Friday, January 4, 2013

Best 43 Images of Animals We Encountered Around the World

I thought it would be a fun idea to compile some of the best images of animals we encountered during our trip, so Anne and I came up with this list. Some of them are quite hilarious. I tried to position them in chronological order, except for the first one, which is just a teaser to give you an idea of how amazing some of these encounters were...

Image 1: Anne leaning against a tiger at Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

Image 2: Anne, posing for a few soles with two indigenous women and a baby lamb in Cusco, Peru. The lamb was wet with pee and smelled really bad, but at least we got a great photo.

Image 3: Another shot that we had to pay the old woman for... Anne and a cute alpaca right outside the Sacsayhuaman ruins nearby Cusco, Peru. 

Image 4: Donkeys we ran into while hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. 

Image 5: Chilling at some ancient Inca ruins in Peru where Lamas graze undisturbed. Some of them are pretty mean, and this fellow attacked Anne right after this photo was taken. 

Image 6: Chilling at our hostel in Copacabana, Bolivia, we ran into a bunch of cute kittens and played with them for a while, while waiting for our bus to La Paz. 

Image 7: We spent Christmas day (Dec 25, 2011) on Isla Magdalena off the coast of Chile, which is a natural sanctuary for over 60 thousand Magellanic penguins. 

Image 8 - These penguins are very tiny and cute. Each family has their own house (hole in the ground) and consists of mom, pop and usually two babies. This is the closest you could get to them, legally.

Image 9: December 2011 found us hanging out by the Magellan Strait in Chile's Punta Arenas. It's a helluva cold and windy place. We walked down the beach and disturbed the hundreds of seagulls that were hanging around. 

Image 10: January 2012 found us in Ubud, Bali where we hung out with some crazy monkeys. Right as this photo was taken, one of the little critters jumped on Anne's back. 

Image 11: Younger monkeys are in charge of de-flea-ing their older buddies. Gross! 

Image 12: Bali again. This monkey got a hold of a bottle of water, was able to open the cap and proceeded to pouring all the water on its balls.  

Image 13: We went to visit a chocolate factory in Bali and saw these little baby pigs running around freely though the lush forest close to the shore. Talk about free-range, grass-fed pigs! 

Image 14: In Thailand we got our photo taken with two of the world's cutest and softest monkeys ever. 

Image 15: In Northern Thailand we went to an elephant sanctuary and learned how to ride elephants. Then we went on a little ride through the jungle up to a pond where we washed our elephants. Probably one of the best days on my life. 

Image 16: Anne, washing her elephant in the river. We got soaked wet and splashed with dirty water full of giant elephant turds, but it was all worth it. 

Image 17: Elephants are considered the world's most dangerous animal, as they can throw massive tantrum fits, but they can also be some of the sweetest and most affectionate animals ever. 

Image 18: First time in my life touching an elephant. I'm hesitant and fearful at first, the awe and joy are beyond words. 

Image 19: The sanctuary also had a baby elephant, who was roaming around freely and stealing bananas and other food with his trunk from our table. 

Image 20: Feeding peeled bananas to our cute baby elephant. 

Image 21: One day in Chiang Mai we rented a scooter and rode to Tiger Kingdom, a place where they let you get in the same cage as tigers of all ages and sizes. I only had courage to go in a cage with 4 baby tigers. They are harder to control than adult tigers, they jump around a lot, are aggressively playful and often approach your legs from behind, which was scary. 

Image 22: Anne was braver than me and went in a cage with a fully-grown tiger. In hindsight, it's a pretty risky business, but her tiger was a well-behaved gentleman. 

Image 23: At the same tiger sanctuary there was also a lion. No, we did not go in the lion cage... this fellow was so scary that my heart skipped a beat when he roared and jumped towards the fence separating us. Lions don't like to be gazed straight in the eye. Apparently, I pissed him off. 

Image 24: In Laos we went to visit a really cool waterfall. On the way there, we stopped at a bear rescue place and saw this fellow chilling in his hammock. The volunteers there build all sorts of cute playful toys, so the captive bears don't get bored in the small spaces they're confined to. 

Image 25: In Siem Riep, Cambodia, you can soak your feet in fish tanks. While you wait and drink a beer (usually included in the price), the fish nibble on all the dead skin on your toes. 

Image 26: In a small fisherman's village in Cambodia, these guys do all the hard work. 

Image 27: While visiting the Mi-Son ruins in central Vietnam, this little fellow started following Anne. It was hard to leave this cute stray mutt behind us... I hope he's still alive and a big strong fellow now.

Image 28: In the small Hispanic village of Vigan in northern Luzon, Philippines, we rode an old timey horse-drawn carriage.  

Image 29: In India we rode camels in the desert. 

Image 30: Instead of horse-drawn carriages, Indian carriages are pulled by camels. To my surprise, these guys can run at a pretty fast speed, even on the freeway. 

Image 31: Here I am, trying to photograph my camel. He was pretty pissed and hissed at me the entire time. 

Image 32: Another pissed, hissing camel. 

Image 33: Here I am, the closest I've ever been to a cobra snake. You can't really tell, but I was quite terrified and a bit hypnotized too, I think. 

Image 34: Anne, again more badass than me, even touched the cobra's head. 

Image 35: Jenny is feeding peanuts to a sneaky monkey at an Indian temple. 

Image 36: Anne, riding her camel through the desert in Rajasthan, India. 

Image 37: Mule donkeys are the primary form of transporting heavy goods along the narrow trails in the Annapurna range in Nepal, where we trekked for a few days. 

Image 38: A second encounter with elephants on our trip, this time in Nepal. I'm more accustomed to them by now and not afraid anymore to give them a snug hug. 

Image 39: More baby elephants in Chitwan, Nepal. 

Image 40: My foot vs elephant foot. 

Image 41: My grandmother's chicken in Romania. 

Image 42: Found a baby St Bernard while hanging out with my parents in Braila, Romania. At a few weeks old, this fellow was already quite heavy. 

Image 43: And finally, this is Noel, my Romanian cat. He's now 14 years old, but still playful and full of energy. He also really likes to cuddle.