surrounded by elephants!
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.
^^ the jeep ride deep into the national park was very, very bumpy, but moses just kept smiling. what a champ! ^^
^^ little mo had a little snooze while we were hanging with all those elephants. ^^
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…
^^ can you spot the pregnant elephant? ^^
^^ after moses woke up, he was mesmerized by the elephants all around. ^^
^^ 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. ^^
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.
^^ 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.