A day of wonderful hospitality, wild winds, occassional downpours, and lots of laughter!
We enjouyed wonderful hospitality at the church in Llansannan before we set off. 5 of the congregation joined us for our short service and then provided us with refreshments to set us on our way. St Katy is one of the churwardens and she was there and so invited us to have our next coffee break at her farm which is on the route. 8 of us today. The weather looks uncertain but we set off with no rain. The walk along the river is so pretty and the river is in full spate after the recent downpours. At the mill the river rushes throuh and the sound is tremendous. We all stop to take photos etc and then Rosemary who had Made us cofee at the church appears. She and Richard the church warden live in the house beyond the mill in the most idyllic setting. They are so kind and invite us to use their facilities beofre we set off again. Last year we named the year of the bluebell, this year i think it mumust surely be the year of the primrose. These pale delicate looking flowers abound everywhere. But they must be hardy as they appear in every nook and cranny along the way. We are steadily climbing up through the woods and fields now and the wind is getting up. It seems a long slog! But we are rewarded at the top as StKaty is ready for us with tea and biscuits in her wonderfully warm kitchen. She invites Ann to stay tonight, which we urge her to accept for although Ann says she feels she is cheating if she doesn’t camp, we argue that hospitality is at the heart of true pilgrimage! She doesn’t need much convincing! Nick will bring her back tonight. Suitably refreshed we set off over the moors, passing the carved Pilgrim sitting on a bench, and surely Roger must have been the model for this! By the time we are on the open moorland the wind has picked up to a force 7 or 8 and it’s a struggle to stay upright, let alone walk on! But as yet no rain! Ian and I se a large animal run at great speed through the grass but cannot identify it. Is it a large feral cat….or maybe a wild cat?
We find a sheltered spot by the river for our lunch. Swirling eddies of brackish water create cascades over rocks, and primroses cling to the riverbank. No restuarant ever had a finer view!
We now enjoy a downhill walk into the village of Gwytherin. But then it’s another up hill slog through delightful woodland till we hit the open fields once more, and the wind! There are lambs everywhere who run to their mothers as soon as we appear!
Everyone is in good form and the banter and laughter is great. We have a brief rest in Pandy Tudor and Roger goes into the telephone box to use his mobile phone! There is method in his madness as there is clearly no wind inside the red box! Mike tells him that he doesn’t get the BT rate!
And so on the homeward stretch. More uphill so it’s into 4th gear…..head down and go for it! By this time the rain comes down and I’m very wet….should have listened to Ian and put on my waterproof trousers! The downhill stretch through the woods at Hafodonis is delightful with the river rushing below us in foaming swirls. At the end of the trach there is another carved pilgrim, and this time we think Nick must have been the model!
And so we arrive at the end of this day. I am physically tired, but mentally very refreshed