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Islay Malt and Music Festival May 2009 – Day 1

It commenced on Saturday 23rd May, our suitcases and bags were packed, the boxes of food stuff and the case of wine together with Jim’s two bottles of after dinner and nightcap Whisky (bottle of Bruichladdich Rocks and a litre of Dewar’s 12 year old Special Reserve blended Scotch). Not to be out done Jacqueline had her litre bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin, plus her wee cans of tonic.

We loaded the Citroen Picasso to the roof cloth and set off for the ferry at Kennacraig, going via Loch Lomond and the Rest and be Thankful road over the Cobbler Mountain.

Jim and Jacqueline have a ritual when they take their regular trips to this mesmerizing Island, our first port of call is the Loch Fyne Oyster bar where we usually stock up on some really good smoked salmon together with many other produce of local origin, if going to Kennacraig or indeed onwards to Campbeltown do not drive past this fabulous seafood restaurant and food store.

Our car is loaded with cd’s for playing on our journey and Jacqueline also loads up with magazines and a large bag of mixed sweets, indeed a very self sufficient car for any journey.

We pass briefly through Inveraray a delightful little town and certainly well worth a stop and a look.

Our first stop for human fuel is always at Lochgilphead, where at the top of the main street on the right hand side (for the life of me, I cannot remember the little restaurant’s name) is a little family run restaurant where we have the biggest and tastiest Scottish breakfast together with tea/coffee and a mountain of toast and marmalade. This stop certainly fills our boots. We usually walk down the street to the Square Peg a small gift shop of excellent quality, which we would recommend to anyone with a little time to spare on their journey.

From Lochgilphead it is but a short hop and a skip to Tarbert, where we usually stop for 30 mins or so, just for a walk along the harbourside and a stretch of the legs, and a wee look in the shops that adorn the front of the town.

So over the hill to Kennacraig and a wonderful sight to behold is seeing the Calmac ferry sailing up the loch. We drive onto the jetty and take up our position waiting our boarding instructions. Once on board Jim and Jacqueline head for the bar (where else) find ourselves a comfortable seat for the journey and talk of what our plans and hopes for this trip will be. After a little over 2 hours we arrive at Port Askaig, Islay. We disembark and head for Port Charlotte where we will be based for our weeks holiday.

This will be the second time we have Port Charlotte Luxury Holiday Accommodation, but on this occasion we stayed in one of the two new houses built at the rear of Port Charlotte Hall. We can only call the accommodation and facilities provided as luxury 1st class, we would like to congratulate Margaret McCallum on her choice of build and the fixtures/fittings and furnishings, very well done Margaret.

For all our readers who intend to visit this fabulous Island make your first call for accommodation to “Port Chaislay-accomodation5rlotte Hall, Luxury Self-Catering Accommodation.

Contact:             Margaret McCallum

Tel No:                0141-943 2529 or 07979023021

Email:                enquiries@portcharlotteholidays.com

website:             www.portcharlotteholidays.com

For us the accommodation and the helpful caretaker Jennifer only helped to make our holiday break even better, again, well done. p.s. If Margaret asks you tell her The Whisky Boys sent you.

So we moved all our bags and boxes in and started to make ourselves at home, very easily done all with Jennifer’s helping hand.

As it was now after 4pm we took short drive to Portnahaven so that Jacqueline could check her bench was still there, this story will be told later. On our return we decided to take a walk down to the edge of Loch Indaal and onto the Port Charlotte Hotel for a light refreshment, then up the road via the Loch Indaal bar which was busy and Jacqueline had a small glass of Chablis and Jim a dram of Bruichladdich Waves.

It had been a long but well planned day with all journey stops and arrival times going to plan, so it was time sit down with a nightcap and go through the day’s events with its highs and lows (no lows today) bed beckoned and to sleep as Sunday would be a busy day at one of our favourite Distilleries so night,night all see you tomorrow.

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