22 Oct There is something in the water…
What could possibly be wrong with this scene? The sun is beating down and crowds of people are watching baby elephants playing in the river. However the scene changes rapidly. Shouts go up, the crowd presses forward to the river bank and there is wild splashing and screaming in the river.
Where am I? Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur to be exact. The 20 hour journey to Kuala Lumpur from Koh Phi Phi in Thailand was rather uneventful, merely long.
I decided to surprise some friends who flew into Kuala Lumpur. This was their first stop on the way to Australia. Spending a few days with them felt like a renewal of my own trip. I’ve settled into backpacking quite nicely and nothing in Asia really surprises me anymore. But for my friends everything was new and exciting, reminiscent of youthful wonderment at even the most simplest and novel things. It was nice to feel that again, like I too had just arrived in Asia for the first time. I really caught a second wind.
We booked a day tour which included the Batu caves, a deer park and the elephant sanctuary. One of the things I love about Asia is how accessible animals are. This time, among other things, I got to feed a bear honey and put a snake down my pants. Not something you do back in the UK very often.
The last part of our itinerary was the elephant sanctuary which also happened to be educational. After feeding and riding the elephants the last part was to ride the elephant into the river, be thrown from its back and then swim around with the baby elephants.
I heard the screams go up and everyone rush forward to get a better look. There must have been something good going on so it’s one of those occasions where you conform instantly and rush forward too. It took me a while to adjust to what was happening. The people in the river were frantically trying to get away from something. Do they have crocodiles or anacondas here? It was something far more sinister.
Then I caught a glimpse of it. It was about a metre long and as thick as a lamp post. The largest faeces I have ever seen! I was actually really impressed. The baby elephant had created quite a floater!
When nature calls…