The final day of this year’s pilgrimage. 11 of us meet in the church at Aberdaron for a short period of prayer and silence. We then head off up onto the clifftop path that will take us to the pick up point for the boat that will take us accross the Sound to the island. It is a mere 2km away but it can be a treacherous span of sea and islanders can be cut off for weeks at a time. Today however the sea is like a mill pond and Colin the boatsman soon has us safely accross. There is a mist and low cloud over the island, but as we begin our walk accross the sun begins to shine through. We stop for coffee at the farmm and two domestic goats join us!
We continue on to the chapel, which is non-denominational, and here we celebrate with communion, using a thermos flask cup as a chalice! It is a joyous celebration and we take time to think prayerfully about the past days of our pilgrimage. We wander through the graveyard where there is the cross bearing the carved memorial to the 20,000 saints buried here. In medieval times 3 trips to Bardsey was considered the equivalent to 1 visit to Rome. We then track up to the highest point Mynydd Mawr just 167m above sea level. The views from the summit are astounding. There is a low cloud base through which the peaks of Snowdonia emerge to the east, and the mountains of Wicklow to the west. We can also see Holyhead mountain on Anglesey ahead of us.Below coming accross the Sound is the boat bringing new sheep to the island! We enjoy our picnic high above the sea and then it is time for us to meet the boat again. Seals are basking off the shore.
Colin delights us by slowing down the engines as we pass the cliffs so that we have wonderful sight of the razorbills, guillemots, and puffins that nest here.Puffins swim around like bathtime toys, and razorbills dart by flapping their wings 9 times per second. So we arrive once more on the mainland. The island was idyllic today, but it is remote and must be a hard place to endure in stormy weather.
Our journey has ended. The affinity with nature for almost 2 weeks has been wonderful. The felllwship of fellow pilgrims and other friends has been tremendous.
I haven’t worn a watch for almost 2 weeks, and I feel very privileged to have been able to undertame this journey.i have also been able to raise about £1000 for St Kentigern’s Hospice. All in all a fabulous 13 days.