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.
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.
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.