Pilgrimpace's Blog

cistercian way – hospitality
November 3, 2016, 8:34 pm
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I know I owe you all a proper report on The Cistercian Way for walkers and also a longer reflection (I will write up and expand the talk I gave at Tintern).  Please be patient – they will come!


view from a Guestroom, Caldey Island

I have been reflecting on some of the differences between being a pilgrim in Wales and Spain.  In Spain there are a lot of pilgrims walking or cycling and, even on very quiet roots like the Levante, there is a lot of pilgrim infrastructure.  There is always somewhere at the end of a day’s stage where you can pay for cheap lodging.

Wales is different.  There are some well-walked bits: The Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Offa’s Dyke, the Pilgrim Way from Holywell to Bardsey.  There will be campsites, bunkhouses and the like along these.  But other bits of the Cistercian Way are much less serviced.  It would be possible, I think, to make your way round staying in bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation, but this would be beyond my or most people’s means.


I stayed by two rivers and one waterfall

I was carrying a tent, but as it turned out, people were amazingly hospitable.  I had contacted friends who lived near the route, and began walking with quite a few offers of accommodation. It was fun to slightly adjust my route and the length of my days to take these in.  More came as I walked – people rang ahead for me as I walked or suggested places.


I took refuge from the storm in this little valley

With the exception of the apocalyptic weather of the first day, Wales and her people were unfailingly and beautifully hospitable to this pilgrim – especially in my times of brokenness.  Folk really went out of their way to help me – thank you to all of you.  I owe you.


arrived – and a view of Our Lady from the kitchen

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I have been following your blog with much interest for several weeks now and I am a little curious why tonight The Cistercian Way has become The Cistercian Way “for walkers” as if to exclude other legitimate users of some of the ways that you travel.

Comment by G J Wheeler

I have no control over The Cistercian Way, I have merely walked some of it. My reports are around walking because that is how I did it and how I prefer to travel. I can’t vouch for it for cycling as I spent as much time as I could on footpaths. I don’t know anything at all about travelling by horse, so I couldn’t comment on the suitability of the route for this. I am simply trying to report on and reflect upon my experience.

Comment by pilgrimpace

I look forward to reading more of your journey and to meeting up with you soon.

Comment by stephencwinter

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