Of all the things I was looking forward to on this trip, the one at the top of the list was the visit to Anantara Resort’s Elephant Camp. In a most definitive case of bad timing, the day I was scheduled to participate — yesterday — was also the day I was laid way low by a stomach bug that left me confined to our hotel room, at least until the earthquake hit and I was forced to evacuate.

I’d been hoping the day of rest coupled to a good night’s sleep might leave me at an improved level of functionality, but the 3.5 hours between the temblor and being allowed to return to our rooms left me wondering if I’d lost any ground I’d gained.

Fortunately I woke up feeling much better and for the first time in 36 hours had something something to eat and was able to join in today’s group to get very up close and personal with the camp’s elephants. It was an unbelievable experience.

So without further skedoo, here’s a CapCam perspective on what it’s like to get up on and down from a nine-foot-tall, four-ton femele Asian elephant named Beau, an absolute sweetheart of a behemoth who suffered me beautifully.