Did you know that we now have a shelter for the horses at “El Paraíso del Burro”? This was started some time ago but never quite finished. Before they left, Michael and Maria put in a lot of time and effort to finish it. Doesn’t it look good? It is now a fine place for the horses to shelter from the wind and rain.
The “Paradise” in Arobes isn’t only a paradise for donkeys. The first morning of my visit I found these two beautiful cats Pepper and Canela lying very comfortable on my bed.
After a gorgeous lunch I sat down in the field and looked into the happy faces of Kari and Mara..
Then I felt something sitting beside me making a very happy sound..it was Arvo snoring.
Running out of her space in the stables came Ronja and the sound of a purring cat joined Arvo.
But of course do not forget the donkeys…here Rosie is taking Ronja for a ride though the garden..
This lovely video was taken by a visitor to the Open Day.
A short while ago, a new donkey arrived at the “Paraíso del Burro”. Her name is Freida and she came from a loving family near Aviles, one of the main cities of Asturias. She is a rather shy lady and is settling in slowly, getting to know her donkey friends. Of course she probably hasn’t seen so many of her own species in one place before now. As is often the case here in Asturias, her elderly owners could no longer manage to look after her and they were sad to see her go. Like many donkeys of her age, Frieda has arthritis in her legs and her hooves will also need some attention. To me, she looks very much like Flora and she has a sweet and surprised look about her. What do you think?
This year, for the first time, “El Paraíso del Burro” has acted as a host to people who wish to “Walk with donkeys”. The walks are organized by Astrid and Thomas at Camping Fontebona , a tranquil camp site for nature lovers near Infiesto, and the protagonists of the project are the lovely Añes and Lola, formerly of the Paraiso but now adopted by Astrid and Thomas.
The “Walking with Donkeys” project is open to anyone, but particularly to people who are camping at Fontebona camp site, and consists of a 4 day walk of around 14 km per day from the campsite to the Paraiso and back, mainly via green routes and tranquil country lanes. At the end of each day the walkers, accompanied by Añes and Lola, are accommodated in guest houses (nights 1 and 3) and at the Paraiso (night 2). This gives the participants a chance to meet the donkeys and other animals here at the Paraiso and also, to enjoy some local hospitality. Along the way, there is never a dull moment as many local people get to know about the donkey walking and will help out with directions and “advice”. On the day before the start of the journey there is a familiarization walk of 5km so that walkers can get to know their donkey friends and gain the knowledge they will need for their journey.
The photographs, taken by Astrid and Thomas, show some of the first families to enjoy this new experience as they set off on their journey.
For more information: www.fontebona.es
On Friday 20th September at 5 p.m. the “Paraiso del Burro” will be the location for a performance by Brian Smith – a singer-songwriter from the USA.
You are invited to come along and enjoy his music in a peaceful and beautiful location and to bring with you some food and drink to share.
You are also invited to bring along family and friends. There is no entry charge and the hat will be passed around after the performance.
On Sunday 5th August the Association had a stall at the annual picnic or Romeria organised by “Animales del Oriente” in Infiesto. The event started at 12.30 when Marleen and Miquel set up the stall for the Donkey Paradise with small items which we sell, along with a few “donkey cakes” which were sold very quickly. Next year we must certainly make more cakes.
The event starts off slowly, with a few people looking around the various stalls which include books, DVD’s, toys, bric-a-brac, pet supplies and artisan goods. There is lively music with D.J. “Mark” and a bar for refreshments. People have the opportunity to relax and enjoy a picnic in a beautiful setting next to the river and its famous cave which is the setting for a small chapel.
After lunch, the event picks up a pace and lots of people arrive with their dogs to take part in various events. Añes and Lola come along to give rides to the children and games are organized for children. There was also a display of agility and dog training.
It is very much an event which we enjoy being a part of. Unfortunately I only took photos during the early part of the day and they don’t show how busy the event became later on, however, you can see more photos and read about the event by going to this link or www.animalesdeoriente.com and clicking their Facebook page.
Summer has arrived at last at the “Donkey Paradise” after a rather cooler and wetter spring, however,we are well prepared for the summer sun with our wonderful new camping area for volunteers and friends. A great big thank you goes to all who helped to build the toilet/shower block and to put a fence around the plot to provide a peaceful and sheltered area.
The month of July has been very hot here in Asturias and the animals have been looking for places in the shade. We need to keep an extra special watch over them at these times and especially to ensure that they are provided with plenty of clean, cool water in their buckets both inside and outside the stables. However, the heat does not lessen their appetites as you can see from this photo I took of Niko eating the flowers from the planters.
A complicated double jaw fracture, an operation, three days at the horse hospital and a full month of intensive care – those were the consequences of Gazpacho’s loyalty to the two horses in whose footsteps he faithfully follows day by day.
How come his fidelity made the old mule suffer so badly? Well, the young stallion living in the adjacent field jumped the fence to mount one of our mares. Brave Gazpacho came to her rescue and was kicked in the face. So he paid for of his lady’s short sexual adventure. Hopefully now the neighbour’s insurance will pay up for him!
Gazpacho was rescued some years ago in the mountains around Oviedo where he roamed the commons in a group of horses. He thinks he is a horse and he looks like a horse. But his call gives him away; he produces a unique mixture of a whinny and a bray: a brinney. Here, in the Donkey Paradise, he always follows the horses and doesn’t ever lower himself to the donkey level. Also he would keep a sound distance from us, human animals.
Fortunately his fear of people has melted away. When he now sees one of us, especially at mealtime, he will brinney and let himself into the yard for his (still soaked) bowl of food. He also allows us to give him his medication and clean his wound twice a day. Chances are the jawbone will heal itself over time and he will again be able to chew his food. So: all is well that ends well …