Friday, June 16, 2017

One beach/ two beach

Our last day started slowly. We ran two loads of wash and had our last hot breakfast, but since it was raining, the urgency of departure was lessened. We drove out out shortly after 10. Our first stop was to the Melin Tregwynt Mill where we picked up some remnants of locally woven wool. The scraps were sold by weight and we had thought of some ideas for using them.   

Lillian had the idea of seeing the Abermawr shingle beach. It was very close and we found it easily. As we walked down to the beach Bill consulted his book and found a short walk that circled through the woods near the beach. We set off through a cow pasture with about 25 black and white cows and one large bull.

The cows didn't seem to mind us and we skirted the bull carefully to reach the wooden gate that would separate us from the field. The bull took no notice of our maneuvers, and we reached the woodland path safely. But when we came to the next gate Bill thought we had made a wrong turn. However, after checking the map, the signposts and the compass we discovered that we were again pointed in the right direction. The cow pasture we crossed next had no bull, just contented cows, chewing their cud. 

Finally we came out on the shingle beach where we had started.  The tide had just turned and we listened to the rattle of the rocks as the waves receded.

It was time for tea so we found a new spot in Mathry where we had eaten the first night. Not only was the tea good, but there was a small shop with good giftware. 
Next we made our way to St Davids. We had three goals there. We wanted to visit two galeries and St Non's Chapel and Well. The first was Goat Street Gallery because Bill and Lillian wanted a print by Chris Neale, a local painter whom they love. We got in conversation with the gallery owners because the wife, Amanda Wright, creates elaborate embroidered images, and I was admiring her work.  They invited us into their back yard to see the stunning view of St. David's Cathedral. 
Bill and Lillian did find a Chris Neale to take home and we promised to pick it up on our way back from the chapel. From the gallery we walked about a half mile to the coast to visit St Non's chapel. She was St David's mother who reputedly came to Wales from Brittany in about 500 to give birth to St David during a thunderstorm. There is a well which is said to have healing powers and ruins of an ancient chapel near the beach. The site was popular with pilgrims who came from all over to visit the holy well.

The current chapel was built in the 30s but used stones from ancient houses in the area, so the building feels ancient. The walk back to town was pleasant.  We picked up the print at the gallery and made our way back to the car.
Lillian suggested a final beach before we headed to the cottage. Whitesands Beach
 is supposed to be one of the prettiest, and it is also where medieval pilgrims visiting St Non's Shrine would disembark. It was well populated in the late afternoon, and it is truly a spectacular sand beach. 

We returned to The Sloop Inn in Porthgain for another wonderful meal.
And then it was home to pack. Tomorrow we hope to leave here at 8:30 to reach Holyhead where we will go our separate ways. Bill and Lillian will continue on visiting relatives and friends. We take the ferry to Dublin where we will stay a couple days before driving to Galway to finish our trip.

It has been a wonderful two and 1/2 weeks and it is amazing how quickly it has sped by. But as with all trips, as the end approaches, the longing for home surges.  Ireland beckons for now, and the journey is not yet complete

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