Getting stir-crazy yet again, I was looking for something to do. Something besides sitting in my own house. With restaurants, museums, stores and practically everything else still closed, there wasn’t a lot we could do. So we checked out Social Deal, which is a website that has deals on different kinds of entertainment. It’s also a great place to start looking if you want to do something a little different. There I found Beleefboerderij Heijerhoeve that offered ostrich-feeding, taking a walk with donkeys and a walk with alpaca’s.
As I’ve fed donkeys earlier on a trip to Germany and ostriches are scary, and alpacas are cute, the choice was easily made. We booked the tickets, and waited for the right moment to go: when the weather would be nice. It took a while, but finally, last weekend, we met with the alpacas!
When we arrived, we were assigned two alpaca’s, and they gave us some instructions and what to look out for (alpaca spit, for instance!) and the route we should walk. One of us should walk in front of them, holding the gear, and the other one behind them, to further them along, off the property and into the woods. They weren’t allowed to eat the grass on the farm itself, but it was really difficult keeping them from doing it! They were really stubborn!
On the left you see Joep and the right picture is Hein. Hein was the one walking with me when we got to the forest. We couldn’t keep them too close to each other, otherwise they would feel the need to establish which alpaca was the dominant one. By spitting… We had been told that alpacas do spit (I though it were only llamas who did this) and that it would be green, smelly and sticky and that we should look out for it. Luckily, they only spat at each other and we didn’t get caught in the crossfire. It did smell really bad, though!
It was fun! Definitely something I hadn’t done before. The alpacas were really cute, Hein kept making adorable sounds like he wanted to tell his life’s story. He also got really curious when we ran into another group of people that were walking with their own alpacas. Especially female ones… Sometimes he didn’t want to walk, other times he was hopping.
At one point we ran into another group who had some alpacas that were even more stubborn than ours! This female one was feeling hot and wanted to cool off in this puddle of mud! This gave me lots of Neverending Story vibes, but luckily, Joep came to the rescue, pushing her out of the water and we could all go further.
Of course, when doing any kind of animal activity while traveling, make sure the animals are not harmed in any way, especially if the owners make a profit out of such activities. We checked out the farm beforehand and it all looked legit. Most animal encounters you can do in the Netherlands, are okay, as there are a lot of rules the business has to follow.
If you want to book an animal activity, always do your research and trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. See how the animals are doing, do they look happy and healthy and if you’re dealing with wild animals, is the activity within the line of normal behavior for them? If you wanna know more, read this guestpost a friend of mine wrote.