Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Walking with llamas

Many regular readers will recall that I celebrated a big birthday back in February. Instead of a gift I wanted to do something different and my husband gave me money for a Llama walk. It is only just now, many months later, that we have got around to arranging it!


 So on the second day of our short break around Sidmouth we went for a walk with these lovely llamas Eric and Golly - aren't they gorgeous? Maggie from Walking with Llamas owns these beautiful animals and taught us how to greet Llamas and handle them on the walk. It was a privilege to gain their acceptance and they allowed us to stroke their long soft necks. Has anyone ever used llama wool?  Although it is soft like an alpacas it is more difficult to spin as they also have some coarse hairs.


Llamas are very inquistive and have to check out everything around them including the hedgerows, sheep and fields.  We are accustomed to that with having a westie!  On the way back they discovered some hawthorn berries which they particularly enjoyed.





At the top of the hill Eric and Gollie were given a treat and we were greeted with this spectacular vista with distant views to Dartmoor and across the sea to the cliffs at Dawlish. The red Devon soil is so unique and looked stunning below us in the fields that had been recently ploughed.





We couldn't have choosen a better day for our walk!


As we walked back to the farm our route took us along an old smuggling path (sorry I was too busy talking to take a picture!) Those old smugglers would have been astonished to have come across such an unusual creature! Over the past five years we have come across more and more llamas and alpacas on walks in the Dorset countryside.Do you come across any where you live too? Their popularity has apparently spread from America.


It was a wonderful and relaxing experience to spend time with these gentle and beautiful animals, so thank you Maggie for making this possible and also to my husband for my fantastic birthday present  - it was unforgettable.

Have you ever walked anything unusual? Twinkle our cat will occasionally decide to come on walks with us and Daisy. It always looks strange walking a dog with a cat running alongside! If  you have enjoyed any unusual birthday treats too, I would love to hear about them.

Thank you for all the wonderful comments you leave,I do appreciate them. Welcome to new followers Kerrie of Sea cottage,Pallavi from Diary of an Indian expat in Singapore Pallavi, and Em from Dartmoor Ramblings
Sarah x

45 comments:

  1. Can't say I've ever done an unusual walk like this. You certainly picked a gorgeous day for it! Must have been a real adventure.I do see Alpacas here but no Lamas sofar and never seen anyone walking with a Lama either. I think the English countryside is far more suitable for it anyway.
    Marian

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  2. It's so nice to have gifts that create memories. I enjoy getting days out as gifts or membership to NT or a day doing a course. My husband had a blacksmith course for his birthday so I'm hoping he'll being a toasting fork home. Thanks for the lovely blog, it's good to see the countryside.

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  3. I've not heard of llama walking before, but it looks as though you had a great time, and the scenery was stunning. Glad that you had a great birthday treat! xx

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  4. There is something about Llamas that puts a smile on your face bringing feelings of joy and happiness which is obvious from your photos. You were fortunate to have such a wonderful day for your belated birthday walk in the lovely countryside.
    I have a voucher for a special birthday gift, but the birthday has now past twice and I have not been able to use it because the weather conditions have not been correct - hopefully by my next birthday in summer 2014 the opportunity will be right!!!

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    1. I hope the weather conditions give you the opportunity to use your special gift in 2014. I will look forward to hearing about it Rosemary.
      Sarah x

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  5. What a wonderful idea. And such a stunning day, your photos are beautiful. There are quite a few alpacas in these 'ere parts as well, you're right they do seem to be popular at the moment.

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  6. What a wonderful way to spend a day ... your previous pics of Sidmouth look lovely too.

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  7. What a lovely walk. They are such funny creatures. I have been lucky enough to see them in Peru. Juliex

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    1. It must have been wonderful to see them in their native surroundings.
      Sarah x

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  8. What a wonderful idea, they look like a couple of characters! and what fantastic views. I read somewhere that alpaca farming is more popular now as they are quite trouble free and the fleeces sell for fairly good money. xx

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  9. Oh Sarah, I've been meaning to do this for so long... I have read that it is the most relaxing experience. But I would get frustrated if they kept stopping! And I hope they did not spit.

