Walking with Llamas
C. Willa Stewart

It was in a magazine that I first read about walking with llamas, those large camelids which have come to us from the Andes in South America and which have adapted so well to living in Britain.

Llama at Kingspark Llama Farm

Most of the llama walks described in the magazine article took place in England; but, north of the border, in Scotland, Kingspark Llama Farm at Berriedale in Caithness offered the possibility of llama walks in the surrounding countryside. Needing a minimum of four people to make a llama walk viable, I was delighted to find that three of my neighbours (Ronnie, Moira and their daughter, Laura) were keen to share the "llama experience" and plans were soon afoot to step out with the llamas.

Before going north I had known a little about llamas, especially of the soft and durable qualities of their wool, but had not realised that some of them go in for show jumping. The owner has to jump WITH the llama, not ON it, so it must come as something of a relief to anyone contemplating such a sport (and the llama itself) that the jumps are slightly lower than those at Aintree, one of England's famous racecourses! Llamas are also used for karting; my sister remembers children at Edinburgh Zoo many years ago being able to ride in karts pulled by llamas.