as they go, I do try my best to not censor my thoughts, my mother said the other day, it is like you start typing and anything that pops into your head you type into your computer... I said, Mom, hard to understand for me how a person would want to edit their diary. Like saying to yourself, oops, that is not what I thought.

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