Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire

Photos from a Welsh monastic island in a heatwave

Against our better judgement, we went out in the midst of the summer heatwave on a boat trip from Tenby to Caldey Island. It was hot, but it was worth it. We saw a red squirrel. We walked around a trail through the island's woodland areas, away from most of the tourist crowds. We'd have liked to walk up to the lighthouse, but we didn't have the energy or stamina for the heat.

Caldey Island is a monastic island where a group of Cistercian monks live, pray and even make chocolate. We had conversations along the lines of 'maybe I'd like to be a monk', but maybe we'd just like to live on an island and not have to go to work. Basically, the Animal Crossing life. I'm not sure that's really what monks do.

The boats that take visitors to the island are quite small. When the tide goes out around the island and the water is too shallow for boats to land on the jetty, visitors are ferried out to the deeper water from the end of the jetty via a trailer pulled by an amphibious tractor. Once the trailer is out to deep enough water, the boat can pull up alongside and the tourists can hop on board. All in all, it's an experience I'm unlikely to forget.

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