As Hannah, Chico and Florence make their triumphant return to Aberystwyth (1000 miles, Hooray!), I have been reflecting on my new donkey friends. I can see there is a lot to know about them, because they are not ponies like me, although they may be equine.
The thing is, those two donkeys are quite different and both deserve my respect for their enduring qualities. Chico is a ‘go to’ man, with a distinctly Mediterranean air about him. He is a big, rangy donkey with a long and steady stride. His coat is fine and shiny, as though he comes from a hotter country than this one. He wears a rain jacket because his coat contains no grease to keep him warm like mine does. Hannah weighs the luggage carefully so that his pack is always properly loaded and he carries it with ease. He likes to meet new friends and is always up for an extra carrot, but then he walks again. He knows his job.
Florence joined the team near the end of their walk. She is a traditional British looking donkey with a thick coat, well-designed to protect her from the elements. She has taken to walking really well and seems very interested in each new experience. I am sorry to say that she did NOT appreciate my showing off, and turned her back when I pranced about. But we share a quality – our skill in PR. Flo is definitely the donkey diplomat of this pair. She greets new people with affection and prettily pricked ears, and endures any amount of hugging and admiration, carrots or not.
Hannah is lucky to have found two such interesting friends to share her journey. I hope I will see them again one day.