A donkey can carry the luggage of 2 to 4 people (that is nearly 30 to 40 kg). He is equipped with material that is provided to you by the donkey-driver: A packsaddle for carrying heavy loads, a halter or head collar, a rein or tether for you to hold in your hand, and special bags to carry your luggage.
Donkeys walk steadily at a pace of 3 to 4 km/h.
The care that needs to be provided to a donkey is simple and easy to learn. With your kind participation, a demonstration will be presented by a donkey-driver either the day before or on the day you start on your trek.
Firstly, we teach you how to gently curry-comb, brush, clean out the donkey’s hooves and how to place the packsaddle on your donkey.
After this demonstration, a little must-have-care-kit is provided to you: brushes, curry combes, hoof cleaner, medicine to heal wounds, insect repellents, etc…
We will then provide you with some guidelines to help you peacefully trek with your donkey.
Here is a couple:
One shouldn’t pull a donkey; but if you want it to move forward it’s better to push it. All through your trek you will hold the donkey by its rein and you will walk one of them in front, while the others are behind. If your donkey begins to wander off, wave a little branch behind him.
A donkey can be approached only with kindness and only from the front. Just like you, he doesn’t like to be surprised and doesn’t like to be shouted at!
During your picnic break, remember to choose a place that not only suits you, but also suits your donkey: a shady, peaceful spot, with lots to green grass to eat !
The donkey keeper will then teach you how to load your bags.
The bags are loaded from each of the donkey’s sides. It is therefore important that both the bags weigh the same.
Keep your donkey in mind when you pack your bags: Avoid suitcases. Flexible bags like sports bags that are easy to install in the bag holders, are preferred.
Hard or sharp objects should not be placed against the donkey’s sides.
Do not forget the centre of gravity during the loading. Heavy objects should be placed at the deep end of the bag and light objects on top.
Make sure that neither you, nor the donkeys are overloaded! For your advantage, remove all unnecessary and unwanted items.
Unload the donkey not only at mid day, during the picnic break, but also when you tie him when you stop for a visit to a monument.
The donkey-driver will then go on to guide you to your path: he has already prepared the itinerary. He will leave you with either a topographic guide or a map 1/25,000 or both, which he will clearly explain to you before your trek.
The donkey-driver will always take the time needed to give you all the explications that will help you undertake your well awaited trek peacefully. The explanations are taken from the guide book « Advice when you undertake a donkey trek » which will be left with you at the beginning of your trek.