Dear Blogger friends. As mentioned in last week's blog, I have returned to doing the Parkrun (with my trusty Skabby) and I'm enjoying being back in the field.
Before Covid, my friend, Marelize and I would also attend the monthly evening 5km walk in the Champagne Valley.
Last night she and I completed our first one in three years. This walk is similar to a mountain hike: very steep downhill paths, rutted roads and several uphill climbs. Marelize (who is 50) had a knee replacement a year ago. She wasn't as fortunate as I was with my knee repair surgery earlier this year and is still challenged while walking.
However, on Friday night, with Skabby dragging me on the leash and Marelize holding onto my right elbow, we (with four healthy legs and two healthy knees between us, LOL!) completed the course. It took us more than an hour, but we were thrilled that we'd started doing this walk again. We made a pact to do it every month.
Afterwards at the hotel . Marelize, her daughter, two granddaughter, aged two and four years old and who had completed 4km (!) and I sat with the other contestants enjoying drinks on the deck. There were also hamburgers for sale.
Skabby, has never been on this walk and was the star of the evening. People who had never met him, made a huge fuss of him. Which he loves, of course. I had his leash under the cast iron chair leg and when one of the barmen came out with a tray of drinks, Skabby moved forward (dragging the heavy chair!) to see what the barman was offering. This man spun backwards and dashed back into the pub, slamming the door! When I went indoors, he said: hau that dog is so beeeg. I laughed and asked him to bring a plastic container with water for Skabby so that he could make friends with the dog. When the man placed the water in front of Skabby, who stuck his head in and lapped thirstily, everyone laughed. Now the barman was stroking Skabby's head and talking to him. I said: See he's a friendly dog!
On Saturday morning it was Parkrun as usual. I thought Skabby would be hanging back. Not at all: as I opened my car door, he hopped in. At Parkrun, I looped his leash around a handy post near the children's swings. At least I then I could hang my car keys up and greet my friends.
That day we could feel summer is on its way. When we got to the second dam (near the 4km mark), I urged Skabby into the water for a plodge and a drink. This helped tremendously on the last stretch which is always challengingly hot. At this point, it also feels as though the end will never come.
By now, Marelize and her little Daschund, Tiger, had caught up to, and passed us. She was trying to improve on her time from last week. She arrived at the endpoint at 50minutes and eight seconds. I clocked in a little after her at 50 minutes and 22 seconds. We both agreed that having had the walk the night before made the Parkrun much easier and pleasurable.