One of those never to be forgotten experiences is standing in the Nam Khan river throwing buckets of water over some elephants (and only occasionally at each other) that you have just met and feed some bananas to. It is one of those things that this trip, this year out from the ordinary is all about. We had a fantastic day at Mandalao, bathing, feeding and walking with the elephants, including the 18month old baby “Kit”. Particularly inspiring was hearing Prasop Tipprasert talk about his work, coming out or retirement to set up the project, following similar success in Thailand. It is worth bearing in mind that the original name for Lao is Lan Xang or Land of a Million Elephants. Those left no number only in their thousands. It was a real privilege to spend some time with these amazing and gentle creatures, and with the people who strive to protect and conserve them.