Anything But Paella

Gabi – The Alpaca who supports Brighton!

It was such a privilege to see Experience Alpacas in Andalucia on TV, and especially to see how much Gabi has grown since we last saw her. Anyone who visits Alan and Lorna at the Olive Mill will fall in love with alpacas, and we were no exception last year. Have a look at the Channel 5 trailer below and try to find the programme on catch-up TV somewhere. It’s definitely worth watching.

So, Gabi, the alpaca who supports Brighton! What’s that all about then? Well, she came into this world on 1 October 2014, the latest addition to the alpaca family at the Olive Mill, near Córdoba. I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with the alpacas, and with Alan and Lorna who look after them so well. If you are looking for something a little different in Spain, I can highly recommend a visit.

Experience Alpacas in Andalucia

Alan and Lorna taking good care of their alpacas.

It’s now more than 9 years since Alan and Lorna came to Spain and set up their alpaca farm. You can read all about the early days, the trials and tribulations, the heartbreak and the delight, in Alan’s first book: “Seriously Mum, What’s an Alpaca?” Since then this has turned into a series of four books.

Experience Alpacas in Andalucia

Alan’s first book sits proudly on the table in the lovely guest flat at the Olive Mill.

But why, you may rightly ask, do they have an alpaca called Gabi, and why is she a Brighton fan? Well, that’s my fault! Alan was raising money for a donkey sanctuary by doing a skydive. He used crowdfunding to gain sponsorship and one of the rewards was a two night stay with the alpacas and the chance to name the next baby. I decided to claim those rights and I’m so pleased I did.

Experience Alpacas in Andalucia

Russ and Gabi. Brighton fans together!

Where does the name Gabi come from? Well, I’m a mad Brighton fan (in all senses of the word!) so I decided I would like a name linked to the club. Alan and Lorna are from Eastbourne so they didn’t mind too much. Brighton are known as the Seagulls. The Spanish word for seagull is gaviota. In Spanish the letters B and V are pretty much interchangeable, and so Gabi is short for gaviota! The name really seems to suit her too, and she was quite content to wear a Brighton scarf to have her photo taken with me.

Experience Alpacas in Andalucia

We think Gabi’s mum, Bermuda, may be a Crystal Palace fan!

Her mother, Bermuda, was not impressed though. Perhaps she is a Crystal Palace fan! She tried her best to remove the scarf from Gabi’s neck, and spat a vile, yellow, extremely smelly substance at anything and anyone within spitting distance. Yuk! the smell has to be experienced to be believed.

Experience Alpacas in Andalucia

Poor Lorna. The smell was something else!

Poor Lorna got covered! Luckily I managed to get myself and my camera gear out of the way. No harm done though, and after a shower for Lorna and a good wash for the scarf, everyone was happy!!

Experience Alpacas in Andalucia

Gabi. Isn’t she gorgeous?

One day we’ll be back to visit again, and we are hoping for a warmer reception from Bermuda!

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