Hey everyone and welcome to a very exciting Monday blog post!
Today I wanted to share with you one of the most wonderful experiences i've had in
2018 so far which was...
walking with Alpacas in the Lake District!
Photo Credit: @mattglpitman
Ok so before we get into the main event of actually walking the Alpacas I feel like a little background and context is needed. For those who don't know, I work at a digital media agency/media house as a 'Content Creator' for a travel brand. Part of my role is about curating and sharing incredible travel content from all around the world. But as well as sharing existing content from other creators we are also delving into the world of creating and producing original content which is incredibly exciting. So one day I was scrolling through Facebook and stumbled upon a video that said you could 'hike with Alpacas' and as soon as I saw the word Alpaca I stopped everything I was doing and watched the video. It was absolutely incredible and showcased the stunning Lake District where, as the titled suggested, you could hike with Alpacas! Safe to say I had a huge smile on my face after watching the video and I just knew that I had to get in contact with the people who ran these Alpaca hikes to see if we could go
film the experience.
Now comes one of the best bits... are you ready? When I found out the name of the business I may have squealed with delight and laughed out loud because it's called
'Alpacaly Ever After'
I know right?!
After some email exchanges with Terry (the founder of 'Alpacaly Ever After') we arranged a day for us to go up and film that worked for everyone and were all set to go!
So a few Saturday's ago me, two of my coworkers and one of their friends set off on a mini road trip to the Lake District. To be honest I had some reservations about the whole day because the weather just wasn't on our side... it was grey, gloomy, pouring with rain and at one point I thought we wouldn't be able to go but we did anyways and boy am I glad we did! The drive there was wonderful as we left the city and drove into the countryside - there were even snow-capped mountains! It was pretty magical. It was about a two-hour drive from Manchester City Centre to Lingholm Estate where the Alpacas were and considering the weather conditions the drive was a pretty smooth one.
When we finally got to meet Terry (the founder) I very clearly remember he greeted us all with a fist bump and I just knew from that moment that this was going to be the best day ever. Introductions were made and we then proceeded on to meet, heard and choose an Alpaca to walk with and be our new BFF for the next hour. I decided to go with a brown Alpaca (pictured above) called 'Johnny One Ball', appropriately named because he only had one ball (go figure). Now the reason Johnny only had one ball was because apparently another male Alpaca bit onto and popped the other one to establish some dominance amongst the heard - poor Johnny! I was quite surprised at first at how small the Alpacas were because in my mind I had pictured that they would be similar in height and size to a Llama but nope! I'm about 5'9 (or 169cm) and i'd say that the tallest out of the three Alpacas was just a bit shorter than I was. Though it was raining and their coats were damp and a little matted, the Alpacas were surprisingly soft which I wasn't expecting at all. Whilst we were choosing and being handed our Alpacas, Terry went through exactly how to properly handle and walk with them. We then set off on our hour long walk around the Lingholm Estate with the Alpacas!
The house you see behind us in the picture above (Lingholm Estate) was actually Beatrix Potter's summer home and all around the estate there are spots which are either featured in her books or inspired them.
During the whole walk Terry was so enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of Alpacas and was so open and willing to answer any and all questions we had - and I had a ton! It was lovely to see someone so passionate about educating others on Alpacas but also about the caring and wellbeing of them too. As well as offering these walks to the public, 'Alpacaly Ever After' are also starting to work more with charities and the local council to help, for example, troubled teens or those with disabilities (and others too) by going on these Alpaca walks with them which I thought was absolutely amazing.
At the end of our walk with the Alpacas we also got to meet Terry's wonderful wife Emma who, as well as working on the 'Alpacaly Ever After' business, also writes and illustrates children's books! And as well as that Terry and Emma also sell Alpaca wool (sheared from their own Alpacas) which is some of the softest wool I have honestly ever felt before - it's gorgeous! After meeting Emma we then hopped in the car and drove to a different paddock where the female Alpacas were held and got to see some wee little baby Alpacas and take part in feeding time.
The whole day and the whole experience was just the absolute best and i'm so thankful to Terry, Emma and the Alpacas for letting us come and have this experience with them. If you're ever in the UK i'd highly, highly recommend that you book an Alpaca walk and have the experience because it's definitely one I will forever remember!
Check out their website and social links to find out more:
I really hope you've enjoyed reading this blog post and that it put a smile on your face! Hope you all have an amazing weekend and i'll catch you next week.
- Meg x