Saturday, 30 April 2011

Coastwalk , Llŷn Coastal Path

Tudweiliog → Aberdaron

ynys-enlli.png Distance: 16.8 miles
Ascent: 1106 metres
Duration: 6 hours 35 minutes

Pilgrims and Ploughs
« Morfa Nefyn | Abersoch »

Since Caernarfon we've allegedly been following in the steps of pilgrims. The clues are there: the abundance of churches and legends. The pilgrims' destination was Bardsey (in Welsh, Ynys Enlli — the island of strong currents). The ecclesiastical heritage of this rugged island two miles off the end of the peninsula is such that it is sometimes known as the Island of 20,000 Saints.

In his narrative of Archbishop Baldwin's journey through Wales in 1188, Giraldus Cambrensis wrote of Enlli:

This island, either from the wholesomeness of its climate, owing to its vicinity to Ireland, or rather from some miracle obtained by the merits of the saints, has this wonderful peculiarity, that the oldest people die first, because diseases are uncommon, and scarcely any die except from extreme age.

It was deeply moving to consider those who have walked these paths before us over the millennia.

Today's long walk took us to the very end of the Peninsula, then round past Porth Meudwy - the embarkation point for the island - to Aberdaron, the most westerly village in North Wales.

ploughing.pngThe whole walk felt as steeped in history, a sense that was heightened when we reached Anelog where the Sarn & District Ploughing Match was in full swing. One competitor was carefully measuring the distance of his furrow from his neighbour's; another drove hunched up over the wheel of his vintage tractor; others stood and looked carefully for any deviation from a straight line. There were hundreds of competitors and we really should have stopped to watch. Ploughing - along with sheep dog trialling - really should become Olympic sports.

Posted by pab at 18:25 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!