30% decided that we should walk up through the valley this morning and eat lunch at The Joiners.*
I had tried to dissuade her from this walk earlier in the week as I suspected that the path would be absolutely filthy. Unfortunately my wise words were ignored and, instead, she preferred to take council from a stranger with a grubby dog who claimed the path was fine.
Within half a mile we were encountering areas where walkers and livestock had turned the path in to ankle deep mud. I was not impressed ... Having spent the Winter walking filthy lanes the last thing I wanted to do on my holiday was walk thorough more crap.
Also the nature of the path was not great for 30%. It was narrow, rocky and twisted and turned through tree roots, ruts and quagmires. At present 30% is not too steady on her feet and this was far from an ideal walk for her.
For every hundred yards I walked 30% would cover about seventy five and I was having to stop every few minutes to allow her to catch up. It was a bloody nightmare as I could never maintain any rhythm to my walking with this stop start arrangement.
I should also point out that no maps were consulted prior to our departure so we were reliant on the sign posts to ensure we were headed in the right direction.
After about an hour the path was barely visible as it followed a steep boulder street dry stream bed ... Hardly ideal terrain for 30%. We eventually cleared this obstacle and came to a fork in the path. One branch was signposted Bishopston but seemed to lead away from where we needed to go. Another sign pointed up a steep flight of stone steps but gave no named destination.
I left 30% to catch her breath and climbed the steps to see if I could see any signs of civilisation. After a couple of hundred yards I could hear voices and see power lines. I retraced some of my steps and shouted a report to her lady ship. She came up the steps to join me and we soon found ourselves at the top of the valley.
We crossed a couple of paddocks, passed a farm yard and an extreme dollop of good luck had us 50 yards from The Joiners' front door.
It may have turned out alright but, just as easily, we could have been dealing with a broken ankle in an impenetrable valley. 30% has to get a more realistic view of her current walking capabilities.
* TP and JN planned to drive down to the Mumbles for a couple of hours and would meet us up at the pub.