The main path through Clyne woods follows the route of the old mid-Wales train line. It's paved and is part of the national cycle trail. We very rarely walk any distance along it preferring the muddier wilder tracks frequented by few except the most hardy of dog-walkers. But recently George and I have donned our Indiana Jones hats and walked where no man has trod before.
Actually that's not true as we've followed paths but paths off the even-less beaten tracks. We found a good route up the hill last week and today we decided to tackle it backwards and walk down.
Near the bottom (and the cycle trail) there was a turning off to the left. 'Come on, George,' I said. 'Let's go exploring.'
It was a reasonable path in most places - by our standards - so we carried on for about 10 minutes before we slipped through a portal into another world, that of a tropical swamp. Complete with vines, high reeds and mist rising. But no way through.
As George and I made our way back along the path we'd come we pondered on why there would be a path if it didn't lead anywhere. 'Surely a path is a path because it goes somewhere,' I said.
'That's probably what everyone else who followed this path thought before they had to turn back too.'
'But no-one ever walks here!'
'Then how is there a path?' George asked before humming the theme tune to the X-Files. (Which is quite remarkable in itself as that was on television before he was born.)
We took the next path down. It was very well-marked. 'This'll take us to the cycle path all right,' I said.
It didn't. It led us to the river, the high, fast-flowing river.
'How can that be here?' I was amazed. 'The river's on the other side of the path.'
'Not if you go far enough up it it's not,' George said. 'But come on, we can swim across.'
'Oh very funny,' I muttered as I fought my way through brambles, under holly branches and along muddy precipices until we reached a tree trunk that had fallen across the river.
'There we are,' I said. 'I can cross here.'
George looked at me doubtfully.
'I can! I've seen Indy do it loads of times.' I put a tentative foot on the trunk: it slipped straight off. I ran my hand over it. 'It's very slippery.' I had a little think. 'Okay, I'll just have to slide along it.'
So there I was gradually bum-bumping along it, and hoping nobody passed by with a camera, when the inevitable happened. In fact two inevitables.
I'd reached the middle when it begins to pour with rain again. And George decided this trunk-balancing looked fun and came out to join me. We were nose to nose and I said, 'Good boy, very clever. Go back now.'
George continued to stand peering into my eyes.
'Go on, George, turn round.'
'What do you mean uh uh?'
'Can't turn round.'
'Well, back up then.'
'For goodness sake, jump in the river then!'
'Why not? Oh, don't tell me: scary.'
Eventually by inching persistently closer and sticking out my leg behind his back legs to give him support we managed to get him turned round. 'Go on then, George.' He stood stock still, trembling.
Somehow we got to the other side, where George ran along the bank before happily leaping in the river again. The good thing was that by the time we got home the rain had washed the mud off. The bad thing was that there wasn't anywhere on either of us that wasn't wet through.
What I want to know is: why do these things never happen to Indiana Jones?
Oh, I know. It's because he doesn't have a stupid dog but he does have a sense of direction.