About us

 

Hannah

A lecturer of mine around twenty years ago once told me I was going to become a jack-of-all-trades. I thanked her before realising she didn’t mean it as a compliment. Little did she know, it seems, that as the twenty-first century got underway we’d all have to become jacks-of-all-trades.

I am a travel writer and editor, but I also like making films, drawing illustrations, and, following this epic deep-end experience in crowdfunding, self-publishing, social media and marketing, getting involved with all angles of big, ambitious projects. My professional face is on this website.

And other than work? I am obviously a keen walker, I’m very big on UK trips, not flying, feeling the journey, having single-field child-size safaris, camping in the garden, and I’ve just discovered a love of gardening during lockdown, as have so many other people eager to connect with something real.

When this donkey adventure began I lived on a narrowboat in central London, but gradually moved back to Aberystwyth in Wales where I was brought up, over the course of writing the book and making the film of this adventure.

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I’ve never really had any pets, and I knew pretty much nothing about donkeys. Since the 1000-mile walk I have had two children, and now consider the donkey trip not to have been that hard after all, compared to all the many and varied ways that having small children is mind-bending and tiring. In an effort to cope with it I have been writing about trying to marry the love of the outdoors with the existence of the children, and have made this film, camped in rewilding land with the two year-old and one in utero, and moved to Bardsey Island as wardens for five months. These non-donkey writings appear here too, as do some other bits and pieces I’ve written for other people over the last few years.

Chico

Chico was born in 2008, in Rhyl in North Wales, to a family of famous seaside donkeys. The outfit disbanded and so I bought him from a donkey man in Ellesmere, and it was only during the walk that we found out about his past, what he’d been like as a foal (naughty), and why he was braying like crazy that night in Llandudno. (You might have to read the book or watch the film to find out yourself!)

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Chico is a funny old soul – gentle and getting more so with age, but also twitchy and watchful, playful but on his own terms, cheeky and loyal and often really very unfathomable. On the walk he was really very young – only five years old which is a young teen in human years. He’s now mellowing, and will hopefully live many, many more years. Rhys is getting into natural horsemanship techniques, so I hope we will learn a lot more about him over our next decades together.

 

The family

Rhys Thwaites-Jones is the superstar filmmaker, donkey walk support, co-parent, and now Chico’s current main-man. Osian is our first-born, a very energetic and opinionated boy, and Taliesin is our little girl – just finding her own voice and making her presence felt.