Rainy day donkey scrapbook

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Matilde feeding outside the stable in the pouring rain

A rainy Sunday here is quite a novelty and it is quite pleasant to have to remain indoors listening to the splashing of the rain outside the door. I fed the donkeys a while ago and there were three warm dry brown donkeys feeding from the manger inside the stable and one cold wet grey donkey feeding from the same manger outside. Looking down from the upstairs balcony, I took the above photo of Matilde, doggedly keeping her usual position outside, where she can more easily dominate the manger, while the rest are lined up at the manger inside the stable.

From earlier in the week on Twitter, I was amazed to see a photo of four donkeys in the Alps tweeted by @RifugioAsinelli which is the main Italian donkey sanctuary  and, I recognized them – without any doubt – as Matilde, Aitana, Rubí and Morris on a secret day out in the mountains.  I wondered what they get up to when I am at work during the week.

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Did Matilde, Aitana, Rubí and Morris sneak off to the Italian Alps for the day ?

While on the subject of mountains, I took my GCSE Geography students on a field trip up the Sierra Aitana ridge last Thursday to study the features of a limestone landscape. (Note: the following is not the best photo of the school trip, but carefully chosen as the students’ faces are not shown.) One student who is also studying for his GCSE Chemistry did a live experiment for us at the Aitana ridge, reacting hydrochloric acid with limestone, shown in the next picture, in which you can clearly see the rock effervescing as the acid reacts with the calcium in the rock. This process is a speeded up illustration of the way carbonic acid in rain reacts with limestone in the process known as carbonation-solution.

Year 11 descending from the Aitana ridge to Font de Partagat

Year 11 descending from the Aitana ridge to Font de Partagat

Carbonation-solution experiment (with hydrochloric acid) on limestone at the Pas de la Rabosa, Sierra Aitana

Carbonation-solution experiment (with hydrochloric acid) on limestone at the Pas de la Rabosa, Sierra Aitana

What has this got to do with donkeys, you may ask? As I said, it is a rainy day and the donkeys are hidden away in the stable. (OK, it’s not much of a rainy day donkey scrapbook…) So, finally, here is something else which is nothing to do with donkeys.  Regular readers may remember the various blog posts from summer 2013, when I had a break from providing donkey room service and did a four day trip to Ibiza – while my friends Carl and Cait looked after the donkeys. That was the only break I have had from daily donkey chores in four years!  When I first bought the original two donkeys in 2010, I had the mad idea that friends or family might stay sometimes and do two hours work a day looking after the donkeys in exchange for free accommodation in pleasant surroundings.  That simply did not materialise. (As I discovered with the most recent guest disaster, visitors do not take the workload off but simply add to it!)

So, thanks again to Carl and Cait who are staying at home in Finestrat for Christmas and kindly offered to do all the donkey chores, I am off to Ibiza again for five days.  I managed to book a room in the Hotel Montesol, which was the first hotel in Ibiza town (1931). The Montesol pavement cafe was the site of my spectacular crash in a bike race in 1965, where I knocked two tables over, after being elbowed off the course on a sharp turn in the Vara de Rey.  I shall try to arrive in the hotel more quietly this time.

Hotel Montesol 1935

Hotel Montesol 1935

Hotel Montesol today

Hotel Montesol today

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About Gareth Thomas

A fairly mixed career starting as an aircraft technician and later Franciscan friar eventually led into secondary school teaching. I settled in Spain where I teach Geography part-time and spend the rest of my time looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I have three blogs: a geography blog and a donkey blog begun in 2015, plus an old donkey blog which ran from 2010 to 2015.
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7 Responses to Rainy day donkey scrapbook

  1. I am not sure what they do while you are at work either but it looks as though Morris might be pregnant!!!

  2. Catherine Geldart says:

    They’re on holiday of course like you will be soon! Enjoy it and unwind!

  3. grace clark says:

    have a lovely holiday!!

  4. Back to toys… Have you seen the number of wellies being eaten by devon sactuary donks? Must be worth a try!

  5. Alys says:

    That is good news! Christmas 1930s style! xxx

  6. Frere Rabit says:

    The old pair of wellington boots that I left in the field for the donkeys to play with have been their most successful toys so far. Unlike the ball or the boat fender, the wellingtons do not roll alarmingly and scare the donkeys (!) but they can be picked up and thrown into the air, carried around the field and deposited in surprising places – e.g. the water buckets – or simply chewed. So far they are down to the ankles of the boots, having chewed all the rest. I am interested to see that the Donkey Sanctuary in Devon has stumbled upon wellies too! Clearly a boot camp for donkey play…

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