Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: cistercian way, pilgrimage, wales, walking
I’ve had a few days in Wales preparing for the walk. Good weather, good friendships. Time with Joy and Joe and the pleasure of sleeping in their summer house falling asleep to the sounds of owls and the waterfall
Time learning from and talking with the good folk at llanfair Uniting Church on Penrhys
Here is John explaining the Penryhs Banner – I was offered its pole as a walking stick, but I will need my two walking poles for my knees.
Jazz and beer on the site of the Martyrdom of St Julius in Caerleon.
Deep hospitality from Maddy and Steve, with a chance to pore over maps and talk the history of the Cistercian Way.
The mixture of excitement and nervousness before a big pilgrimage, although I have slept well.
And then today. Arriving at Llanfair for Morning Prayer at 9.30. The weather terrible with torrential rain and low cloud. As we climbed the hill from the Church, I was glad that I was walking these first miles with others.
For me, it was fun but tough. The waterproofing on my boots lasted an hour. Paths turned to rivers. Visibility was down to a few yards on the tops.
The day was planned so that people could drop out at various points. We were down to two. At about half way, I decided it would be better to come off the hills as all I would be doing was map and compass work.
The offer of another night in the warm and dry at Maddy’s made my mind up. There was nothing to prove by walking for another few hours along the roads.
I am warm and showered in Tongwynlais watching unrelenting rain through the window.
Tomorrow the forecast is better. I will start from Llangynwyd, walk to Margam Abbey in time for Mass where I will preach and then aim for Neath and beyond.
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