Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thrown from an Elephant! (Part 2)

(From Matt's Facebook note)
...Next to the resort is a place where you can ride elephants. Tricia and I decided that it would be fun and that we wanted to do it. So we walk over to the place and tell them we want to ride an elephant. First, we met the baby elephant and Tricia fed bananas to it.

Then, she fed bananas to the BIG elephant. After feeding it bananas, the guy takes the elephant to get harnessed and then walks him back over to where we are. We climb up the platform to get on the seat and we start walking.

Right away Tricia didn't like it and wanted to go back. The seat was not very wide and there is nothing to hold us in and no rail in front of us either. So Tricia says she wants to go back but I assured her that it was ok and that we would be fine, so we kept going. After another couple steps Tricia asks the guy to take us back. I tell her again that we were ok. The guy driving the elephant also turns around and says, "Don't worry, safety number 1." He tells us the elephant is number 1 and then he grabs one of the ropes holding the chair to the elephant and repeats, "safety number 1!" So we kept going.

We come to a place where there is a very steep slope that the elephant has to walk down. As soon as I saw it I also wanted to go back. The guy told us that when the elephant starts to go down the slope we need to lean back. We said okay and leaned back. The elephant starts to walk down the slope but then stops. However, he was already so far down that we were sliding out of the seat. Let me remind you that there was no bar holding us in. At this point the guy could not get the elephant to go back up or down, so I knew that we were going to keep slipping out the seat. I knew we were going to fall out. (The picture doesn't illustrate the fact that we were ON TOP of an elephant, going down this slope. Slightly terrifying.)

At that point I was just trying to think of what would be the least painful way for me to land, and I was thinking that Tricia was going to really get hurt. Well what happens next is that the ropes on Tricia's side of the elephant that are keeping the seat in place come undone so the whole side of the chair flies up and we are catapulted out of the seat, from on top of the elephant and onto the ground. I landed face down on the ground and Tricia landed on her knee. After the initial shock of what happened left, we had a new fear of getting trampled by the elephant (or stabbed by his tusks). Luckily, that didn't happen. I was able to get up right away and just have a few scrapes and cuts, but Tricia hurt her knee pretty bad. She was unable to get up for a while and was laying on the ground in tears.

After both of us got up, it took some time to get adjusted and to realize that the elephant wasn't freaking out. He wasn't going to hurt us. But I couldn't find my shoe. I asked Tricia where it was, and in the midst of her tears, she laughed and said, "It's under the elephant's back foot." It really was. The elephant guy got him to move, and I rescued my croc... which is surprisingly just fine.

Here's a picture of the guy trying to put the seat back on the elephant.

(From the smaller picture up top, check out the elephant with the tusks that I was feeding bananas to. Notice the large hump on this back, above his shoulders. This is where our feet were resting. The seat was higher than that bump.)

To be continued...

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