Post-vacation, new schedule and new students at work, my mom visiting Korea, and dear friends back to teach for another year, I’ve been too busy and just having too much fun to blog! Sorry y’all! So I’ll post several brief topics about of our last few days in Bali, beginning with our visit to an elephant sanctuary:
Going to an elephant park and riding an elephant was something that I felt really conflicted about. A lot of animals you can interact with in tourist areas (particularly monkeys) are not treated well and abused so that humans can ride them or play with them or watch them do tricks. I did not want any part in that. David did some research and found Elephant Safari Park Lodge in Taro, just outside of Ubud. It’s a privately owned sanctuary for Sumatran elephants displaced by deforestation and boasts visits by many celebrities, including Steve Irwin. That made me feel a whole lot better but even up to the day of the tour, I was anxious about what we would see. Thankfully, I never saw any elephant hurt, mothers were kept with babies, we were far back from any major roads (well, as “major” as they get on Bali), and elephants each had their own trainer who cared for them and had days off to rest when their humans did once a week.
My favorite was all the baby elephants. They had their own play area to roam around in and even though they’re so big, they were cute. They ate up any attention you gave them, sprayed each other with water, and tried to use their little trunks for mischief, including stealing one woman’s backpack!
I would definitely recommend the Elephant Safari Park. David and I did a morning tour, which was great in the cooler jungle AM and included lunch and shuttle service from our hotel. The elephant rides are a separate charge ($75), but I think anyone would be disappointed if they didn’t spend the extra money for the experience.