Day 2 – Tuesday 14.11.17
04:30am. As dawn sets in the sounds gain strength. The pigs, the roosters almost ‘roar’ to intimidate each and every other. The chickens chat and chat and chat. I roll over and try to rest some more.
Today, second hike. The big male. Bullowan. As usual I go early to base. The water jars need filling daily, and so does the thermal can that serves as a water heater. My ‘homestay’ is in a nice ‘dead end’ of the village. On my way to base – dawn still rising I pass the buffalo of our neighbors. And dogs, cats, chickens. I love to pass by here. Sometimes it feels as if I am walking inside the ‘Photo of the Year’ book of National Geographic.
The hike kicks in at 08:00am sharp. We walk an hour. Almost hidden, at the left of the road is an opening in the jungle. We descend into a tiny river. The mahouts signal to be quiet. Suddenly there he is. The big bull. Majestically he came down. It is a small, narrow, little valley. Feels like a mini canyon. Bullowan seems to fill the whole space. In the typical ‘slow motion’ way of elephants. With amazing balance. Every step as sure and precise as a surgeon’s scalpel. For those who know, like a climber who is in ‘flow’.
Bullowan is too big for my little camera, so I enjoy him ‘live’. He crosses the road to engage the little river further downstream. He looks so confident. Never aggressive, always in awareness.
We stay with him as long as time permits. Alas, there always is a time to take leave of our gentle giants, Another memorable encounter.