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Friday 5th April 2019
Alona Harris

Hiraeth - a longing of the soul to come home. When I first came across this word, I felt that is it! That describes how I feel when I come to Wales. But then as I read further, it seems that most feel the definition of hireath cannot be translated easily, or at all, into English. Over many years of traveling to Wales with the Pilgrims, then the Journey folk and on my own; I feel a strong affinity for the country and its' people.

It actually starts with the landing in Ireland during the long slow descent through the most luscious green valley; cares, worries and any mental distractions are left behind. Then the short trip to Wales and I am home; in my heart, my soul and my spirit. Physically being in Wales is a spiritual experience for me. I love the land, the people and their culture.

Wandering the coast seems to best suit me. And the specific area between Porthclais and Solva pulls me the most. I'll be back in May to walk this favored section. The sea is restorative as is walking with cows and ponies and birds.

When I am not with my Journeying friends, I stay at small B&B's tucked away in interesting places. And I use public transportation; it is such a lesson in culture. The bus stops at many drive ways to collect senior ladies and gents to take them to town. They find their friends and pick up the visit from the last trip. On the return they have purchases from the day and continue the visit.

The people of Wales are very welcoming and friendly. How did they know I just came home?