Hello there lovely Buttoneers! Well…that was a rather impromptu blogging break wasn’t it! For those of you that don’t follow me on social media (You should by the way – Instagram is my fave!) I have been having headaches and migraines constantly for a few weeks or so. Luckily the CT scan came back clear but I am back and forth at the doctor’s trialling different medications hoping one will work enough for me to properly get back to work and live my life again! Arrghhh! In the meantime the Eliston Button Etsy Shop will remain open and I will be dipping in and out here and social media when I can.
Anyhoo, Now that my Create 30 blog challenge is well and truly done and dusted I can concentrate on the other little doses of creative lifestyle goodness that are in my blogs tagline – like adventure! Hooray!
I really want this little corner of the blogosphere to be a mix of all things Art, Design, Craft and Adventure because, let’s face it, they are blooming great things to fill your life with!
I wanted to share ‘An Alpaca Adventure!’ with you for a few weeks now but with recent hospital stays and feeling pretty poop, it took a bit of a backseat. But, alas! Here it is because I just couldn’t let this one slip under the radar without documenting it – You know I am a sucker for documenting my life and what better way than to share it on this here bloggity blog!?
This year as one of my presents to my fiancé Chris for his birthday I wanted to mix it up a bit and get us out and about on an adventure. For years now we have been obsessed with how funny alpacas are. Before we moved, about ten minutes from our house, we used to drive past an alpaca farm on the way to go shopping in Cheltenham and always say hello to ‘Alan’ the alpacas (They are all called Alan right!?) which then turned into every picnic starting with…
“I’ll grab a blanket…Alpaca lunch!”
So, when I spotted an alpaca experience online I jumped at the chance to walk an actual real life alpaca! We went to Charnwood Forest Alpacas in Leicestershire and had the best experience – we are still laughing and talking about it now! This is not a sponsored post – we genuinely just had a fabulous time and I wanted to share it!
We started out with a really informative talk about the alpacas and the handling of them.
Fun Fact #1: Did you know there are 20 different colours of alpaca from white to black with the brown shades in between!?
They get sheared once a year and their wool can be used for all sorts of things but especially crafting! Have you ever knitted or felted with alpaca wool?
Fun Fact #2: Alpaca wool is different to sheep wool as it hypoallergenic – it doesn’t contain lanolin, which is the cause of many wool allergies.
I can’t take all of the credit for remembering all of the talk – I might have had to ring Chris at work to ask how many shades there were – He is a fact
brainiac enthusiast so I knew he would remember!
Apparently a lot of the time, the alpaca chooses the person for the walk rather than the person choosing the alpaca – how sweet! Jasper here definitely chose me by sticking his face right into mine! I think he could sense the fear to be honest; he had me totally summed up. I was super excited to be holding an actual real life alpaca – I think I played it cool…right!?
Off we went, walking our alpaca across the paddock and towards the open fields of the farm. This is where I very quickly realised that Jasper the alpaca was just using little nervous me as a freedom giver. As soon as he felt that fresh air on his face and the wind in his hair, as soon as his feet felt the grass between his hooves and the tree line in the distance…he bolted. What the heck!!?? There I am half running across a field, fingers so tightly clenched on his lead (I mean come on…who wants to be the only one to lose their alpaca?) and hoping to god that the leader girl will DO SOMETHING! It felt like a marathon to this crafty girl with stubby legs I can tell you. The panic was unreal!
Luckily he slowed and with a bit of wrangling I managed to get him back across the field to the rest of the group where I was told to be a bit firmer with him and not to let him be the boss of me – life lesson right there.
Life Lesson #1: Never let an alpaca think he is the boss of you.
Meanwhile, Chris has missed the whole debacle as he is too busy wrestling his own alpaca called Tailwind (a sentence I never thought I would write!) and only caught me on the walk back whilst I was snivelling away between an hysterical cry-laugh and hoping I wouldn’t get told off. Have you ever seen a guy so chuffed to be holding an alpaca? I blooming love this photo – I might have to frame it!
I feel now is the right time to tell my second humiliating story of the adventure and explain why in future photographs I may have a rather muddy grass stained leg. We head off following the track across the farm towards the woods and a small part of the walk was a downhill tractor tyre grooved, wet grassed track. This girl decided to walk in the ‘safe’ middle raised part of the track to stay out of the muddier tractor grooves. This is exactly the moment Jasper the alpaca decided he wanted to eat alllll of the clover near the fence and pulled on his lead to do so.
Cue my apparently not so grippy shoes to slide to the right and from under me into the muddy tractor groove and straight down on to my bum on the grass. I hit the ground like a sad sack of sunshine, still trying to keep hold of my feisty alpaca (like I said before, who wants to lose their alpaca!?) Not only was this hugely humiliating (What is it about falling over as an adult that makes you want the earth to swallow you whole!?) but it was such a ruckus that it caused ALL of the alpacas in front of us to bolt in fear and try to escape. Jeez….Kill.Me.Now. Of course this means that Chris misses the whole thing all over again and looks back wondering why the heck I am sat of the floor, trying not to slip back into the hysterical cry/laugh and keep hold of my alpaca. You couldn’t write this stuff…Well, you know what I mean…
Life Lesson #2: When walking an alpaca; never take the high road.
We have a well-earned rest stop in the woods, where Chris’ alpaca decided to have a lie down and cover itself in mud!
Jasper was the cutest alpaca even if he was strong willed and adventurous (a bit like myself! *cough* *cough*) He had beautiful auburn colouring and had soft friendly donkey-like eyes. He is definitely throwing me some major side-eye shade here too! Haha! Alpaca fur is so snugly and dense – a lot like teddy bear fur and I blooming love their funky hair-do too.
I am pretty sure you would be happy all the time if you worked with alpacas – maybe minus the poop!
Overall, we had the best experience walking alpacas. They are kind and gentle creatures that are seriously underrated. I think everyone should experience an alpaca walk at least once in their life time because it is the most bizarre yet adorable adventure – even if you are exhausted from keeping up and end up covered in mud! We were definitely glad of a hot cup of coffee and some lunch at the end.
Sidenote: How funny does Chris’ alpaca Tailwind look now he is stood up with his new muddy socks on!
Have you ever walked an alpaca? Have you ever crafted with their wool? What experience days could you recommend for our next adventure? I would love to hear all about it!
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Until next time, meet me for a chat with a cup of tea in the comments below…
…You click the kettle on and Alpaca lunch! (Haha! That will never grow old!)