6th century monks traveling to America and back in traditional currach boats may see the stuff of fantasy, but it was our local myth not far from our cottage before the trip. St. Brandon purportedly spent 40 days and night in fasting and meditation atop a mountain (we visited - pictured), before setting out from a cove (pictured) with 14 monks on an epic venture westwards very much 'for the love of God'. According to myth, they traversed Islands of Birds (Faroe), Dragons (Iceland's volcanos) and Crystal (Icebergs) before reaching the 'Land promised to the Saints' (Newfounland). This remarkable journey was repeated in a period craft by Oxford graduate Tom Severin, proving it was at least possible and in some parts probable.

This epic legend proved a poetic inspiration at the onset of our journey eastward from the same starting point, and at least with similar motivation : 'for the love of life' - and life and god are not so far apart depending on one's viewpoint.