Feeling energised by Thursday’s expedition to get as wet as possible without jumping into deep water, we decided to make for the Llia Valley and a small hill called Fan Nedd. It would be a good test of my fitness, offered the option to going on or turning back if it was too much and there was a river nearby for Rufus to cool off in afterwards.
The journey was swift and, apart from stopping to tell a farmer that there were sheep and lambs in the narrow lanes by his farm (they weren’t his but the owner had been told), uneventful. The sun was out again but I paid more attention to the surrounding clouds this time. Once we’d parked the car and set off, I could see that we would be free from rain clouds for a while.
We set off slowly, (well, I did. Rufus accelerated to his happy pace and kept that up for the whole walk) and as soon as I hit the incline, I could feel my lack of fitness. I slowed down to the pace I used in the trek, a slow and deliberate cadence that worked. It was like changing down a gear. Rufus was rushing around, ahead of me, then by the side of me for a treat, then behind then ahead again. There was no question that his fitness levels were the same as before I’d been ill.
The path steepened to climb up the side of Fan Nedd and I put my head down and carried on going. We had one water drink stop and it didn’t take too long to gain the summit and the tall drystone cairn that marked the end of the difficult bit. Time for a snack and another drink before heading south towards the trig point. Although there were sheep everywhere, Rufus wasn’t inclined to chase them; instead, he raced off to beat my to the trig point by several minutes. In fact, he got bored waiting and came back to see where I was.
It was great being back on the hills again. I’d missed it. I checked when I got home and found that it had been two months since the last time we’d been on the high ground. The views from the top were spectacular and I could even see my place of work from the trig point. That wasn’t so good. Looking around, I could see dark clouds in the distance and although we were in warm sunshine, we both decided that it would be better to set off for the car just in case.
By the time we reached the car, the clouds had passed by to the east, so we made our way down to the river Llia where we spent a splashy half hour throwing and retrieving stones. There was a row of stones that Rufus had dredged from the riverbed lined up on the bank. Shortly after we set off in the car, the heavens opened and we were in the middle of a rain, sleet and hailstorm that the windscreen wipers could barely clear.
Back home, we settled on the sofa and watched daytime TV in between nodding off and snoring.