28 June, 2008
This morning I had a nice breakfast of poached eggs, grapefruit sections, OJ, and some nutty rice cereal with rice milk that I had purchased at the Tesco's in Bangor. All whilst looking out at the fields of cattle and the beautiful blue sky! This is a wonderful B&B and Mrs. Thomas is a real gem. It will be hard to say good-bye.
I watched Mrs. Thomas hang her clothes out to dry on the line and the wind was blowing steady, as seems to be the case on this Llŷn Penninsula. The sheep dog was out of the pen and welcomed me when I went out to see how the day was.
Simon picked me up at 10:30 to take me to Aberdaron.
I am staying at the Pretoria, booked for two nights. From there, I can walk out to the Whistling Sands Beach (called this because the sand makes noise when you walk on it) or pick up the Coastal Path just out of town, according to Simon. We had both called Captain Colin and attempted to get me a booking on the ferry out to Bardsey Island, but the weather wasn't cooperating. And tomorrow wasn't looking very promising either.
Bardsey Island is the end of the Edge of Wales Walk. During the early Christian times, the Pope declared that 3 trips to Bardsey was equal to one trip to Rome. So, the pilgrims flocked there, following the route that I was walking, from St. Beuno in Clynnog Fawr to Aberdaron, where they would take a boat over to Bardsey. They also call it the Island of 20,000 saints.
When we pulled up to the Pretoria in Aberdaron, Simon had to run over to the Ty Newydd (new House) hotel to get the inn keeper, Ian, so that he could show me my room. It was on the second floor with a view of the village.
After I settled into my room, I went for a walk on the beach. Very beautiful, with large pebbles and small round rocks and cliffs to the right and left, basically a cove.
There is a beautiful church there on the beach, next to the Ty Newydd. St. Hywyn is part of the pilgrimage route and is a 12th Century double naved church. I went in to the church and spoke to the priest there. Turns out he had been to Pennsylvania, at Villanova, for a meeting last year! He gave me a poster of the most recent Pilgimage walk. I had apparently just missed it.
I had lunch in The Ship Hotel. A lovely lunch of smoked salmon and salad with hard boiled egg...and a glass of red wine.
Then back to the Pretoria, where they have wireless internet and called home with my Skype account. All is well back there. Also, called my cousins to let them know that all was ok and that I was on schedule for going to Bangor, while looking out my window at the beautiful, quaint village.
I had dinner at the Ty Newdd and it turns out that the chef's mother has Celiac, so he personally cooked my meal of Duck breast, using corn starch for the gravy. It was fabulous, especially with my window seat, where the view is just wonderful. Can't wait to get out there at sunset for more pics, but it will have to wait till tomorrow, because the weather turned...