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  • Writer's pictureFiona Christie

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

It's been a busy summer for us here at Christie Alpacas, though in a different way to the norm!

At the start of July, as the tourism sector began to reopen, we had to have a long think about the best way forward so that we could welcome people to see the alpacas, minimise risks and be economically viable. In the end we decided to open only to voucher holders, since they had already invested their money in us, and people staying in the Paca Pod.

Many voucher holders have taken the opportunity to get their alpaca fix (although we still have several outstanding vouchers, so if you have one get in touch ASAP!) and the alpacas have enjoyed meeting people again and are getting back into the swing of walking in their halters. Bear and Babooshka have been building on the halter training undertaken with us in the spring, and are now walking out confidently with visitors.

The Paca Pod has also been busier than ever this year and we were fully booked throughout July and August, and continue to have a steady stream of bookings coming in. People have visited from all over Scotland and a few from across the border too, and the feedback we have received has all been wonderful - we are so grateful. We have had families with young children, who loved seeing the alpacas, running around our large garden and splashing in the pool. The local beaches have also been a hit, with children and adults alike. It's nice to think we've played a part in making great memories in what has been a worrying and stressful year.

There has also been a bit of building work underway, with the girls getting a new extension onto the front of their shed. We've noticed that whenever there was stormy weather with a northerly wind (quite common in the winter months!) the boys were tucked in their shed nice and cosy, whilst the wind blew right in to the girls shed, taking the rain with it. There was only really one corner of the shed which was sheltered in these conditions - not ideal when there's six alpacas! The girls therefore now have a fetching new veranda at the front of their shed, with metal sheets where the gates used to be to deflect the wind and the roof has been extended out over the concrete path at the front to provide more shelter from the rain. We have also create a second gate at the fence side to make it a bit easier to guide them in when we need to catch them (although a bucket of feed usually does the trick!)

Besides the above, we also have all the routine tasks - poo-picking, feet trimming, vitamin paste treatments, water bucket and paddling pool filling, grass cutting, etc. - keeping us busy, as well as our 'day jobs' so it's been hectic at times. We are, however, grateful for everyone's continued interest in visiting and, although we will continue with vouchers and Paca Pod guests only until the end of our season (October), we hope to welcome everyone who wishes to visit next season (from Spring 2021). Until then, stay safe and enjoy what is left of the good weather!

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