surrounded by elephants!

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the short jeep safari we took in minneriya national park was probably the highlight of our time in sri lanka. (i say probably because we took in so much beauty and wonder on that magical island – it’s hard to pick a favourite!) we saw nearly one hundred elephants during the two twilight hours we were in the park - brand new babies (our driver guessed that one of them was less than a month old!), really gigantic males, and every size in between (we even saw a pregnant elephant!). 

and at one point our jeep was completely surrounded – all the way around, three hundred and sixty degrees - by those marvelous creatures, some no more than ten feet away from us. while we quietly watched them eat, play and move, all the other jeeps gradually left until we were the only humans around (just the three of us, our driver koshala, and our jeep driver), encompassed by elephants on every side. it was a really, really awesome experience – as in actually generating genuine and rich awe – a spiritual and beautiful slice of time that i will never forget.

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^^ the jeep ride deep into the national park was very, very bumpy, but moses just kept smiling. what a champ! ^^IMG_8990IMG_8993IMG_8979 IMG_8984IMG_8999IMG_9006IMG_9021IMG_9031IMG_9040IMG_9048
^^ little mo had a little snooze while we were hanging with all those elephants. ^^
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several times, a huuuuge elephant would start approaching our jeep. our driver would say “down, down!” and we’d sit and the elephant would retreat. it was pretty exhilarating…
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^^ can you spot the pregnant elephant? ^^
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^^ after moses woke up, he was mesmerized by the elephants all around. ^^IMG_9114
^^ this is not a great photo, but it gives a little perspective on how close we were to the elephants. they got close enough that we could almost reach out and touch them. ^^
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those couple of golden hours were just so cool!!
after we got back to our car, koshala drove us to sigiriya, where we were spending the night (in a treehouse!). on the way, we stopped for what koshala called “sri lankan fast food” at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant off the side of the road. i don’t remember what this stuff is called (it’s chicken, vegetables and bread seasoned and chopped up small), but it was suuuuper delicious, and we were definitely the only non sri lankans there.

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^^ we became great friends with koshala during our time in sri lanka. he’s such a good guy and was our perfect guide. i love this live photo of him eating with his hands, multitasking on his phone, and shooting us a smile :) ^^

surrounded by elephants! such an awesome and memoriable experience.

9 comments:

  1. This is so cool! Also, that baby. He gets me every time. Can't wait to see you guys soon!

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  2. I've been a reader for a couple of years now and have yet to write a comment, but I must say, I really do love your blog. I love you insights into and appreciation of life, moments big and small. I especially enjoy your writing - you're able to put things down into words so eloquently. With so many other fashion/beauty blogs out there (some of which I do like and follow for those reasons, so not trying to undermine) it is always so refreshing and enjoyable to come and read your meaningful posts. So I guess I just wanted to say, thanks! And as a fellow woman with a fever for wanderlust, who is also travelling the world with her significant other, your travel posts and tips are hugely helpful and inspirational!

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  3. I'm nearly speechless from this post. Wow! Your photos are gorgeous- I can't even imagine how much more incredible it was to see all that in person! Being able to experience such amazing wildlife in their own element is such a thrill. I admit- I'm totally seething with envy right now!

    I was wondering- when you were researching excursions for this trip, did you pointedly seek out experiencing wildlife in this way- as a safari, of sorts- verses some of the more common touristy experiences with wildlife that may not be as "humane"? Did you notice if there were different ways to see the wildlife- some excursions/experiences more humane than others?

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    1. yes, there are some elephant "sanctuaries" and i'm not sure how good they are to those animals. we just prefer seeing wildlife in the wild! we stopped by an elephant orphanage, and it seemed like it was truly all about saving/protecting vulnerable animals, but we didn't do too much research. we did avoid elephant rides because we were doubtful that they were dealt with super humanely.

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  4. We also went there, but only saw a family of 6 elephants, which was already pretty wonderful. But your photos make me jealous! wowza, so beautiful!!

    And the kotu, amazing! Even though I was told not to eat kotu, because it is made of all the rests of the day, it still is delicious ;-)

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  5. Wow! This is so incredible and really inspiring. And I just love the photos of little Moses taking in the elephants. His smile is so sweet!

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  6. Amazing trip, Moses is adorable. I'm just in awe about how chill he is. I have a son who is six months older than Moses and he would never be content for long periods of time in a car or bjorn. Especially at that age as he was crawling and always wanted to be on the move. I'm wondering if you lucked out with a really chill and easy going baby or was he conditioned that way with all of your travel, baby wearing, etc right from the start. Kind of interesting to think about.

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    1. i wonder the same thing! i think it's a combination. moses isn't quite crawling yet, though. so that probably helps to keep him content. he doesn't know about the wonders of independent mobility!

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  7. I would want to scoop up a baby elephant and bring him home!

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