We got an interesting offer today. Someone we had been in contact with in France offered us a ready-made breeding herd of llamas for 20,000 euros. This consists of one stud male and 4 females. Three of the females are pregnant and the fourth is a baby herself (and they are not pregnant by the stud they are being sold with, meaning that any female off-spring could be bred with the stud). This sounds like a lot of money but it is actually a very good price as once the babies are born we could sell each one for between 1000 and 2500 euros each and we have a ready made herd! For an additional 1000 euros we could also have two males, suitable for trekking (one fairly old and the other a youngster). They would come complete with halters, transport to the new location and three days hands on training. The other plus is that they are the brown and white ones, which Ian really likes! Only downside..we are not ready to go over for at least a year, having no house as yet! We have been doing some serious thinking about whether we could find someone with a field and some interest in them to have them for a year (maybe Ian's friend who lives in Burgundy). The downside is that without regular handling and attention by the time we are ready to go over we may have a wild herd to manage! It's a very difficult decision and at the moment we are thinking about it. I guess in the end we have to think about the well-being of the llamas and maybe we would not be the best owners for them. (However, if no one else can be found to buy them we may be better than any other alternative as the sellers are 4 weeks away from selling their farm and moving to Bulgaria- they were let down by the buyers of their farm who could no longer afford to purchase the llamas along with the farm). So, we will make some enquiries and think some more and hopefully make the right decision!
On another note, we have been chasing the builder who says he hopes to start the house in 'quinze jours'. This is french for in a fortnight but is also a bit of a builders euphemism for 'sometime soon'! Consequently we have arranged a trip over in a couple of weeks to meet up with the builder, go through the plans with him and lay the first stone. (He will then probably forget about us until we nag him again!)