We then walked down part of the hill where we meet another group of elephants by the river. Bath time! But first we had to travel across the river in a home made cable car which was an experience on its own. Once we got to the other side, we walked the elephants into the water and threw buckets of water all over them and rubbed their rough skin. Our elephant loved filling his trunk full of water and spraying it over his head. Afterward we fed the elephants more bananas and sugarcane.
It was then time to say goodbye to the elephants and make our way to our means of transport to get down the hill. We took a car to the water rafting point. Now when I say took a car, I don't mean sat nicely in a seat in the back. We were put in a pick up truck which had 3 rubber dinghies stacked on the back. Our seats: the top of the rubber dinghies! I have to admit though, it gave a beautiful view of the surroundings.
We then had to water raft down the river. Unfortunately my competitive streak came out and we were grouped with a couple who couldn't grasp the concept of how to use the paddle. I have lots of patience for child, but as I have discovered I have little patience for adults. Oops! So it took us a while to get started but eventually we got into a rhythm and enjoyed the ride down. Once we got near the bottom we had to change to a wooden raft because the water was too shallow for the inflateable dinghy. Now there was seriously no point to these rafts as when you sat on them you completely sunk to the bottom (luckily it was so shallow). The only reason we stayed on them was because our instructor and told us about the water snakes (which had scared the life out of us), so decided it would be best to just sit on a sinking raft.
Overall, it has been an amazing day and this organisation is working hard to look after the elephants in the best possible way and have dreams of eventually being able to re-home elephants back to the natural habitat in the future. They are desperate for volunteers to help them complete there goals. So if you are ever in Chiang Mai, let me know and I will give you their details.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chiang Mai and wish we could have spent more time here as there is so much to do. But for now it is time to make our way to Kho Tao (2 sleeper trains and a ferry) where we can finally find a beach.