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
Out of the sunny blue sky you arrived here,
As you needed a home to be safe and warm,
You came from a rubbish dump which was quite near,
But your past situation was far from the norm.
You had suffered a great deal and had a lot to bear,
The wounds and scars from the past were clear to see,
Then the light shone through kind hands that care,
And this is how it came to be.
A beautiful lost soul appeared at donkey paradise,
Food, water and love in an environment to nourish,
Your road to happiness was starting to look nice,
This was the place where you could flourish.
Marleen and Marcelo
Marcelo arrived here in September 2011 from Gijon. The age of Marcelo is unknown but we know he was an old donkey. A woman called Leo, who lived in an apartment overlooking the dump had noticed Marcelo and was concerned for his welfare. Leo had been so kind and gave him food and water as no one else appeared to do so. She witnessed a few people that would pass by and beat him. She had no space to keep Marcelo herself and did not want to leave him there. Leo found out who owned Marcelo and bought him off the farmer. Leo contacted Marleen to come and collect him straight away in order to give him a good home.
In mid January 2012 Marcello became ill with bronchitis and fluid in his lungs. His breathing became heavier and in spite of all the help form Marleen, the volunteers, vet visits and medication Marcello died naturally on Saturday 25th February 2012.
Dean and Marcelo