When we covered the fact that this Alpaca and Prosecco hike was in Wicklow, I thought it was just the coolest thing ever.
If something is happening anywhere around the country, I always like to see something similar being mirrored closer to home in the west.
So, I was delira to find out that the “Ultimate Alpaca Experience” was being set up in Galway, in a place which is just on the outskirts of Mayo too.
For €20, you get a two-hour meet and greet with the alpacas and get to walk one mile with them as well as getting your photos taking with the cute things.
It all takes place at Curraghduff Farm in Oughterard and the first set of Alpaca walks will take place in August 2018.
I had to find out more, so I got in touch with the alpaca’s owner, Ruth, who only moved to the Town Of Tribe one year ago.
“We (my husband, 15-year-old son and I) moved here in August 2017. We lived in the north east of England and I worked full time as Mental Health Nurses for the NHS. I found this to become too stressful and I really struggled with the work/life balance. I began to realise that I wanted life to be different and in order to do this we needed to make big changes.
“After lots of research we fell in love with Ireland and wanted to relocate to the Galway area. Alpacas came about by chance. We had attended a Glamping conference in England and an alpaca breeder was there to promote alpacas within the tourism trade. I fell in love completely and it all started from there.
“We moved to a run-down farm and have been working hard to bring it back to life. We are hoping to start up a glamping site with two family sized Tipis but we are currently waiting for planning permission. More recently, my contract as a childcare worker in a local preschool came to an end this summer and I found this to be the perfect opportunity to start my own business.
“I love our alpacas and find them so calming to be around. In fact, alpacas are used in some care homes in England as therapy animals. They hum to communicate and it’s just beautiful. I often spend hours just sitting with them, they are so curious of humans but when they give you their trust it’s so heart-warming.
“The boys love going for a walk and it seemed ideal to use this as an experience for others. The alpaca walks at Curraghduff Farm will be open for business in August 2018. The cost per person/per alpaca is €20 for a two-hour experience.
“When pre-booked guests arrive at the farm they will hear a little introduction about alpacas and how we fell in love with them. They will then get the chance to meet and greet ‘the boys’ and hear about their individual personalities. Once guests have been matched with an alpaca, they will have a bit of a practice in the field using the harness and simply ‘get to know’ their alpaca. We then take the 1 mile walk around the farm with the alpacas and take in the views of Lough Corrib and surrounding mountains.
“Guests have plenty of opportunity to take photos/selfies throughout the walk. Once back at the alpaca field, we give ‘the boys’ a tasty treat then guests can enjoy light refreshments at the alpaca shack too.
“We are really excited about this new venture and we just love it when people come and visit us to meet the alpacas. It’s amazing how many wonderful people you can meet when you own alpacas.”