The next day saw us invent a whole new sport. There was a lawn at the front of the cottage surrounded by a wall, two players would stand facing each other and try to hit the opposite wall with a football while defending their own wall against the other players attempts.
Only feet could be used to attack the other wall and to try and tackle the other player but hands could be used to defend against strikes. We gave this the imaginative title of 'Wall Ball' and it proved so popular that by the end of the week there was barley any grass left on the lawn.
So we spent most of the day kicking a football and shouting while a chicken slowly roasted in the coal burning stove and the sun climbed to it's zenith then began to sink towards the horizon.
So far so Waltons Mountain.
In the late afternoon two of my mates said they were going to drive up the mountain to the disused slate quarry. They had heard there was a small deserted village called Machno near the quarry and wanted to have a look. About an hour after they had left the rest of us were sat in the garden supping a bottle of wine when we saw a cloud of dust approaching along the dirt track at some speed.
The cause of the cloud was my mate's Renault 5 which was bouncing along far too fast to be doing it's suspension any good. It slewed to a halt outside the cottage and they both got out looking a bit wild eyed.
'You aren't going to believe what we've just seen', they said.
They had driven up the narrow road that wound up the mountain and ended in the village of Machno. The condition of the road got worse the further they went until they it wasn't much more than a track.
They arrived in the ghost village which a was a huddle of abandoned slate cottages surrounded by dense forest. Getting out of the car, the trees seeming to muffle all sound in the empty village.
Then they noticed smoke risng from a garden of one of the cottages and walked towards it. The cottage looked in better condition than the rest of the village, there was still glass in the windows. As they got to the wall they saw a small bonfire smouldering in the overgrown garden.
Suddenly a bizzare figure leapt up from behind the wall. It was an ancient looking woman with white hair sticking wildly in all directions from her head and her hands stretched out on either side of her. My shocked friends then realised that smoke was rising from her hands and in each palm she was holding a fistful of glowing coals.
Then she opened her mouth and let out a shriek like a boiling kettle, waving her handfuls of smouldering coals as she did so.
My friends did the only sensible thing and screamed like girls and ran to the car. They tried to do a 3 point turn on the narrow lane which turned into an 8 point turn in their panicky state then didn't take the foot off the accelerator until they got back.
It was after they had breathlessly told us this tale that we realised that we had run out of ten pence pieces for the electricity meter and would have to spend the night in utter darkness apart from the glow of the fire. The village shop was closed for the night so we went to The Eagles for some change to be told that they didn't have any ten pences, which made us think that they were in on it and setting us up for a Straw Dogs scenario.
However we were resourceful and drove the ten miles to the next village and got some change from a pub there.
And so we sat up that night waiting to see if a crowd of locals would come to try and sacrifice us to the Witch of the Mountain, which of course they didn't and in the morning we felt like a right bunch of pillocks.
Nearly 20 years later I was hiking in Wales and took a detour out of curiousity and revisited Penmachno. It still looks the same but the customers in The Eagles were no longer quarrymen but tourists and hikers.
The slate barman was long gone and replaced by an attractive girl from Poland.
No-one knew anything about Machno or an old lady who lived up there and I didn't go looking for her.
I'd like to say that we found out who she was and explain her story but I can't. With hindsight she was probably a some poor lost soul living alone in a dead village who had gone mad with the isolation. It's a theory, I suppose.
Still, it was a great holiday and I would recommend it to anyone.