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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!