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Monday 2 June 2008

Feis Ile Day Eight: "I Hate This Car, And I Hate Being In This Car With You"

Day Seven: “I hate this car. And I hate being in this car with you.”

(although there was a quick dram hidden in there somewhere)

Today has been a mixed day. The sun has been shining (the sunburn is all the proof I need!) and temperatures, according to the KIA’s trip computer, reached as high as 21 degrees. The open day today was at Bunnahabhain but we decided not to make it over there, having spent some time there earlier in the week with Distillery Manager John MacLellan (See tasting notes on their 21 YO festival bottling from a previous day).

Instead, your intrepid reporters decided it would be a good day to discover some of the island we had not been to before. We jumped in the KIA, checked the trip computer which told us we had 109 miles of fuel left and headed off for the Cross of Kildalton. What a glorious drive down past Ardbeg and into the wilds; roe deer running by, eagles circling the deep blue sky and remarkably unspoilt sandy beaches that bare more resemblance to the Caribbean than Kildalton!!

On our travels we have tasted some clearly brilliant whiskies, but feel that the wonderful environment and spectacular weather this week on Islay, have added at least another 50% to the overall enjoyment of this trip.

Our drive back from the Cross of Kildalton took us past the entrance to Ardbeg. With nothing else planned for the day and being two able bodied “young” men, we popped in to see if there were any tasks that we could help with in readiness for the Open Day, just a few hours away. After a short spell of helping clean chairs and tables, we were taken for a swim off the pier round the back of the distillery. A keen-eyed Angus spotted a star fish which made for a very amusing photo.

Having dried off in the afternoon sun, we headed home for some tea, but DISASTER STRUCK....

The KIA, which had been doing so well thus far, proved to be the weak link in our adventure and decided to run out of petrol. Ok, so it was probably our fault for neglecting to fill the tank sufficiently (who knew the petrol stations all close at 6pm on Islay??!!) but the onboard trip computer did tell us we had a rocking 30 miles till empty...

Help was at hand however when Jimmy, owner of the Bridgend Spar sold us a tenners worth of fuel after hours!!

Buoyed with our successful blag, we decided to celebrate heavily and, on our return home and once full of home-made fish pie, we headed out to the Lochside Bar in Bowmore to partake in a local past time: drinking loads of beer and watching a great Celtic band.