The lion, the backflip and the elephant

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I’m excited about today, we have lots planned but I’m also loving lying in bed as I’ve found the sweet spot. You know the one you normally find 10 mins before your alarm goes off after a rubbish nights sleep. My fear of being late gets me up and in the shower before we head to breakfast.

In breakfast we look at the massive selection of food we have to choose from, it’s all a bit too much but I manage to get my egg hoppers, Dahl curry and some nice black tea.

As we are going on a hike today up lions rock, we sneak some boiled eggs into our bags before heading out to catch a tuk tuk to the start point. It’s not too far away but the boys offer to pay their driver extra to arrive before us, everything is a competition!

We get dropped off and find our way to the ticket office where we buy our tickets for our adventure tour of lions rock. Tickets purchased, we go through security, they check for tickets and illegal things like plastic and musical instruments! Not sure why musical instruments are illegal, maybe they have heard me play before.

Happy little hikers in the gardens

We walk in the ancient ruins of what used to be the gardens, then up the steps to climb the rock. Half way up we climb a spiral staircase which takes us to another level where some ancient carvings and paintings are, I’m not sure how the platform we are stood on is there, it’s as if we are stood on some metal sheets which appear to be suspended in thin air and there are gaps in between so I can see down to a terrifying drop below. My feet are numb and it’s spreading up my legs now. I pretend to look at the culture but in my head I am repeating to myself, “you got this, it’s fine”.

We go back down a spiral staircase which takes us to a long wall which was once covered in ancient inscriptions, sadly over the years people have carved their names into the wall and defaced it somewhat but it is now protected from such idiots.

Feeling safe on the metal steps, whilst checking out curious cuts in rocks

We turn the corner and start the climb up steps which take us to another level, the bottom of what used to be a large lions head entrance way. All that remains are some particularly large lion paws at the foot of the steps, still pretty impressive. We then go up the steps and more metal gangplanks and more steps, getting sweatier on the way until we finally reach the top, whoever got the job for the metal staircases here must be very rich! All the way up there are marks in the stone, what we can only assume used to be the way people climbed the rock before the metal staircases. It looks pretty scary to me and I am certainly glad I wasn’t involved in the building of the palace.

View of gardens from top

At the top we see where the palace used to be, and I can see why, the view is pretty cool and it looks like they could be safe and self sufficient up here. We wander around in awe of the splendour of the place and how it would have been in its prime. There is also time for a headstand and we dine in the palace (we sneakily eat our boiled eggs in the west wing before taking our rubbish back down in our daypacks). I undersold the view to be honest, it’s amazing, I feeling like you can see forever and all you can see is trees, green everywhere.

Not hanging around here, it’s dangerous

The journey back down didn’t take too long at all and we are soon back at the hotel pool, looking back up at where we have just been. It was worth going early as even at 0900 the queues going up were very very long.

We have a few hours before our next activity so we decide to chill out, poolside. After a while our friends start diving in the pool, backwards. Now I haven’t even mastered forwards, I genuinely can’t dive so I don’t know why I thought trying to learn backwards diving was going to be my forte! After what seemed like an eternity, several back flops and a lot of nasal irrigation later, I managed something that looked something similar to a backwards dive into the pool. Thankfully we have to go now as even the hotel staff who came to watch the weird bright white girl repeatedly fall into the pool are bored now.

A quick change, a 30 min drive and we arrive at the park for our elephant safari. We swap vehicles for a jeep with the roof down and enter the park to a chorus of “in the jungle” only to be told that’s not acceptable and we need to be quiet, oooops.

We’ve been in the park approx 4 mins and our guide has emergency stopped twice already to show us really small Geckos on trees. My spidie senses are telling me we have no chance of seeing elephants if he is getting this excited about geckos, as cute as they are they are not elephants.

We then spot our first ever wild elephant, well it’s ass anyway, it’s also about 300 metres away and behind some trees, but I’m taking a photo, just in case that’s it.

Who knew elephants were good at hide and seek

I shouldn’t have worried as after a little more driving around we stumble into a watering whole and various different elephants come to visit. At one stage we had 21 elephants within eyeline.

One of the elephant families that came by

We stayed in the park for several hours and saw more elephants then I could have hoped to see, such an amazing day. Our guide was pretty amazing at spotting stuff, like really good. He stopped quite often to point to stuff we couldn’t even see, it was there, we just didn’t notice until he pointed it out.

Can this day get any better, well yes it can! We went back to the hotel for dinner and were entertained by some local dancers who performed ancient dance routines, fire dance routines, some comedy and of course flick flacks, you can’t beat a good flick flack to get the crowd going.

Local dancers bring the awesome day to a close, bet they do a good backwards dive in a pool