From glass artist to alpaca shepherd and back, in a day

February 08, 2020

From glass artist to alpaca shepherd and back, in a day

Connemara is well known for its abundance of sheep, both in the fields and on the roads.  No trip out west is complete without at least a photo or two of a sheep taking a stroll down the middle of the N59.  But did you know we also have extremely photogenic alpacas?  Better yet, you can take them for a stroll, or even book an alpaca yoga session!

Connemara Blue Fused Glass

Three weeks ago Wendy and Tasha visited Curraghduff Alpaca Farm in Oughterard. Run by Ruth and Stuart Newton, this newly opened farm is home to 15 alpacas, 3 dogs, and a flock of chickens.

One of the activities on offer is an alpaca walk.  This consists of a one hour walk on the farm, with the alpacas.  Before the walk, each newly appointed shepherd is introduced to the alpacas, and Ruth kindly explains that one hour could easily be 2 hours, depending on how fast the herd decides to walk.  After a brief note on safety, we set off, each of us leading our "very own" alpaca.

Connemara Blue Fused Glass

 

The walk is a nice leisurely stroll around the farm (unless you are leading Alfie, who insists on being in front on the way back, so keep up :) ).  

Each of the alpacas has its own personality.  Some are quiet but cuddly, some love chewing on fluffy hats, some love being talked to.  One thing they all have in common, is their love of treats!  Near the end of the walk, everyone is given a handful of treats to feed their favourite alpaca.

Of course, alpacas aren't the only ones who love something sweet, so Ruth and Stuart bring out the tea, coffee, and alpaca shaped biscuits.  The perfect way to end an amazing experience.  

Inspired by this trip, the Connemara Blue Team made some glass alpacas. Of course, this meant a return visit to the farm for a little photo-shoot :)

Connemara Blue Fused Glass Alpaca





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