I have a few things on my bucket list such as climbing the Eiffel Tower and Skydiving and I am always adding new things but now I can tick off one of the many unusual ones which was taking an Alpaca for a walk and what an afternoon it was.
If you have no idea what an Alpaca is they are part of the Camelid family which includes Llamas and Camels. I had been looking at this last year for several months but everywhere I looked was very expensive at over £100 for a family of four. I then stumbled across Ivy Dene Farm in St Michaels on Wyre, which is not far from me and got in touch with the lovely owner Judy, and before I knew it I was booked in for Saturday 4th August for “The Alpaca Experience” with my 19-year-old daughter, Ashley, and two sons, Logan aged 14 and Frazer aged 11.
When we arrived, we were greeted by Alan, Judy’s wife, and two dogs shortly followed by the tiniest lady I have ever come across who we soon realised was an inspiration.
Judy does not charge for her experience she just asks for a donation as she does not want to exploit the Alpacas as they are part of her family. She wants to re-educate people about them as many people think that they just spit at you all day.
She has had Alpacas for over 10 years and many have been rescued from other people. Now she has around 23 with a mixture of male and female and two crias (baby Alpacas).
Alpacas come from South America and live in packs, so it is never fair to have just one animal. After introducing us to the girls and crias we went to meet the boys. I was immediately taken with a male called Pablo who spat at any other Alpaca that came near him. They tend to only spit at each other and not at humans unless they feel threatened. We hand fed them for a while before we had to choose which one we wanted to take for a walk.
I honestly thought we would be just staying in the field however we put harnesses on them and exited the farm up the main road in St Michaels, much to the amusement of passers by in cars who could not believe there were four Alpacas being taken for walks. We walked them for about 90 minutes before returning to the farm where we released them and moved all the male Alpacas back into the paddock before saying our goodbyes to them.
We then had tea and cakes with Judy and Alan who incidentally are 65 and 81 years old proving age is all in the mind as they run this farm by themselves and are far fitter than me. I can honestly say in life it is very rare to meet true inspirations but on this day, I met two. I will certainly be booking again next year to make sure Pablo is still misbehaving.
If you would like to see Alpacas in their true habitat why not join us on our Ultimate South America trip: Click here for more details – www.cruise.co.uk/cruise-guides/eblast-bl-sa-6aug18/