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    1. They didn't spit they only tend to do that if they are angry or frightened. We had heard that they were likely to stop so it was easier to acceot that a walk may take sometime.
      Sarah x

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  10. Beautiful Sarah,

    What a dream. First of all, you have a Westie. CHECK! Secondly, you live by the sea...CHECK! Now you've had the opportunity to walk with a llama? DOUBLE CHECK! I have this urge to walk and pet a horse....but a llama will do as well, because to be near nature as such has its healing properties for a weary mind and a tired body (not that I am in that state of being!) but it is just simply FUN to be near such a beautiful animal. YOU KNOW HOW TO LIVE IT UP! Many wishes for yet another lovely day. Anita

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  11. What a wonderful birthday present! I have never heard of anything like this........

    The area you walked looks perfect.....quiet with spectacular views.........wonderful.

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  12. What a fantastic birthday gift, something you will never forget.It's beautiful seeing all that green grass everything is so brown in Australia at the moment.

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  13. It looks like you chose a perfect day for your walk. Someone owns a couple of llamas nearby and we see them once in a while from a distance.

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  14. How amazing Sarah, I wouldn't have thought of such a great gift! It must have been lovely taking a stroll with these beautiful animals. I'm afraid I haven't walked with anything quite so exotic! Thanks for sharing your special day with us! Sharon xx

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  15. Oh my gosh, what a fun birthday treat! I love llamas and alpacas. I haven't spent a lot of time with them but they're such interesting animals and fun to interact with. The ones I've met were very gentle. I love that your cat was walking with them, it's so interesting to see how animals relate to each other.

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  16. At my age I have had so many birthdays that I now prefer to do things instead of having things. We usually do a museum or stately home and this year we visited Oxford and the Pitt Rivers Museum which is fascinating. But your adventures looks wonderful! Great way to spend a day - beautiful scenery and animals. They are fairy tale like I think. I have walked horses with cats and dogs following. A funny little procession. x

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  17. What a super birthday present. We pass an alpaca/llama farm on our bike rides to Ojai which is a lovely area to escape to when it is to foggy on the beach. Also, just north of Santa Barbara there is an area with llamas, ostrich, kangaroo, alpaca - you name it - farms. a lot of people with money have settled there to grown grapes or raise exotic animals.

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  18. what a great experience, I think I'd have enjoyed that. There's a farm just behind the Roaches ('my' rocks!), I know the family who live there as their children are my age, and they've always had llamas - throughout my childhood, so going back to the 80s. Until recently that was the only place I knew of, but in recent years several farms in the peak district have llamas and/or alpacas in their field. Just a couple of months ago, a farm just below the roaches got a small herd (?) of alpacas, I love to see them.

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  19. Oo you lucky thing - talk about an unusual birthday surprise. It looked a glorious day to be doing it too.

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  20. What an awesome GIFT !!! Much better than a candle or something from a store. I LOVE it and the pics are awesome and YOU looked happy and beautiful my friend. LOVE it . .HOPE that it was all you thought it would be. I know I would of just loved it . HUGS

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  21. Years ago, we used to take our two pygmy goats and our Boxer on our evening walk each night... and now my Husband takes our miniature horse out walking thru town.... or he drives him with a wee cart. We also have two St. Bernards and a 10 pound Mix that we walk...
    We've never walked llamas though! :)))))
    I love Blogland, you just never know what you will see next! :)))

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  22. What a fabulous birthday present, beats a box of chocolates any day!!!!! I would LOVE to have a 'Donkey Day' a day at the Donkey Sanctuary just further along the road from Sidmouth!! It would be my idea of heaven, making a fuss of those lovely 'donks'!! But your walk with the Llamas comes a very close second!!!!

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    1. The donkey days sound fun too, we couldn't go to Sidmouth without saying hello to the donkeys. So we did visit the donkeys on our way home, it was a special day sharing it with all the animals.
      Sarah x

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  23. Llamas seem to be such gentle creatures, though I do not know if they are. Looks like a fun walk. Your countryside is sooooooooooo beautiful.

