Saturday, March 29, 2008


Two new photographs of Martin and Zak added 31st March 2008!

Just a quick update on our ‘ever-growing’ family of Alpacas.

You may remember that last summer we were kindly loaned some of Nigel and Ginny’s young male Alpacas to keep ‘Lilly’ company, whilst we waited for ‘Martina’ to fall pregnant. Only then could she be delivered to us from their farm in Atalaya and as Alpacas are herd animals and cannot live on their own, this seemed to be the best solution.

One of the young males was ‘Martin’ (the son of our Martina) who we instantly fell in love with. As you can probably see from the lead photograph, he has the most wonderful large eyes and eye lashes. He is second on the left in the photograph as you look at it.

Another of the boys was ‘Zak’ who was very poorly during his stay with us and whom we helped nurse back to health. He had two very nasty abscesses under both eyes, which resulted in a trip to the vets in the town centre of Ronda. It was quite an adventure, but I will let the photographs tell the story! He is standing behind Martin in the lead photograph and in the forefront of the second photo, so as you can see he has made a full recovery.

Well to cut a long story short, once we had heard that Martin was not going to make it as a sire and was to be castrated (as over 95% of male alpacas are) which made him affordable, so we decided to buy him!

As a gesture of kindness, for the care we had given ‘Zak’ we were asked by Nigel & Ginny if we would like to have him. How could we say no to dear little ‘Zak’, so now we have a family of 4 Alpacas, with two crias on the way!

In addition, we have also agreed to look after 6 more of Nigel and Ginny’s youngsters, as they are currently moving from their farm in Atalaya and staying in rented accommodation (where space is limited) until such time they find a suitable property.

Their names are Lorenzo, Lotte, Mia, Clara, Olympia and Edwina (who is black in colour) As you can see, they have all settled in really well, although 'Lilly' and 'Martina' are not too sure about their new friends!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Just a small selection of photographs of the many varieties of wild flowers that we have found within a few hundred metres of the house.


Well, we had quite an eventful weekend! Lin’s son Guy, his wife Amanda and our grandson Ollie came over for a few days to enjoy the Spanish ‘Semana Santa’ celebrations.

Sadly, the weather took a turn for the worse on the day of their arrival and whilst it improved during their stay, it remained fairly cold and miserable throughout and scuppered most of our plans!!

To make matters worse, the censor on the feeder tank, which controls the water being pumped from the well, malfunctioned three times over the weekend, which resulted in the pump house being flooded. To add insult to injury, we had a bag of Alpaca food supplement at the side of the feeder tank, which was directly under the flow of water, so you can imagine the mess. Miraculously, the damage was minimal and whilst we lost a couple of mattress’s etc, most of the valuable items were being stored above the level of the escaping water!!

However, as you can see from the photographs, Ollie appeared to have a really good time and instantly formed a close relationship with both Nuri and Luna! They bonded so well that everywhere Ollie went the dogs were two steps behind him! They really miss him!

On the Saturday, we visited Nigel and Ginny’s place in Atalaya and Ollie had a fantastic time with the Alpacas. Nigel was great with Ollie and allowed him to help feed the herd of 30 plus Alpacas, whilst explaining the history of Alpacas and how they should be best cared for! He then whisked him off in the golf buggy collecting logs, which we had previously cut from a dead tree.

We hope the weather will be better the next time Ollie comes to visit!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


With Amanda, Guy and Ollie coming over for the Easter weekend we thought it might be an opportune time to give Nuri and Luna a bath! Sadly, it rained on Wednesday, so after just one walk they were as dirty as ever and we had rather wasted our time bathing them!

The only good news is that we managed to take a few photographs of them whilst they were clean!

Monday, March 17, 2008

ON THE ROAD AGAIN..............

Monday 17th March

A stroke of good fortune! Dave Lines, who many of our old friends in Datchworth will know, as he lived in the village for many years, has moved to Spain with his wife Janis. They have a really lovely apartment in Riviera del Sol, Mijas Costa. Dave, a golfing buddy of mine from Brookmans Park Golf Club, owned ‘Sargeant and Lines’ a garage in Welham Green from where he looked after our cars when we lived in the UK.

Once he had heard of the problems we had experienced with our beloved SAAB, he immediately came to our rescue. He obtained the parts from one of his old suppliers in the UK and today our SAAB is repaired and back to its former glory!

Thank you Dave and Janis………………………


Sunday 16th March ‘Palm Sunday’

The Palm Sunday processions through the town centre of Ronda…

In the background you can see a glimpse of the minaret at Santa Maria church in Calle Jerez, which remains from the 13th century mosque!

I think I'll let the photographs tell the story of the day…….


Saturday 15th March 7am (first light)

A party of five set off to go Griffon Vulture spotting. Nigel Cobb (our good friend from whom we purchased the Alpacas) Adrian (another good friend of ours) Lucy Cobb (Nigel’s niece) and Penny Cobb (Lucy’s mother) and yours truly!! Oh sorry, and Lucy’s two pet goats Sofia and Silky!! Too early for Lin, who is not yet fully recovered from her operation!

We all met at Nigel and Ginny’s house in Atalaya (pictured above) and headed for nearby woodland, where it is known that the vultures roost at night. Well, we were in luck and spotted a number of vultures still perched in the trees and we watched in amazement as one by one they launched themselves from the branches and flew down into the valley below us.

We all then returned to Nigel and Ginny’s for a breakfast of salmon and scrambled egg, fresh orange juice, toast and homemade jam and coffee……’s a tough life over here!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Thursday 13th March

What a surprise we had this morning! We discovered the most enormous common toad swimming in the pool, much to the amusement of Luna and Nuri.


Monday 10th March
Following a visit from Juan Luis Munoz Roldan, the Director of the Consejeria de Agricultura Y Pesca in Ronda, who came to inspect our facilities, I am pleased to say, that we have been granted an official farming licence for the breeding of Alpacas!

Shown above is Lin proudly picking up the certificate from the offices of the Junta de Andalucia in the Calle Pedro Romero (Ronda) As you can see she is looking really well and has almost made a full recovery from her hysterectomy operation earlier this year.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Lilly, who is expecting a cria at the end of April, finds a unique way of keeping cool, while Martina looks on! Martina is expecting her cria at the end of June, beginning of July!