Experience Days love providing new and exciting experiences for their customers, but this time we really have gone the extra mile … and this time by Llama. Oh yes, llama trekking around the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside. We just had to find out more about the llamas, and who better to ask than Mary, the owner of Llama Trekking?
Please explain your journey as Llama Trekking so far.
Our first llama was called Henry and he came to Catanger to be a ‘guard llama’ to our herd of Angora goats – this is when a male llama lives with a flock of sheep or herd of goats and protects them against foxes and dogs. It did not take long to discover just how fabulous llamas were so after six months we decided to buy some more. Three years later we had 11 and this is when we thought it was time to do more with them and so began our llama trekking business; this was in 1998. In the 15+ years we have been trekking, we have met so many wonderful people, shared our lovely llamas and had a truly memorable experience.
The best part is the sharing of knowledge and experiences with the public, who usually arrive at the farm not knowing anything about llamas but go home smitten. We use around 12 male llamas for trekking and they all have their own character and place in the herd. They keep us amused for hours just watching them.
Sounds corny, but there really have been so many. We got received Blue Peter badges when Matt came trekking with us and Countrywide have also visited with Adam. Our llamas are the ones who appear in the Horrible Histories on CBBC and even in an episode of Midsummer Murders! Our llamas have led us to some truly wonderful places and we have met so many people.
Wow we were not expecting that – you have some pretty famous llamas! Is there any inside information you can give us?
We sure do! As for inside information, well, we have learnt a great deal over the last 15 years and can cater for most ages and abilities. We have a group of learning disabled adults who come every week and we even take our llamas out to old people’s homes etc. They make friends wherever they go. Each trek is preceded by half an hour of llama information and instruction on handling/leading, so everyone will get the most out of their llama experience.
We also use our llama fibre to make wonderful funky llama hats and wool for knitting, plus several other llama related goods in our visitor centre, which is also my fibre studio. Everything I make from the fibre is on sale. We are also a breeding farm so during the spring and summer months our crias (baby llamas) arrive and they are the most adorable babies around. All this is open to our trekking customers.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you’d like to tell us about?
Two years ago we opened our log cabin visitor centre, complete with toilet facilities. This has made a huge improvement to our customers’ llama experience and many of them bring a picnic to have on the farm after their trek, surrounded by the llamas. We have also recently included the opportunity for people to come and stay on the farm in our hand built gypsy caravan: it is in the middle of the farm so looks right out over beautiful countryside with llamas in the adjoining fields.
What an amazing insight into the world of llamas and llama trekking – thank you Mary. If you fancy trying something new this spring , this could be just the experience you’re looking for – so take some llamas on a four mile trek around Northamptonshire!