Top 5 Activities in Sarthe, France ~ Located in the Loire Valley and known for its rolling hills, forests, and rivers, Sarthe, France offers visitors many activities and attractions to explore. Loire Valley Llama Farm Stay is a unique destination in Sarthe that provides guests …
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From Ireland across the Irish Sea to Wales, then onto England – October 2012
Then the man that worn the blue overalls noticed that my ears and my nose weren’t very collie like, I felt panic, my tummy started to bubble again, I’d been found out, I wasn’t a proper collie and wasn’t worthy of a name, I squeezed my eyes shut again.
“What, in the name of dog, do we have here? Will you look at those ears! She has the look of a Saluki with her pointy nose and silky ears, we’ll call her Suki”
My eyes sprung open, I had a name!
The lady that had carried me in off the doorstep was talking in her beautiful singsong voice, I had no idea just how beautiful her words were and how they would change my life forever.
“Jada’s been on the phone, she’s chosen the dogs for this months transport, and you Suki, are going to England!”
They’d made it sound exciting, like it was a good thing, but once again I found myself in a crate, in the back of a dark scary van. Why had they tricked me? what did I do wrong, I’d tried my very best to be a good girl.
Although, I couldn’t keep my eyes shut for long. With me were 9 other dogs, most of them looked like the farm collies that roamed around, a couple were wide eyed and shaky like me, some were whispering about the place called England and the woman called Jada. In the crate next to me there was a collie that looked a bit like a labrador. On his name tag was written ~ Marley, I thank goodness for Marley.
Marley was soooo excited, he had heard a rumour that England was full of tennis balls and snacks, he pulled really funny faces, dribbled a lot and gave the best full face licky kisses. Even when he was asleep he snored like a drain, made yippy noises and peddled his legs chasing balls in his dreams. With Marley there was always noise, with Marley next to me, the van didn’t seem so scary, the journey seemed shorter and I felt just a little bit braver.
The van stopped, the doors opened, the sun was so bright, I thought I saw an angel.
Lessons Learnt from Marley
The next few days were the best yet. We had food, cuddles, big soft beds and toys! Marley found a new mum and dad straight away, I knew he would, who wouldn’t want a dog like Marley in their life. I was sad that Marley was leaving, but he had taught me to be braver and told me the secret of craziness, that humans can’t resist a dog with a little bit of crazy in them.
I very nearly found a home too: a couple were coming to pick me up a in few days, when they phoned Jada to check how I was in a car. Jada had the phone on speaker whilst she was dishing up our dinner, so we all heard! OH MY DOG! none of us had ever seem Jada angry, it was pretty scary and I’m glad she’s on my side!
The lady asked whether I was car sick, Jada said she wasn’t sure, it wasn’t something she had checked for when we arrived, I could have told her that I wasn’t, my bubbly tummy was another matter but nope, I loved being in cars. The lady said “Oh well, we’ll soon find out, but if she is, we’ll be bringing her back” Cue 10 dogs, paws over ears whilst the air turned blue.
“You will NOT!”
“You will NOT!, as you will NOT be taking her in the first place!” phone slammed down, sounded like she broke it, and a lucky escape for me!
The next weekend, Jada fitted me out with a smart harness and told me that the dog walker was taking me, me! for the special walk, that I needed some TLC after being let down… I had no idea what that meant, maybe it’s when a human defends and protects you?
Who is Sarah?
I’d heard the other dogs talking about Sarah. Whenever she could, she’d turn up and just one lucky pup would get to have her all to themselves, we all loved our group walks with Jada but seriously, those leads get tangled when one human is trying to walk 5 or 6 dogs!
At first sight, I didn’t need to remember Marley’s advice, it started at the very tip of my tail, I could feel a tingling and had to wag it out, it crept up my legs and through my body and along my neck, my whole body was wagging like a crazy labrador, I couldn’t stand, I rolled onto my back, I was squealing tickle me, tickle me please!
But, I didn’t go for a walk that day, that’s what acting like a crazy labrador got me. It got me a forever home.
Sarah changed Suki’s name to Missy who is now nearly 10 years old. She lives in France with her mum and dad and her very own labrador Crumble. They also have llamas, goats, donkeys, chickens and 2 rescue cats Lola and Sammie. Crumble the lab gives all the animals the very best full face licky kisses!
We are excited for Summer 2020! Loire Valley Llama Farm Stay re-opens on 1st April 2020 for Glamping in the Lotus Belle Tents, Luxury in the Llama Lodge and stop overs in the Old Barn Rooms.
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We offer a variety of comfortable and quirky accommodation. Whether you opt for the Llama Lodge, converted from the ancient wine press, enjoying its own kitchenette and private shower; or prefer to glamp in one of our thoughtfully positioned luxury belle tents with proper beds, Egyptian cotton bedding and solar power; or maybe a stay in one of the two comfortable rooms in the old barn. Whichever you chose, it is likely that you will find yourself spending relaxed evenings, warmed by the fire pit and overlooked by the starry skies of the Vallee du Loir.
