Day Three..a soggy start to a spectacular Day!

Survey the pouring rain from the warm kitchen at Rhagatt without enthusiasm. Our horses stand miserably in the yard. Michael and Fanny chivvy us out and we heave ourselves creakily into the saddle. We’ve been thoroughly spoilt at Rhiwlas and Rhagatt and probably gained a pound or two plus our poor old limbs have been severely tested over the last couple of days. But the mountains must be scaled and Dinbren reached before dark. Meg and Norma join us for the day..the former having a little extra difficulty mounting her steed at the start…but she soon gets the hang of things. We clatter up along a steep lane and veer off onto a special track of Fanny’s that leads us straight up into breath-taking country still purplish with late heather. Great opportunities for proper galloping with Mrs. B as our leader. Veils of rain sweep across us and vanish as brilliant sun burns through..’Richard would have absolutely loved this’..says Susie. We remember his wonderful, gleeful smile and reckon he’d have probably taken his own line outstripping the lot of us and dodging the rabbit holes with his polo-player’s skilfulness. Even the country was suddenly transformed into what looked like a gigantic polo field of emerald pasture as we left the heather behind! Beyond us in the far distance more mountains loomed up; layer upon layer and in front of them Dinas Bran ..the famous Crow Castle..which was a pointer for our final destination. Lunch lay somewhere between at Cymmo Farm where our son Charlie and his family were staying ..and to reach it required us to slither and slide down a perpendicular hill to the valley bottom. Rain had increased the ‘slitheriness’ ..we reached the bottom very speedily. Anne’s third delectable lunch was our reward. We dried out by a thoughtfully provided fire-pit and picked up another passenger: our two year old grand-daughter Margot. She insisted on riding with me to the end of their drive where she had to be firmly removed by her father…just in the nick of time. For the remainder of the ride was fraught with hazards: incredibly steep lanes, traffic on the Horseshoe Pass Road, precipitous paths which dwindled into nothing and required UTurns…more slithery lanes and a final drop down into the Dinbren yard where we sank to the ground with enormous relief!

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