|Yvonne Osbourne writes:
On Saturday February 28th, after a week of glorious sunny weather, 14 of us woke to torrential rain, dressed accordingly and braved the elements to drive up the mountain to Tarbena and the Donkey Sanctuary. Luckily by the time we arrived the rain had stopped and we were warmly greeted by Stephanie who runs the sanctuary.
|Think remote, rustic, perhaps Hill Billy country, complete with smoke billowing from the chimney of a log cabin, and you have the picture. A very peaceful location. Stefanie told us a film crew were there recently filming a British directed/produced movie (Joshua Newton) starring, among others, Monica Cruz (Penelope's sister) so look out for Iron Cross.|
|Stefanie informed the group of the work she and her helpers are involved in and introduced us to the 14 donkeys, 4 geese, 2 birds, 4 dogs and a few of the 17 cats who reside there. The donkeys, despite the wet weather, looked well fed and content. This is a "sanctuary" in the true meaning of the word, as many of her donkeys were rescued from the butcher. All of her pension goes to the upkeep of the sanctuary and this, along with any donations, is her only source of income.|
After coffee and croissants provided by a local baker, Stefanie put halters on three of the adult donkeys ready for our walk up the pathway in the mountains around the sanctuary. They all have distinct personalities - Ollie always has to be in the lead, Anki likes to walk slowly and contemplate the world situation. Eva on the other hand, whom Stefanie believes to be pregnant, was more interested in eating the grass on each side of the mountain path. It was necessary to give her instructions in German as this is her first language! The fourth donkey - Moses - a little colt of 5 months, though very cute, was full of the joys of spring and consequently the "handler" was changed quite a few times!
The further we walked, the taller we all became - there was so much mud on the path that it stuck to the soles of our footwear, it was quite hilarious.
|Stefanie was most grateful for our donation towards the amazing work she does and suggested a group may be interested in a longer walk - perhaps to Tárbena, for lunch and then back again, with the donkeys of course. If this would appeal to anyone let us know and plans can be made for a trip in September.
The group finished the day's outing by lunching at Verd i Vent where they enjoyed the usual delicious fare.
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