Day 14 Bardsey

We wake up to glorious sunshine, but still a chill wind. The sea looks calm to our inexperienced eyes. The locals are not at all certain that we will get accross to Bardse today. But w set off accross the cliff top in hopeful mood. There are just 9 of us now. Fond farewells were said to Mike (and Barb) last nightand to Janet and Duncan this morning. The walk over the clifftops is delightful. Bluebells carpet the way, with the vividly purple orchids also in full display. As we round the headland to Porth Meudwy, we are delighted to see Colin the boatman taking on provisions for the island, making the boat ready. We are in luck!

But for the first time in 5 years we are required to wear life jackets, and Colin tells us he will take it easy, but we may be in for a rough ride. And so we are! The boat is tossed around but we feel perfectly safe in Colin’s care. He cuts the engine as we head into strong waves, and then he gently opens up again, and we are soon in the shelter of the slippway. He wants us back to the boat by 1.30pm as he says the weather is changing again.
We decide to hold our short service of arrival in the open facing the sea. We spend some time in silence listening to the sounds of the wind and the sea,the birds and the seals, as well as to the noise of the boat being emptied and reloaded…..all part of the island’s life.
We go then to explore, each of us in our own way. I decide not to climb to the summit of Mynydd Enlli this time, but to wander along some of the coves. But only after a coffee at the farm! Jo Porter who lives here with her husband Ben and their 2 children is off the island this week at a weavers course in Chichester. But there are plenty of her handmade baskets, felts and other thingd available in the little shop. I am taken with a boater she has made and buy it….hopefully to be worn in the garden at home on hot summer days! We also pick up the prayer basket she has been commissioned to make for St Buenos church at Clynnog Fawr, and we will drop that off on iur way home tomorrow.
As we enjoy our coffee we are kept entertained by Jo’s 2 dogs who play tug the ball with each other. They play until the small terrier is exhausted and refuses to play anymore!
John and I then wander down to the shore and along to the lighthouse to the furthest southernmost point. There are a couple of Shelducks preening themselves and I wonder if the ae the same pair that seem to have followed us up the coast from Morfa Nefyn. The sound of Oystercatchers rings in our ears, and there is the haunting sound of seals too.
All too soon it is time to return to the boat. We have to clamber over rocks that are covered with seaweed and therefore rather slippery, but we all manage very well. The sea is calm now and Colin is able to take us safely close to the shore so that we can see all the amazing birdlife. Razorbills and guillemots, fulmars and black backed gulls, shags and even a pair of choughs, and finally the puffins appear like flying clowns ready to amuse us.
Soon we are back at Porth Meudwy and the very end of our pilgrimage. We say farewell to Roger who has his campervan at the top of the hill. We savour the last moments walking accross the clifftop then down onto the beach and along to Aberdaron. We stop for tea and cake at the cafe…a buiding dating from 1300 that provide a kitchen for pilgrims en route to Bardsey all those years ago. More fond farewells as Peter and Chris depart with Karen and Ann goes off to her tent. Chris and Jenny and John and I have another night as we will be attending the Bardsey island trust AGM tomorrow, so we agree to meet for dinner later.
It’s been a great 2 weeks walking in every kind of weather. We have enjoyed the company and fellowship of all. I feel so privileged to be able to have this special time, and to have the good health that allows me to undertake this journey. The opportunity to experince, in this way, the wonderful landscape that is God’s creation is beyond belief.

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