Power showers are brilliant at waking you up when hubby snores so loudly that sleep doesn’t come easily. Snoring is probably the wrong word. Thanks to surgery on his throat, it’s more like a bellow. The shower at Flint House was one of those lovely rainforest style ones, not that getting rained on in the rainforest would be anything like this as there aren’t any bugs or large carnivores in this B&B, but I’m sure the concept designers meant well.
I can’t remember the last time I ate boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast, on a verandah, with this view:
My soldiers were even gluten free, and with two perfectly cooked eggs, Jacqui certainly knows how to treat her guests. Mac the rescue dog does too, and sensed instantly that we liked doggy cuddles, so he settled down close to the breakfast table for his morning nap.
For my birthday pressie last year, Rich had adopted me a llama called Jim, and as Jim lives in this neck of the woods, we though we’d combine a visit with our wedding anniversary celebrations. So at 9.25am we jumped in Skyra, and instructed Dervla to direct us the 4 miles to Oakhill, where Jim’s human mum Caroline lives.
Like us, Caroline – a part time chiropodist, is slightly obsessed with llamas and has been working with them for around 15 years. She’s recognised as on of the UK’s llama experts, so much so that she recently got called out by the police when two llamas were found wandering alone in the Mendips, and were endangering their lives and others by straying onto the road. Sadly their owners had moved, and couldn’t be bothered to find them a forever home, so they’d been left in the ‘care’ of a friend, who it seemed had forgotten to feed them. They’d escaped because they were literally starting to starve to death. Unfortunately the story didn’t end well, and they ended up being put down. Don’t buy pets people, unless you’re prepared to love and care for them forever.
After a quick cuppa at Caroline’s, we jumped in her car for the short drive to the llama fields where whilst helping to dish out their breakfast we were introduced in turn to each bundle of fluff, including an alpaca who thinks he’s a llama. So much so that he’s willed himself to grow to llama size! Jim, my adopted llama, immediately leant in for cuddles, but as he has arthritis he’s no longer able to go for long walks, and so today we’d be trekking with Hattie and Ollie instead – two of the younger llamas.
Hattie is very well behaved and so got paired with Rich. Ollie is a teenage male who’s still in trekking training, and after getting a whiff of female pheromones (from me and Caroline) wanted to do nothing other than play, give us llama kisses, and nip our ankles to try and get us on the floor…
My walk was literally spent walking round in circles whilst Ollie nipped away and tried to see how naughty he could be before Caroline reigned him in. Llamas will always pretend like they’re poor starving creatures when they pass a hedgerow, and insist on stopping to eat as much as possible. It’s not easy trying to persuade them to walk on, especially when one’s a teenager who can’t even be bothered to make the usual llama clicking noise to indicate that he’s getting cross. Instead he just gives this look and makes a sort of sighing noise, the teenage llama equivalent of saying “whatever”.
Once the llamas were safely back in their paddock and we’d said our goodbyes, it was time for a llama free stroll up to St. Andrew’s Church in Holcombe, to look at Captain Scott of the Antarctic’s family memorial. Neither of us previously had any idea that he was from this part of the world. We wound our way back through the fields and despite it being a gloriously sunny day didn’t seen any other walkers. A bit sad really, that people seem to prefer keeping fit by visiting a soul-less air-conditioned gym, when we have all of this space on our doorstep.
The Holcombe Inn was much quieter than last night, but at least that meant that we got served our fish and chips quickly. After last night’s huge dinner and this morning’s big breakfast, we couldn’t face more than one course, and instead opted to make the most of everyone having gone out back at the house to sit outside in the fading light, and enjoy the peace and quiet.