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You are entering Islay Time

19:01 a golden eagle soars over the Beinn Dubh
19:02 Jim pots black on the Cyber Café pool table
19:03 Waves lap on the shore
19:04 Nicol MacKinnon spots a seal basking on a rock
19:05 The Campbell boys pull on their Wellington Boots
19:06 Yogi checks the alcohol levels in the Ardbeg Still Room
19:07 Rhuaraidh catches a fish off the pier at Ardbeg
19:08 The calmac ferry departs from Port ellen
19:09 Waves lap against the harbour wall
19:10 A party of walkers reach the summit of Dùn Bhorariac
19:11 Posha refills the ardbeg shop shelves
19:12 A car waits while cows cross the road
19:13 A young couple return from a stroll around Lossit Bay
19:14 Ted practices the piano in Bowmore Hall
19:15 Duncan orders another pint in the Ardview
19:16 An octogenerian pays tribute at the American Monument
19:17 George re-boots pc numer 3 at the cyber cafe
19:18 A rare bird is spotted on the Mull of Oa
19:19 A postcard of the Kiladalton cross is sold in MacPhersons's
19:20 Jackie pours a dram for a new committee member
19:21 Waves lap on the shore
19:22 Kristen Himmelbaum spots the Devil's tree in Bridgend
19:23 Hamish checks the temperatures in the Ardbeg Stillroom
19:24 A pothole on the b8017 is discussed by locals
19:25 Laurie tunes his fiddle
19:26 A sheep is dipped at Kintour Farm
19:27 Dugga rolls a barrel into the warehouse
19:28 Yogi checks the alcohol levels in the Ardbeg Stillroom
19:29 Vicki sticks a toe in the sea at Kilchiaran
19:30 Stuart judges the colour of the spirit from a sherry cask
19:31 Posha refills the Ardbeg shop shelves
19:32 Paula takes a triple order for the Ardbeg seafood salad
19:33 Old friends meet on Bowmore High Street
19:34 A few spots of rain fall
19:35 Arra and Iomhar are creating more faboulous pottery

Perhaps you wonder what this is all about? If you visit the Ardbeg Distillery Website and take a close look you will see what's happening on Islay at a certain time, randomly displayed. It's a nice feature and when you have ever visited Islay you can almost see it happen. On the mainland there is always the joke about "English/Scottish time". If you are not sure whether they are one hour before or behind European time you just remember that they are 1 hour and 25 years behind :-). And for Islay Time, you will find that out when you visit Islay......

Annual Bruichladdich to Bowmore swim across Loch Indaal

Sunday the 2nd of July was the 15th annual swim from Bruichladdich to Bowmore across Loch Indaal. A 4,500 meters long swim to support the MacTaggart Leisure Centre in Bowmore. Twelve lifeguards in the age from 16-53 made the plunge into Loch Indaal piped off by James MacEachern and cheered by a big crowd. Despite the Jellyfish, cramp, wind and currents they managed to cross Loch Indaal in 3 hours and 45 minutes. During the crossing they were accompanied by a few boats for the neccessary supplies and support. I wonder if they had a dram halfway to keep them warm :-). At Bowmore they were piped ashore by James Carmichael. And at the end of the day 871 pounds were raised to support the MacTaggart Leisure Centre!

Arra Fletcher from the Persabus Pottery was there and sent me the pictures. Thanks Arra!

Wining and dining on Islay

In my Islay travelogue I already mentioned the superb dinner we had at the Harbour Inn in Bowmore. We enjoyed the best (Islay) steak we ever had complimented with Haggis and an Islay Ale. So it doesn't come as a suprise that the Observer newspaper's restaurant critics placed the Harbour Inn in the top 50 of the “nation’s best for the perfect summer’s lunch”, with the following enthusiastic entry:

“This whitewashed Inn serves dishes that are firmly built on the island’s produce; oysters gratinéed with leeks and cream, baked crab with a soufflé topping and Lagavulin Bay scallops are just a few examples from their mouth-watering menu. You can practically smell the fresh shellfish being unloaded at the harbour from the Inn’s restaurant but local game and meat are also superb.”

Islay Books and Bookshop

There is a large variety of books about Islay available, from history, travelguides, wildlife and of course whisky related books. Last year I started an association with amazon.co.uk to put book adds on the Islayinfo website but even then it is hard to get an overview of all the books available. That is one of the reasons I started an Islay Bookshop on the Islay info website. The bookshop currently has 15 Islay related books and 8 different maps on offer through Amazon. They all have a detailed description wich makes it easy to select your favourite book or map. If you like a compact and complete overview of Islay with some excellent photography the book from Norman Newton will be a good buy. It gives a great overview of Islay and practical tips and walks. If you however want to read more about Islay history in depth I suggest the book Biography of an Island from Dr. Margaret Storrie. The best book according to many and my personal favourite as well. And what is a trip to Islay without some background knowlegde of the Distilleries on the island. Neil Wilson wrote a book called the Island Whisky Trail for the whisky enthusiast. It has a comprehensive section about the Islay Distilleries and information about Islay's lost distilleries of Port Ellen and Lochindaal (Port Charlotte). The bookshop furthermore has a map section where more and less detailed maps ara avaible for touring the Island or very detailed Ordnance Survey maps for the demanding walker.

So please feel free to browse the Islay Bookshop

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