THE ELEPHANTS OF THE AMBER FORT

There are 3 ways to the top of the Amber Fort, walk (it is long), a jeep up the side streets (our method) or an elephant ride that wanders up the hill.

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I jumped in front of this one as it made its way back down the hill.

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The road up and down the hill is packed with jeeps.  Elephants randomly walking into the middle of the street do not speed things up.

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Neither do the random cattle. Wandering free and completely unafraid.

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I had a chuckle at this sign. Not an issue.

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This fellow was moving much, much faster than we were.

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It was very hard not to jump out of our parked vehicle for some authentic popcorn. But the rule was clear, no street food, no matter how seemly innocent – not even popcorn.

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Never a dull moment.

ELEPHANT SAFARI PARK

There are two types of parks in Bali, the larger zoo-like park and the more remote Elephant Safari Park.

We chose the second. The notion of elephants in captivity is a tough one, but the facility covers their conservation focus throughout their brochures and website.  For animals that would love to be free but are facing extinction and an ever shrinking habitat, this becomes a second best choice.

The facility is beautiful, clean and they clearly take good care of the elephants.

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As with everything in this country, the North American notions of “behind the glass” and “at a safe distance” are not in play. At the restaurant you stand behind a waist high fence and get the opportunity to greet the elephants.

It was a moving experience to stand at the foot of such a huge, and majestic animal.

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This shot pretty much say it all. I was in awe.

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What a truly unique place. To stand beside such a beautiful creature is a true privilege.