Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Mighty Coconut Picker Strikes Again

Thursday we went on a full day safari tour that included elephant trekking, coconut picking, rubber tree tapping, curry making, a baby elephant trick show...and the best part of the day: a sundown cruise on a junk boat in the beautiful Andaman sea off the coast of Phuket town. We had a chance to hang out with some really cool couples from Australia and Singapore, and two very comedic Irish girls. Here are some pictures below with the highlights of the day.:

The most romantic place on earth - the back of a farting elephant. Seriously, this thing sounded like it had a tiger hanging off it's butt. Our elephant "jockey" held a large metal spike that he kept striking the elephant's head with. I'm sure PETA would have flipped.

Tapping a rubber tree. It only takes 8 acres of rubber tree orchards and 400 hours of slave labor to make 1 basketball. Eat you heart out, David Stern.

This monkey had very soft hands, almost like velvet. He was trained to climb up into trees and pick coconuts.

I'd give anything to have one of those little joke "hand-shake" shockers. Poor little monkey wouldn't know what hit him.

Gas mileage, baby. Jessa and I would have made great third world country farmers in another life. As it is, I'm thinking that a water buffalo might make a great pet back in Liberty Lake, and a good companion for our babies to play with.

This is my back-up plan should I have any mechanical bike failures prior to the race Sunday. Notice the highly aerodynamic water buffalo horns.

So the safari tour advertised "Land Rovers" to take us up into the jungle. In America, a Land Rover is a luxury 4wd SUV. In Thailand, a land rover is way old school - essentially a rusted army-style bucket with wheels, squeaky brakes, and very hot vinyl seats. It didn't even have OnStar. Sheesh.

The best part of the day. We watched a beautiful sunset off the bow of a junk boat. You could practically hear the sun sizzle as it settled into the ocean. What a fantastic day!

P.S. I've had a few people ask if I'm actually doing any *training* while I'm here. As a matter of fact, I am! The body is feeling pretty good, and I had a chance to ride the 55K bike course yesterday with a large group of other cyclists, including the 70.3 World Champion Mirinda Carrfrae, who is a really cool gal. I'm interested in how this race actually shakes out for me. There are 800 participants, and in both the practice bike and practice run I was way out in front of nearly everyone. I haven't seen any of the male pros, so they're either laying low or just haven't arrived yet. My legs feel good. I think I may have torqued my shoulder a bit on a practice swim in the ocean, but it shouldn't be a big deal. So that's the triathlon update, for those of you who are concerned that all I'm doing is drinking Singha, eating Pad Thai, and smelling elephant ass.
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