July 28 – Isle of Islay

Patrik was awake first which was unusual, he seemed overexcited. Probably due to the fact that he was on Islay. During the night we had the worst rainfall in the whole of our trip the morning air dampness lay around 75% which made it impossible to see 15 metres in front of you in certain places. After getting packed up we went on the trips most distillery packed day. Our first stop was to Laphroaig which had a cosy little shop with leather couches etc. We were probably the first visitors for the day because the personnel seemed a little surprised but as usual very nice. The next distillery was Lagavulin. One of Patriks favourite whiskies. Unfortunately their shop was nothing special. It contained glassed in shelves where all the whiskies were. Patrik bought a dram glass and a postcard which he is going to send to Pär. We continued our journey to Ardbeg which had a proper shop and a restaurant. We were recommended to eat at the restaurant by an employee at Laphroig but we didn’t. Patrik bought a green water jug for his whiskies and Terese bought a picknick blanket in Ardbegs green colours. We met the cycling Swedish ladies again.

When this visit was done we continued north east to Kildaton Cross, which is an old celtic cross. It seems we managed to sightsee before the tourist invasion began. Then we hurried on to Bowmore where we hoped to join the round tour at 11.30, but it had already started at
11 ö’clock so we booked for the tour at15.00 hours We drove on to Caol Ila, which proved to be a smart move as their shop closed at 12 o’clock on Fridays. Patrik bought a Caol Ila Cask Strength and a dram glass,so now he has four (Edinburgh, Edradour, Lagavulin and Caol Ila). When the shop closed we drove towards bunnahahain, but was sidetracked by a lovely little pottery on the way, so we stopped for a look. They had a café so we had coffee and tea and a scone each for £2 per person. After speaking to the talkative and pleasant owner of the pottery we decided not to go to bunnahahain but go to Loch Finnlagan instead on his recommendation. After our visit to Loch Finnlagan we drove to Killnallan to look at the enormous beach. We then continued our journey to Bowmore so we wouldn’t miss the tour. When we arrived at the distillery who did we meet but the cycling ladies. Bowmore’s shop was being renovated but the temporary shop they were using was really nice. The distillery tour was interesting and exciting. We go through the whole production line (right now they didn’t have any distillation on the go) and really look at all the stages. After the tour we were treated to a wee dram. Patrik and Lennarth each bought a Bowmore 16year Limited Edition Sherry Cask which they had tasted and really liked. Terese bought a present for her uncle who likes Bowmore whisky. We then went and organised a little lunch. Gun and Lennarth bought rolls at the Co-op while Patrik and Terese went to the bakery and bought some pies to warm up. After lunch we took a quick look around the village. Patrik looked in “The Islay Whisky Shopâ€? but didn’t find anything special, even if the had lots of exciting editions, but they were a bit too expensive.

Now we longed to get back to the camping site and started to drive south. We had a quick stop in Port Ellen to check if there were available places on the 9.45 ferry from Port Ellen, instead of the 7.00 from Port Askaig (which meant getting up at 4 ö’clock). Luckily for us there were available places on the 9.45 so we happily rebooked. We then took a tour of Mull of Oa for a closer look at the countryside. Then it was back to the camping site.