Heavy rain with a chance of getting soaked

The weather forecast said rain and that’s my excuse for having a lie- in. I say lie-in, of course I was up at 5.30am at the request of the boss for a quick sprint out into the drizzle before we both went back for another hour or so of kip.

The plan for today was to get some shopping done and then some chores around the house while the weather was bad. But as is the way with Welsh climate, when I got up for breakfast, the sun was shining. Breakfast and shopping over, there was no sign of rain so we had a brief discussion and Rufus decided we’d better head off to the hills to take advantage of the sun. Of course, as we left the house, it started to rain again but it’s only water so we hopped in the car and set off.

We went back to the river. We were there on Wednesday evening and as we wandered along the river bank, we were buzzed by an RAF Typhoon. This afternoon, there was no activity as we walked along the riverbank up towards Fan Brecheiniog. I had no firm plans for where to go and I thought we’d just wander and see where our noses took us.

Rufus’ nose took him into a deep pool and at first he was happy swimming about. But there was a strong current under the surface and I could see he was being swept off course. There was no real risk of him being swept away as the water left the pool in quite a narrow and shallow waterfall. But he wasn’t happy so I called him over to the bank. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it to the shallow bit as the current was strong, so he tried to climb a steep part of the bank. Between us, we managed to get him out of the water; I dragged him up and on to me and he kicked out with his back legs. I was drenched! Rufus was happy.

We carried on and with the sun shining and a breeze keeping the temperature comfortable, we headed up the hill towards Llyn y Fan Fawr. After the last day’s rain, the going was extremely soggy but we finally made it to the shore. We haven’t been there for a while and it was nice to see it in the sunlight. We walked around the shore and while I threw stones for Rufus to chase and catch, he splashed about in the shallow water. The level of the lake was much lower than usual even with the heavy rain we had yesterday; I don’t think I’ve seen it that low.

By the time we’d made a complete circuit of the lake, the cloud was heading back over the mountain. As we set off to the car, the rain started; light at first but getting heavier as we went. The only good thing was that I had my back tot he direction of the wind, which was gusting quite strongly. I was resigned to getting a soaking. Rufus was already wet from his dips in the river and the lake so he’d didn’t see the problem. About half way down the hill, the rain stopped and the sun came out again.

Back home, we both sat back on the sofa and there was much snoring!

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It’s taken me a week to fully recover from the bug I had. In that time I’ve watched the weather improve and I’ve become more and more frustrated that I haven’t been able to get out. So on Friday, I was determined to get some fresh air. Aware of the dangers of over doing things, I called for my walking buddy, Rufus, and we took a leisurely stroll through the Lliw Valley to the reservoir.

Rufus hasn’t been well either so both of us took it easy. There was no rush and no sense of urgency. We went where we felt like, which meant an early departure from the usual path down to the River Lliw (a stream at this point) and a muddy squelch along it’s bank. You can guess who was leading this part of the walk. Eventually we returned to the path in the face of a barbed wire fence blocking our way.The weather was warm and sunny and it was a pleasure to be out.

We reached the reservoir and headed of to our favourite spot on the bank, where Rufus can paddle and swim and I can throw stones for him. He knew where he was heading and raced off in front of me. They’ve built some steps and a little platform there now, presumably to stop erosion and to provide a spot for anglers. It was ideal for both of us in our semi invaild state.

Stones were thrown and skipped (I’m a kid at heart) and there was a lot of paddling and swimming and some barking when I concentrated too much on taking photos and not enough on Rufus. Then it was time to head home. Reluctantly we both left and made our way back at the same leisurely pace. Fresh air is great!

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