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  24. We have some alpaca and llama close by, but as I started viewing this post, I thought, "I have never tried to spin llama fiber or stitch, anything with it. Nor have I ever walked an alpaca or llama, but I did get to help herd some sheep who spilled through a neighboring farmer's fence into our yard where I guess they thought the grass was greener :) In northern CA I have a friend whose cat goes near her leash around 4p.m. so that she can go for a walk! I'm so glad you enjoyed such a special birthday present and shared it with us, Sarah. Thanks!
    Gracie xx

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  25. What a lovely day Sarah, beautiful photos as always! We have two alpacas, but unfortunately when we got them they were already 5 years old and not harness trained. In fact that are quite snooty and hard to even stroke! I chose alpacas over llamas because I want to felt the fibre, but sometime I wonder if llamas would have been better 'pets'! A:)

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  26. I have never seen these animals here, but we made a walk like yours in Austria several years ago.They look so exotic in my eyes .. It must have been a very special occasion and experience for you and your husband Sarah!Oh this English countryside is eye cathcing and you took some perfect photos of it!!!
    Have a happy day!

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  27. Hello Sarah. Aw well aren't they just lovely! Looks like you had a wonderful time. I would so enjoy that x

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  28. What a sweet and unusual gift, Sarah! I very much enjoyed gazing at your photos. I don't think I've ever heard of anybody walking with llamas before!

    Warmest wishes from France,

    Stephanie

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  29. Hello Sarah, how fascinating and totally enjoyable, they are such a strange animal...we have a farm on the other side of the village who keep alpacas and also have a life size model of a zebra standing proud among the sheep, it is quite a sight!
    Thea x

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  30. well that's certainly an unusual present! I've never walked with anything more unusual than the husband haha!

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  31. That is such a beautiful countryside, it must have been such fun walking it with the llama . What a great gift !!
    Over the years we have walked a few animals you might not always see on a leash, like iguanas, and wolves The wolves weren't ours ~ we use to help out at a wolf sanctuary in New Hampshire, it was a haven for wolves that use to be peoples pets .

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  32. That looks like so much fun! I love IIamas...they are so darn cute, but I never knew you could go for a walk with them what a great experience it must have been

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  33. Well Sarah that's a wonderful present. Delighted you had such a good day out and the weather looked fab. Can't say I like Alpacas and don't understand the interest in them. The Llama walks I've heard about and I would enjoy that too. I've had cats that have walked with me and once had some ducks that were in my garden when I went to go out to work. They followed me to the car and then followed the car up the road ...the whole thing made me late for work as I tried to chase them away and was very careful not to run them over. What an excuse for being late for work!

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    1. I can just see that image of the ducks following the car!
      Sarah x

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  34. It looks like a fabulous day ... what a great present.

    I once helped walk a ferret ... a child, on seeing us, piped up, 'Look those ladies have a rat on a string!'

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  35. What a beautiful day! The scenery alone would have been a great present, but in addition, walking with the llamas made it super special. I think in the North Georgia Mountains there is a ranch where you can ride the llamas in the mountains. But, much closer to us, down our road, our neighbors have several llamas on their land. I have taken their pictures from the road (as I don’t know those neighbors – about 2 miles down the road.) I have not “walked” anything unusual, but in Egypt I took several rides on camels. As for an unusual birthday present – cannot think about one either but two years ago we went to San Antonio, Texas, for my birthday and visited the Alamo.

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  36. They are SO gorgeous! What a wonderful way to celebrate your special day. Nothing unusual being walked here. Just the Whippet, although he mostly walks us more than the other way around :-) There's a man that walks his Alpaca around the city and the waterfront. Everyone knows him as the Alpaca Man and the kids love it when he's out and about so they can pat his Alpaca. And how beautiful is the scenery there. Very pretty :-) Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Mel x

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  37. Hello Sarah....I'm enjoying browsing your Blog. I see you have a Westie. I love mine! His name is Gabriel. His best friend is our calico cat, Poetry. Do Daisy and Twinkle play together? I would love more posts about them. I've enjoyed reading the various posts I found about them. I think dog and cat buddies are the best!

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    1. Daisy tolerates Twinkle, I will try a do some posts about them sometime. It's lovely to see how well you animals get on.
      Sarah x

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  38. What a lovely gift and such a beautiful part of the country to walk them in too, my friend has a herd of alpaca's which you can take for walks alongside the Norfolk Broads, they often pop in for a dip too!

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