Venturing into the Jungle can be a hazardous experience, it is easy to be eaten, bitten, lost, dehydrated and many other potentially life terminating activities. So we opted for a guide led stroll through some of more user friendly Jungle and paddy fields around the village of Taro, although this didn’t stop me freaking out at everything that buzzed in my direction much to the guides amusement. The package run by the Elephant Safari Park handily included transfers to/from the hotel.
Starting from the safari park, our friendly guide led us out into the jungle, where we were introduced to some of the varied flora, fauna and local people. The time flew past as we met farmers, coconut collecting tree climbers, stone masons and others, including a friend of our guide riding a moped through the jungle as though it were the streets of London, who gave us some fresh rambutan a lychee like fruit that tastes superb.
An hour or so into the walk and we stopped in a small clearing to have a late breakfast picnic of local bananas and Lupis a glutinous rice cake made with grated coconut and sugar syrup. Being early in the season the jungle lacked its usual high humidity but the food and provided water where greatfully received.
We were invited into a family compound to see how the majority of rural Balinese live, several generations and branches living in their own houses within the compound. Each compound boasting a beautiful family temple.
The village of Taro boasts the oldest Hindu temple in Bali and is worth a visit in its own right.
Rice is important in Bali, both as for food and as a source of income, so no tour would be complete without a walk through the paddy fields, and our route did just that. Amazed at the time an effort that goes into producing, something I had ashamedly not thought of previously.
Back at the safari park, we met and fed some of the rescued Sumatran elephants that call the park home.
The elephants dextrous trunks can carry immense weights or deposit flower rings around the necks of unsuspecting travellers.
They are also very discerning diners selecting only the sweetest of the sugar cane offered to them discarding those sticks too woody or not worth eating. We did not have to be quite so picky with the buffet lunch provided as everything on offer was super tasty and the only problem being what not to have for being too full.
A lot of research was done before heading to the Taro Elephant Safari Park, as I am opposed to exploiting animals and on that principle we did not partake in any of the elephant rides. It was safe to say these elephants looked well cared for, very happy and an absoulte pleasure to see them up close!