Today was a great day that found the treasure I have been patiently waiting for.Today we went to a riverside brocante in Montsoreau, a beautiful French town that sits next to the Loire. Our favourite days out are finding Brocantes and searching for treasure. The drive …
It has been bought to the attention of this Llama Mama that despite lots of posts, videos and photos, the Loire 7 (our llamas) have not been properly introduced! We must rectify this as soon as possible, as for all I know, you could all be thinking that they are a rabble of spitting, flighty, “don’t give a fig” type creatures, when in fact this couldn’t be further from the truth… not just the fig part ????
So today it has been on my list of priorities to put this situation straight.
This will be the easiest blog I have ever written, the llamas carry their personalities with pride, they are never half hearted in anything they do. These are emotional beings and you would need to possess extremely poor skills of observation to not quickly get to know them as individuals.
Where to start? Llamas have great respect for their matriarchs, so we will start with Ayesha, born in May 2011, so coming up for 8 years old. Ayesha is Axle’s mama and she’s the boss! All leaders must be clear headed, calm and brave and Ayesha is all these things. When the llamas first arrived on our farm, Ayesha was challenged a couple of times for leadership, but this girl is not ready to give up her crown. We have just started training with Ayesha so she can join the younger llamas on their treks. Her favourite thing at the moment is to sneak in the chicken shed when I’m checking for eggs and eat chooky food (to be fair the chickens are pretty partial to llama food but more about that shortly)
Next up is Hannah, now Hannah (Savannah’s mama) is 4 days younger than Ayesha, they’re lookylikies and they are half sisters sharing the same father ~ Yoda, but the 2 llamas couldn’t be more different, not including their stunning looks and height. Hannah would like to be in charge but has settled for the position of look out & alarm raiser… If anything is not as Hannah feels it should be around the farm, she will let out a llama alarm cry (honestly you need to search for this on U-Tube) a loud warbling noise made in the llamas throat. Llamas are guard animals and Hannah does a cracking job keeping our herd, plus our chickens safe. She also warns the wildlife for miles around when the chasseurs are around!
Third we have Portia, if you follow Instagram you may have heard of our Portia, she is trying to be a social media star! Portia was born in June 2011 so is just a month younger than her elders, she is also half sister to Ayesha and Hannah, sharing the same father ~ Yoda (flipping ‘eck he was a busy boy!) Portia is the sweetest llama in all of France and allows us to lift her feet with no fuss at all, when asked nicely she will go and stand in her place, ready for her health check over. She has the kindest face and stands looking at you with her gentle eyes. She is learning telepathy and is always very happy when her attempts result in llama treats. Portia’s favourite thing is to spit at her grandson Orion… he is a greedy monkey, and doesn’t get away with stealing food from Portia! Portia is mama to Lola and grandmama to Orion.
Next is Lola! Lola’s birthday is August 2013, so is just coming up for 6 this year. Lola’s mama is Portia and she is mama to Orion. Lola is a very small llama in comparison to our herd. All our llamas have made excellent mothers, but Lola is truly the best. Lola is really very easy going, she is happy spending time with the others but can often be found either alone or with her boy Orion, having found some juicy grass that she is keeping quiet about. Lola may be little but in the stable she likes to help us out, if one of the 3 older girls are making our lives difficult, Lola will help with a well aimed spit and we have instant cooperation!
Now on to the three youngsters, our trekkers. All 3 are half siblings, sharing the same father ~ Oscar (another busy boy!) Axel was born in April 2016 so is 3 next month! Son of Ayesha, Axel is often favoured by visitors as he is striking in colour, very dark brown / black with a white flash up his neck. Axel loves to hang out with Orion. He is an extremely messy eater dropping half his food on the floor to the delight of the chooks who come and clear up after meals! Axel is growing in confidence as he gets older and is great to walk with, as long as we are generous with treats! Axel, along with Hananh, like to break into the chicken run, our chicken run has a roof which is much shorter than a llama, but llamas can be very nimble and flexible and, it seems, can fit in low roofed chicken runs!!
Our Penultimate llama is Orion, born in May 2016 he is coming up for 3. Orion is our most cuddly llama, in fact he is way more cuddly than most llamas and would probably win medals for his cuddling skills. Amongst his other favourite things are; chewing in our faces, sucking my ponytail, giving kisses, receiving kisses, pulling funny faces, being nosey, wriggling (they all like this!) and smiling. He is the happiest llama in the whole world despite also being the most spat at.
By no means least in Savannah, also born in May 2016 and daughter to Hannah. Savannah is an Amazon; a beautiful, strong giant of a llama! She is gently inquisitive and I challenge anyone not to fall in love on sight. Savannah is still growing and is nearly our tallest llama, she will be by the time she stops growing. Savannah walks on the leash with grace, however as she becomes an adult, she want to spend less time with the clowns (Axel and Orion) and be amongst the women, hence us training Ayesha to join us! Savannah’s nature is gentle, she stands with the crowd and watches. We love her, as we do the whole rabble!
I hope you feel you now know our llamas a little better, I love to talk about them ❤