I’m very much someone who likes to give experiences rather than physical presents. Last Christmas I was looking for something a little different to give my brother and sister when I fell upon the idea of Alpaca Trekking. We all live in different parts of the country so anything we can do to try and spend some quality time together is always favoured (well, by me at least!)
We found Quantock Alpaca Trekking through Facebook. Booking was really simple – using their Facebook page and choosing one of the three different packages. Their starter package at £10 allows you to meet the Alpacas and learn more about them. Add on another £10 and you get to walk your Alpaca as well. For £30, you get a cream tea as well.
When we arrived at the farm, the owner Sue greeted us and took us down to the paddocks. Initially it was all very quiet and no animals to be seen anywhere. Sue called a few of their names and these adorable little animals literally came running up to us. I wish one of us had recorded it as it was SO funny to see!
Alpacas are not very big – probably around 5ft at the most and have a very mild manner about them. Sue gave us a brief talk about alpacas, what they are used for, how they came to be over in the UK, how to look after them and how much they cost. When they were originally imported to this country, a single alpaca could set you back a massive £75,000. They suggest you buy them in a small pack of 3 so it wasn’t a cheap investment in the early days! They make a soft grumbling noise and will respond if you make the sound back to them. The alpaca that my brother chose to walk, Guiness, insisted on making the noise the entire time!
Trekking probably isn’t the word I’d use for walking an Alpaca…they love a very gentle stroll. We started with 2 rounds of the small paddock to ensure we were all happy, including the animals. You then move into the larger field and you simply see how the animals are – they very much determine the pace and how long you’re out for!
Alpaca Trekking is now really popular and I can see why. The only times we picked up our phones were to take photos although Sue took about 60 photos on her phone which she then transferred over to us. The farm is in a peaceful location and you couldn’t hear a thing (apart from us laughing so much!). Sue has taken her Alpacas to shows and they’ve even made appearances at weddings this year!
We had such a great afternoon with Sue and the alpacas – Sue really cares about her animals and it’s clear they really love her! If you’re looking for something a little different to do, then I’d definitely recommend Quantock Alpaca Trekking!