Wednesday, 27 June 2012

No Dramas, Only Llamas!

On the edge of the Ashdown forest in 32 acres of rolling English parkland, overlooking a neo-Gothic Victorian manor house, one hundred Llamas and Alpacas quietly munch their way through lush green delicious pastures avoiding buttercups as they go.

Please Click Photos To Enlarge

We arrived at Ashdown Forest Llama Park last weekend for a morning of trekking across the hills of East Sussex. This was to be my first encounter with a Llama since seeing them in a zoo as a child so it was great to see them sauntering around in large fields, the wind blowing their long tresses and lots of space to roam.

Llamas have a prominent set of banana shaped ears to aid their superior hearing and present themselves with a spectacular array of carefree eyebrows and monobrows.

Alpacas are half the size of a Llama, (more lamb-y and a little less camel-y!) with long lean necks and have a much finer coat than their chunkier cousins. Our visit happened to coincide with a parade of newly shorn Alpacas sporting some very groovy bangs.

The ancestors of domesticated Llamas and Alpacas still live wild in South America. The Guanaco wears a cashmere style coat and wanders widespread mountainous regions. The smaller and now endangered Vicuna whose fleece is said to be the finest in the world skips gracefully through the Alpine areas of the Andes munching on its favourite grasses.

Upon being approached by one of these inquisitive creatures the first thing that sprung to mind was that she was limbering up to drool or slobber over me and goo was not the look I was going for.
I was surprised to find that she was just giving me the once over in quite a chilled out fashion, obviously to see what ensemble I had put together that morning. I knew we were instantly friends when she fluttered her long eyelashes at me. Now what was her name again? Oh yes,......... Lionel !

After spending a very pleasant morning in the Sussex countryside with the charming company of our very well behaved new found furry friends, we waved goodbye to Tom, Lionel, Abigail, Leroy, Edna, Florence and Patricia who at this point had completely lost interest in us anyway!


  1. Beautiful and interesting creatures to see on a farm. There are a lot of them here as well. Their hair makes great clothing. Nice that you got some good closeups of them. Pamela

  2. What heavenly creatures, those eyes! And the alpacas with the bangs couldn't be any more adorable. Lucky you to get so close.

  3. Delicious post and amusingly written. They do have gorgeous eyes.
    H was once doing a beach survey in the Magellan Straits, Chile after an oil tanker disaster. Suddenly he became aware of eyes watching him. It was a Guanaco, the lead Guanaco did a foray to see what was going on, and the others stayed back up in the hills watching from a distance until the leader had satisfied himself that H was a friend and not a foe.

  4. Hi Paul,

    When I opened up your posts it made me LOL! You know, I have seen those lama's from the road years ago on my way to a nursery. At that time I didn't realise it was a lama farm.

    The nursery may be a place you like as well. I believe it's called called wych cross. They have a huge collection of roses. Perhaps you know it?!

    Your day with Patricia, Tom, Lionel and the rest of the party sounds like fun!

    Enjoy your evening,


  5. What an unlikely discovery in the UK! Our county here in the US has many Alpaca farms too, there is one just up the road from us with several dozen. The cute ones you met are quite willing to be photographed!

  6. WOW Paul, these llamas and alpacas are so adorable. I didn't know that there are llamas and alpacas in England's National Park in Sussex. It seems you enjoy trekking and the outdoors.

  7. Now that's a catchy blog post title, Paul! 32 acres of rolling countryside, what a setting. If we are ever in that area, I'd love to visit....don't think I've seen a llama or alpaca before.
    Have a great weekend!

  8. wonderfully written and great pictures
    nice greetings

  9. Dear Paul,
    I have laughed so much while reading your post! Lionel reminds me of a certain actor (I will spare him the embarressment to be named - but really - the same soulful eyes, (NO, not G.C.!), looking a little amused, and the somewhat tiny face - great! The second photo (the funny creature over 'Please click') is so cute too! I always believed that my white and my black Alpaca coat came directly from the Andes - now I might considerate East Sussex as origin (but thankfully they abstained from the buttercups :-).

  10. Paul- you are sharing some incredible photos!! I love llamas too- frequently seeing them when I go to yarn shows. They are funny little creatures!! The grounds look simply gorgeous--
    You go to the neatest places!!

  11. I've recently been knitting with Alpaca yarn. It's perfectly delicious.
    And I adore the description, "banana ears"!

  12. I was wondering if you were spat upon...that's some llama love! Those long eyelashes are just dreamy...and those big brown eyes? You must have been right up there..Mr. Brave

  13. They really DO look like magical, little creatures, Paul! I've never been able to see them up as close as you did- I've only viewed them in a distant pasture while shopping a farm sale. Thanks for your nice comments on my yard transformation post. We are truly enjoying it now~ Sue

  14. This is too cute! Their facial expressions are amazing!

  15. Lionel is gorgeous. So funny, great photos x

  16. There faces have definite personalities. Lionel looks like he is smiling in your close-up of him.

  17. I always love photos from different places and cultures. But this post is sooo amazing and funny. Thanks for sharing :)))

  18. I just luv their sexy lashes!!


  19. Your photos are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your day!