UK

An Adventure? Alpaca my bags! – Alpaca walking in Hampshire

It’s no secret I’m an animal lover.

So when Lee asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I had a bucketlist adventure waiting.

Alpacas have become super popular in recent years. Alpaca farms are popping up everywhere and it seems that people just can’t get enough of them…and I totally know why. I mean look at that face:

We decided to book with a local farm called Hensting Alpacas. They’re a small, family-run farm I’ve been following on Facebook for a while and so it was about time we coughed up the pennies to support them.

The whole booking process was super easy, getting there was straightforward and before I knew it, I was jigging around in the middle of a field with pure excitement. This was it.

Meeting the alpacas

The morning began with a short talk from a member of staff who told us all about how the farm was started, the work they carry out and some general information about alpacas as a breed.

They even told us about the alpaca’s native Peru where they’re used for meat and fur, and where they work with locals to produce authentic alpaca products they sell in their small farm shop.

It was lovely, really, to feel so connected to the other side of the world.

The next step was to actually meet our fluffy friends…

We lined up in pairs and were brought our very own alpaca one by one. Meet our friend Sammy.

Walking with them

Sammy was pretty new to the whole alpaca walking experience and so was still a bit nervous. He’d only been on the farm for about 6 weeks which meant he was a bit jittery.

Generally, alpacas are pretty shy creatures. They’re so used to being prey in the wild that they can be easily spooked. And where he hadn’t quite had chance to settle in, poor Sammy was a little on edge.

But considering the Dr Dolittle animal lover I am, I kept a constant flow of calm conversation going, letting him know everything was alright and he eventually began to relax a little.

We walked with him round the first field, stopped for photos and swapped who was holding his rein a couple of times before the whole group came to a stop and we had the opportunity to swap alpacas.

Meet Chan Chan.

Chan Chan was a lot calmer than Sammy, and would even let us get close for a few cheeky photos. He was probably the most relaxed alpaca of the lot. He even let us stroke him a few times.

The keepers had told us at the beginning of the session that alpacas don’t get any pleasure from being stroked like a dog might. The act of stroking them is purely for us, they don’t even physically touch their young when they’re born. Some alpacas will tolerate being stroked, whilst others really don’t like it. Sammy wouldn’t let us come near enough to even try, whereas Chan Chan was a little more laid back. But it was still important to respect when he pulled away. At the end of the day…I didn’t want to be spat at!

We walked Chan Chan round the second field and back, stopped for more photos and found ourselves back where we started.

The whole experience

After the walk was over, we got to feed the female alpacas and their babies (called cria). The farm was then open to the group where we could mingle with the alpaca herd, who were far more interested in playing in the stream, and meet Kevin the ram who definitely thought he was a dog.

The whole experience was amazing and the moment it was over, I wished I could do it all again.

The staff were amazing and knowledgeable. You could sense they cared for the animals and the whole experience was just so relaxed.

We also stopped by the little shop to buy ourselves a miniature alpaca made from real alpaca fur who is definitely the softest thing I own.

The whole morning cost £36 for both of us and we were easily there for more than two hours. Personally, I thought that was pretty good value for money.

This was a must-have on my Christmas wish-list last year and so my brother has bought us another experience, this time walking a cria. I can’t wait to book it and share the experience with you.

If you’re in Hampshire and want to know more about Hensting, or book your own experience, you can find their website here: https://www.alpacas-hampshire.co.uk/

This article is not an advert but simply a true recount of my experience.

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  • What will the future bring?
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Technically all future plans are on hold. I’m sure you’re in the same boat. It’s hard to factor in what might happen in a month or two months’ time so we’ve hit pause for the time being.
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But that doesn’t mean we’re aren’t still planning for the future. We’ve got adventures lined up and big dreams, it’s just a case of waiting for when we can unpause.
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For the moment, I’ll make do with remembering and planning and looking to the future and feeling hopeful ❤️
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  • How are you feeling today?
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While we’re all standing strong together 💪 it’s okay to also have a wobble. To feel overwhelmed and helpless. But it’s important to look to the future.
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It’s so nice to see the weather perking up a bit (even if we can’t quite enjoy it as we would like 🙄). Hopefully this is all over in time for our unpredictable summer season so we can enjoy a drink or two down the local. I did, however, get our garden furniture out 🙌 so I feel like that is a definite step in the right direction.
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PHOTO: standing side by side the Fearless Girl on Wall Street. I feel like we’re all currently living this reality at the moment 💪
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  • That’s it, the UK is officially in lockdown...
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And I think a lot of us are going to be feeling pretty blue today.
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But life goes on, we adapt, we work together and we lift each other up.
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Normality will resume eventually, so for the moment it’s a case of living in the moment and taking each day as it comes.
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Tell me where you are and what lockdown looks like there 👇
  • Now the restaurants are closed and the supermarkets are practically empty, my breakfast is limited to knock-off cookie crisps and toast. Here’s to dreaming of fat American pancakes from Ellen’s Stardust Diner 🤤😍😂
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Anyone else getting worryingly low on essentials like teabags 🙋‍♀️
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I’ll probably lay be venturing out today to a) get some fresh air and b) find supplies. Wish me luck 🤞 —
PHOTO: Ellen’s Stardust Diner is a MUST-VISIT NYC destination. The servers are all Broadway stars waiting for their next show so you have endless love entertainment while you eat. And the food is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Top tip: Sunday AM is pretty quiet so you don’t have to queue as long. We waited for about 20 minutes but the queue can be up to 2 hours (in winter) 🙊
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  • The future is looking a little bleak at the moment. —
I’m permanently working from home for the foreseeable.
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Asda looks like it’s never going to restock its shelves.
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People are ignoring public health advice and going about as they would normally.
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Panic buying and hoarding supplies doesn’t seem to have slowed any.
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We’re starting to run low on stuff in our house but there’s literally nothing we can do cause the supermarket shelves are empty, and I don’t just mean the essentials. They are all empty.
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So now what?
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I’m going to call, text and FaceTime everyone I know, all the time. I’m going to reach out to those that I know get lonely, and those who need a bit of human interaction during the day.
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So I’m here if you need me 👋 just drop me a message if you fancy a chat ❤️
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And I’m going to post stuff on here as I would normally. Just because the world is on pause doesn’t mean we can’t still live our lives. I’m still dreaming of travel, looking forward to when borders reopen and reminiscing of past trips.
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Considering she means freedom, I thought Lady Liberty was an apt symbol to share right now 💪
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Tell me, how are you doing right now? —
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  • Eek, it’s begun. And it probably won’t be long until we’re on full lockdown.
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I’m hoping the crisis passes quickly and normality can resume. My heart goes out to all the small businesses across the country that are going to be impacted. Especially those that can’t rely on digital orders to keep them going.
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A lot of people are pledging to continue to share travel content to help inspire us and provide some form of escapism. Travel might not be on the cards for the near future, but it will be all the sweeter when our borders reopen.
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Today’s photo is less about travel and more about my other love: books 📚 —
If anyone wants any recommendations, let me know. I’m going to be sharing some of my favourite reads in my stories throughout the day if you want some inspiration. I’m going to stick to a more lighthearted theme to keep the good vibes going.
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PHOTO: a quaint little independent in Winchester tucked down a back alley 😍
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