So what’s the deal with the Alpacas then? This is Bertie Boy – my first Alpaca love!

Your mother probably told you that you should buy other people gifts that you would like to receive yourself – which got taken to a whole new level when just over 3 years ago I bought Phil a ‘thoughtful’ gift for his birthday – alpaca trekking at Haguelands Farm – an adventure that I knew he would enjoy and I would too!

It was June before we were able to sort a convenient time to go, allowing for the weather to improve and the children to be outsourced to willing grandparents. The farm is located just outside Hythe in Kent, a pleasant drive for us and easy to find from the directions – we had lunch at ‘The Bistro’ before going over with a lady called Lara to meet the alpacas and there was Bertie Boy with such a beautiful face, waiting for me!!

We went for a stroll around the surrounding countryside, following ‘Hershey’ the lead alpaca, followed closely behind by Phil with his companion ‘Andy Pandy’ and the rest of the group – with a friendly, but slightly mischievous alpaca called Alan bringing up the rear. Lara gave us lots of information about the herd, and alpacas generally and also doubled as a leader for our group, more pied piper than drum major but with an element of control rivalled by Mary Poppins.

It was just brilliant to enjoy the scenery, the peacefulness and the opportunity to be outside. Bertie Boy was very well behaved and just walked along calmly, stopping every now and then to munch on some vegetation that he had spotted buried deep in the long grass – Andy Pandy being a little more naughty decided to undo his halter from the reins but was re-attached before he had the opportunity to make a run for it – thanks to Phil’s calm reaction, which allowed Lara to re-hitch him quickly!

After a stop for chopped carrots, we took another gentle stroll back to the field, stopping to stare at some sheep (alpaca’s love to randomly stare at stuff) before finding boxes containing more carrots! What an amazing day, can’t wait to go back again!

So there you have it, alpacas must have the answer to lifelong happiness – a gentle stroll outside, plenty to eat and the ability to just stare at stuff- all sounds great to me!

More than that, it re-enforces my belief that life is not measured by how much stuff you have, or money you earn – but by life experiences that you share with those that you are closest to. And you can clearly see that Phil is enjoying himself too!!

I think that it is the main reason that Phil and I get on so well, we love doing things together – big adventures or mundane tasks, and we make each other laugh…We support each other’s slightly weird obsessions and try new things, having a brilliant time in the process!

Since then, we’ve been on the lookout for them wherever we go, even managing to spot alpacas in someone’s garden whilst we were on holiday in the peak district. We actually spent Christmas of 2016 with some alpacas courtesy of Air BNB

My best day of 2016 was when we went to an open day at Spring Farm Alpacas in the Ashdown Forest – we were able meet and interact with alpacas on a much closer level and find out more about their care and wellbeing, and the hospitality was amazing.

Our plan since then was to have our own (small) herd, and it looks like it will actually be happening within the next few months – a real case of working towards something amazing that 10 years ago as an employee, I wouldn’t have thought possible.

In February after much hard work, and re-organising of our finances, we managed to move to our dream house with a bigger garden and land to put them on– and so our dream is really taking shape!

Follow our blog at www.peacetogether.co.uk/contact to see how we go from here!