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After this I went to Elefantastic–I was early which meant I got to feed the elephant for longer! My elephants name was Chanchal which means something similar to tricky woman, cunning woman, or siren which she was! She seemed a bit moody and went from liking me and listing to me to not liking me and kicking me (everyone said it was a play kick though…). The best place to pet an elephant is on the start of their trunk between their eyes or just under their eyes under their trunk.

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Watch out for the end of the trunk! It’s slimy.India 1120

After they were fed we ate lunch at the owners mom’s house and I was grouped with two English people because they were the only others to show up on time (1pm, everyone else got there around 2pm so hadn’t gotten to know their elephant yet).

After that was the bareback ride which I loved! You feel much more connected to the animal than when you are in the box on their back. I thought it would be really really bareback, but they have a blanked strapped to them, I guess not to hurt them or us since we are sitting on their spine. We walked by their pool and though trees.

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After this we painted them. I asked for an outline and got a Jewish star on it (I thought it was odd until later I found out that the 6 pointed star is common in Hindu and Muslims religions as well). I thought she didn’t like it too much because that was when she kicked me! Maybe it was play because I tickled her or something. I was also told to put my name on her forehead. Why not her name?

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Next was a ride in a box on her back. This was supposed to be though the national park which has tigers (ones born and raised in captivity so they cannot go into the wild, so if they are near the edge of their enclosure we would have seen them) monkeys and over 200 types of birds but that was closed because of Holi. They made up for it by giving us tons of Strongbeer (8%) and a ride though the desert. I didn’t like being in the cage as much because it just seems like you are floating and not necessary on an elephant. It seemed like Chanchal didn’t like it as much either because she made a bunch of sounds and kept trying to go off the course. This got her hit with a stick which I saw happen to a few other elephants too and made me sad. I thought they were supposed to be nice to the elephants here. I’m sure it’s nicer than other places, but still.

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After this the owner tried to end it because the sun had not been out all day (not true) and the water would have been tool cold to have the elephants have a bath. The English man and I said we were sad and all of a sudden the water was warmer (the sun came out for about 2 seconds–water doesn’t warm that fast!) and we got to take Chanchal for a bath. I didn’t think it was cold. She was laying on her side and that is when she slapped me in the butt. Again, when I was washing the area where I painted, so maybe it did tickle her.

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Lastly, we got T-shirts and brochures. I seemed to be the only one at Elefantastic to celebrate Holi and I don’t understand why–you’re in India (specifically Jaipur where it’s biggest) for a huge fun holiday and you don’t do it?

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