Monday, 16 August 2010

Islay

Brilliant golden sunrise to start the day, only spoiled by the big black clouds rolling in from the sea, restless and cold night, but woke up feeling fine, decided to try out my recently discovered and much loved technique of running barefoot; its good on my usual cross country runs, but fantastic on the beach! Took a run along the 4 mile stretch of white sand right in the shallow breakwaters, absolutely idyllic, and probably my favourite all time run.. ever! I swear for a moment I could hear the theme tune from Chariots Of fire!
Da Da Da Da Daaa Daaa!
*slow motion run*
About an hour later I was back at camp munching a well earned bowl of porridge, coffee, packed up and hit the road.
Back through Port Ellen and away down the coast, first stop 'The Laphroaig Distillery'
As any one who knows me will tell you, I'm a big lover of whisky with Laphroaig being my all time favourite. So to be cycling down the drive with the sweet smokey smell wafting in my face was a moment to savour.. and the first words Oo hear as I walked into the visitors center?
"a wee draw sir?" Came the words from the smiling young chap stood st the bar.. "you betcha!"
Thus came the first of about 5 or 6 wee drams I was given whilst chatting about all things bike related to the enthusiastic young bloke..
Eventually, and painfully had had to tear my self away and wobbled off along the coast to the Lagvullan Distillery.. more free whisky followed...
I could get used to this I thought as half an hour later I left and continued along a few more miles to the Ardbeg Distillery, and you guessed.. "a wee dram.. for the road, sir?" The young lady asked as the room rotated around me..
"shure think shweetheart" hic! o.O
A bloke I got talking to there recommend I take s ride down the coast to Kildalton Church, which I promptly did, a beautiful old ruin with some amazingly carved Celtic crosses, stopped for a bite to eat in the church used before heading back along the road to port Ellen, resisting the overwhelming temptation to go back into the Laphroaig Distillery..
Took a nice pleasant route back over the hills to meet up with my ferry again from Port Askaig on the northeast edge of the island for 3 oclock, once on the ferry I got chatting to the barman there about all thing whisky related, where upon he presented a bottle of a delightfully tasty 15 year old Jura. Yum!
The rest is a blur really...
Off the ferry and 20 miles of grim biking in tortential rain has brought me to my camp for the night, a nice little site on the edge of the Lock Gilp, at a place called Lochgilphead, strangely..
Still lashing down with rain, ive pitched my tent in a swamp whilst I seek refuge with my camping stove for warmth in an empty out building at the edge of the site next to some very posh looking motor homes, the occupants of which are peering down their noses at me from their rain covered windows as I sit here making my last cup of coffee for the nights.. that's fine of course.. I only wish I was here in the morning to watch them try and drive that thing out if here, because from where I'm sat lady I can see your wheels have sank into the wet mud, right up to the axels.. happy camping!
Hope the weather levels out for tomorrow.. until then..
Toodles!
T.







1 comment:

  1. Looks great out there Tim and it sounds like your steadily pickling yourself on all that good whiskey, Loving the blog by the way it always makes me want to grab a bike and try it myself but alas I think I missed that experience by about 30 years and the old knees wont get me to the end of the street now let alone up and down Scottish mountains. Keep up the good work sunshine.
    I am working up Scotland Wednesday Thursday and back down Friday I will keep an eye out for you although I don't think you will be heading any where near Inverness, Elgin and Aberdeen will you !!!! Hey Ho

    ReplyDelete