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We woke about 7am. Thick mist blanketed the lake, and Carol and I walked down to the swimming jetty with a cup of coffee to enjoy the amazing view.

Breakfast, then a longish, steep walk into the jungle to meet an elephant munching on bamboo (with her ever-present mahout of course). We followed them back down the hillside, joined up with several more, and returned to the bathing place we had first seen them yesterday to watch them drink and swim.

Walking back into the jungle, we climbed up to an observation platform looking down over a wide area where a group of elephants were left to their own devices much of the day to bond. A four year old female and an eight year old male played at pushing, climbing over and generally hassling each other, while three others—all females—either stood soaking up the sun or wandered over the hillside munching on the undergrowth. We were there for about an hour watching them from a distance.

Back to the camp for a rest in our hammocks, then a delicious lunch, then a few hours to ourselves which we both spent lying in our hammocks relaxing. And I, of course, caught up in the diary. 

We’re really having a wonderful time here. 

Later we got up close to the elephants again by the shore, then watched them drink. Most of them headed off again with their mahouts and a new group of visitors, and we walked up to the medical centre and sat on stools watching as one female elephant who had a sore on her vaginal area, poor thing, got washed and cleaned and had some cream applied (yesterday, the doctor had to remove maggots from the sore). The poor elephant was obviously itchy and uncomfortable, as she kept wiping herself with her tail.

More time to ourselves: we got a drink from the bar and relaxed in our hammocks. About sunset I went down to the swimming jetty and chatted to the Australian couple and a young Belgian couple, mostly about how things were when I was young and there were no computers or smart phones (I’m double the age of the Belgians!)

A great dinner with much good food and conversation. I talked for a long time with a very intelligent English/German girl called Carla who is about to start working there for a year, and a Swiss woman called Karen.

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