Thursday 28 August 2014

Oa! Yeah!

Looking over to IRELAND!

Checking forecasts and tides, Alice reckoned there was going to be too much swell to carry on up the west coast. We opted for an early start with empty boats for a morning paddle round to the Mull of Oa and a wee keek up the west coast. We passed lots of big, hairy, horny goats with their wee ones jumping across the rocks before scrambling up steep cliffs. Getting round to the Oa, we could see further up the coast with some impressive looking surf, but not stuff I'd want to land a boat through. There wasn't time to hang around or the tides would have been strong against us, it was bumpy enough as it was and that was without any whisky! We paddled back to a stoney wee bay for nibbles and stretch out in the sunshine, no hurry, it was still morning.

Mull of Oa
Enjoying the sunshine

After that we had a short paddle back to Portellen where we pitched in the garden in front of the bar. Ansgar and Alice know all the hot shower spots, we were able to get hot baths in the hotel - oh I didn't want to get back out!

Don't ask!
Portellen distillers
We had decided to have a day on land the following day and take a bus up to the new inland distillers of Kilchoman, via Bruichladdich.

 We didn't stop for tasting at Bruichladdich, Hubby dear had already brought a bottle with him maintaining that is why sea kayaks are so pointy, to hold the whisky in place!
Waiting for our lift

That way!

Surf looks much smaller than it really was!
 Alice had arranged with someone from Kilchoman to meet us at the road end to take us the 5 miles down to the distillers. This distillers was quite modern, had more hand cream to sample as well as bowls of yummy fudge to taste. Having eaten most of the fudge, I did feel obliged to buy some in the end. After yet more whisky tasting, just a mere 4 each this time, we toddled, happily (very!) down the road to have lunch on the beach. Again seeing the surf made us grateful we weren't landing here with heavy boats.
Resting between distillers
Stone age art?
We then had the walk back up to the road end. This was going to be fun, Hubby dear and I were wearing crocs and socks, looked naff, but ended up being really comfy walking wear. Our sensible walking shoes were carefully stashed beside my camera back in the car on the mainland. We managed to hitch a lift to the road end, then another one up to Bowmore where an ice cream was the order of the day before another comfy seat in at the Bowmore distillers. This time the whiskies were accompanied by bowls of chocolate raisins, I think they can count as one of our 5 a day!
Made it to Bowmore
This is beginning to be a pleasant habit!

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