ISLAY

Thursday 21/2

Arrived at Islay after about 2 hours on the ferry.

Then, walk or bus? We walk.

The community project to make a path complete with rest seats was great. Three distilleries within 5km.

Laphroaig poured us a wee dram then onto Lagavulin. Enjoyed another wee dram then onto Ardberg for lunch and a tasting.

Back down the road to Laphroaig for a 3pm tour. Susan our guide was a reborn school teacher. A great tour and the only brewery that did own peat smoking and sprouting/malting of the barley.

Below the malting is smoking the fire with peat. This is infused into the barley while malting.

Peat cut by hand in clumps is better as it retains its moisture and therefore smokes the barley more.

Back to the Port Ellen ferry. I Find cards and we play canasta on the 2 hour crossing. On to our glamping pod. Harder than you think with no internet or phone connection.

An hour later we accidentally find it then go onto Tarbert for dinner. All closed except a little supermarket. Bit lucky at 2110hrs in a village.

Friday 22/2 & Saturday

On the road again. Up and down lochs on narrow roads. We pass a fuel tanker from Chivas Regal. Guess it was Scottish whisky fuel.

Then we drive 6 hours south to Leathley for a community dinner and introduction weekend with Ann and John at our house sit in North Yorkshire. Lovely people, lovely place.

My room at The Manor house, complete with a rocking horse.

Ann shows us around the closest town of Leathley and later we walk along lanes, across paddocks and burns to a forest. Public footpaths through private farms and onto Riffa wood was nice. Not sure how often we found the designated track!

We drop in at the local church on the way home. The graves date from the 1700’s and the name on the gate is St Oswald’s Leathley.

Later we find ourself at The Black Bull in Leathley.

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