Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Donkey picnic at el paraiso del burro

This weekend we went to visit our old friends at the Donkey sanctuary El Paraiso del Burro in Arobes. It's a while since we were there and as it was one of their planned open days we decided to pop along and show our support. Marleen, the owner, and the volunteers work so hard providing a safe and caring environment for the 24 retired donkeys, several horses, a mule, dogs, cats and whatever else happens to stroll into paradise including visitors...

The sanctuary is set amongst 8 or so hectares of lush Asturian valleys and hills. The stunning setting really makes it feel as though you are miles from civilisation but in fact you are only a few kilometres from the town of Arriondas and the village of Arobes.

We were really pleased to see that a quite a few people had turned up for the open day. There were quizzes, refreshments and cakes, t-shirts for children to draw on and colour in, gifts to buy and best of all 24 very individual donkeys to fuss over.

About 1.30pm, the donkey picnic was laid out in readiness for the onslaught. Carrots, bread, cabbage, cauliflower, apple and a few other bits were on offer, all of which donkeys devour with gusto. Marleen and some of the volunteers wandered off into the pastures and meadows to lead the donkeys up to the waiting feast.

One by one they jostled for position and soon cleared the tables. Luckily, there were further supplies tucked away under the tables. Not surprisingly, some of the donkeys had already discovered the secret stash and were already helping themselves.

Samantha (a volunteer) and I went into the fields to feed one of the Donkeys that was too lame to make the journey to the picnic tables.

The donkey sanctuary has its own website and blogs (English and Spanish) so please check them out here: El Paraiso del Burro.

Marleen dishing out extra supplies

Their work is funded by Marleen, by donations and sale of goods. Raising funds is difficult here in Spain, especially here in the north where donkeys are still viewed as working beasts that when they can no longer work, are worthless. If you can help with a small donation, there is a page on their site for you to contribute. Mention our blog when you do. It is useful to know where contributions come from.

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