Those who have been reading this blog for a while will know that I use it as an outlet to kind of think out loud about my upcoming Greece trip.
I like to plan. A LOT. Almost everywhere I go, before the plane touches down I already know the guide book backwards and may even know more about the history of the place than the locals.
So with the departure date to Rhodes inching ever nearer, I have been spending a lot of my free time on online travel guide du jour Tripadvisor. Basically it is a place where travelers go to leave hints and tips for each other. Practically every destination is covered, so if you are planning a trip in the near future I highly recommend it.
So I was on Tripadvisor and was reading up about the local acropolis. The acropolis in Lindos is stunning, if the reviews are anything to go by. The gorgeous ancient structures tower over the little village like a mighty guardian, and it is an absolute must see if you are planning on spending any time in the area.
However, the attraction seems to be tainted by an industry that seems to split visitors in two: donkey rides.
Being on the top of a steep slope, some visitors like to take a donkey ride instead of braving the climb on foot. Now that may be okay if you’re a small five year old child, but it is probably edging into cruelty if a twenty stone bloke decides to take a ride.
As donkeys are one of my favourite animals, it truly breaks my heart to see them suffering in any way, shape or form. I audibly winced when I read that some (if not all) of the donkey handlers choose to hit the animals as they heave their heavy loads up the hill in the blistering heat.
I love donkeys, and I would love to get the chance to maybe feed one or get my picture taken with one when I am in Lindos, but I would feel guilty taking a donkey ride. Even if I can’t manage the climb (which is highly unlikely) I would rather miss out on the acropolis than force a donkey to bear my weight up a steep slope.
But as long as there is a market for it, this practice is likely to continue. I suppose the only thing I can really do is encourage other tourists to do the responsible thing and refuse to take rides up the mountain until the donkeys are treated better.
You can read part 1 of my preparations here.
How do you feel about the treatment of donkeys, and animals in general, abroad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!