DramVentures 2016 ~ Isle of Islay ~ the new plan
Just when you think you’ve got it all sorted…the ferry goes and changes the port it sails to last minute! Ah well! So, we’ve had to make some changes to our itinerary for the weekend; here’s how it’s looking now…
Day 1 ~ Friday 29th April
We’ll be up very early to leave Edinburgh and get our trip underway, which is probably a good thing really as I’m struggling to sleep because I’m so excited already…
3am – we will load the bikes onto the car, throw our panniers in the boot, whack some funky beats on and hit the road. G’s request for One Direction tunes has been denied so hopefully he won’t be in too much of a huff.
7am – ferry from Kennacraig over to Port Ellen now. We were originally planning on the ferry going up to Port Askaig but they’ve decided to delay the terminal works till after the Islay Festival so that’s made us do some jiggery pockery with our timetable.
9:20am ~ ferry arrives in Port Ellen then we’ll be off quickly to make the short trip up to Ardbeg.
10am ~ Tour and full tasting at Ardbeg…there just isn’t a better start to a trip like this than with none other than the distillery that came out top of our ‘ranking’ system (more about that in our final review).
After this we’ll have a hearty lunch in the Old Kiln Café at Ardbeg then have a wander down to Laphroaig to visit and have a dram in their bar there.
1:30pm ~ Back along the road to Lagavulin for their tour and ‘premium tasting’.
Following this, we’ll have a wander down into Port Ellen to have a look around and let the effects of all our drams wear off, before we get kitted up and cycle the 20 miles up to Port Charlotte where we will be staying for the weekend. This will undoubtedly be a slog of a journey but hey…it’s all part of the adventure.
Day 2 ~ Saturday 30th April
Early rise again for us, but thankfully not as early as the day before…
0730 ~ the plan is to get up and last into the sea has to buy the beers in the evening…after a quick dip in the sea, we’ll get some breakfast (ibuprofen/paracetamol etc) down us then we’re off on our adventures again cycling to our first stop of the day.
0930 ~ Bowmore ~ only the standard tour and dram here, which is a shame because I love this dram but it’s just the way all the tour times etc works out…still going to be great being there though.
12pm ~ we’ll make the cycle back round to Bruichladdich for a bit of a special one here…we’ll be taking part in their ‘warehouse experience’. This is certainly not your standard tour so we’ll do a full write up on this one. Can’t wait!
4pm ~ tutored tasting at Kilchoman to finish off day 2 then hopefully if the weather is nice, we’ll get down to the beach then the war memorial there.
Once we’re back at the hostel, we’ll grab dinner then find ourselves a local public house to see in the rest of the evening.
Day 3 ~ Sunday 1st May
I’m sure we will be feeling slightly worse for wear on this morning, but at least we will get a long lie in before we’ll get a quick dip in the sea, breakfast/lunch then back on our bikes for the 15 mile trip up to Port Askaig.
2pm ~ Caol Ila tour and premium tasting. That’ll see away any remnants of hangovers…
Then we will head up to Bunnahabhain for a visit and dram before we head back to the hostel.
Once we’ve freshened up we’ve decided to head out for a nice dinner in the local and have booked table in the bar so we get best seats to listen to the evenings traditional folk music band. A perfect way to end such an amazing trip, I’m sure.
Day 4 ~ Monday 2nd May
Depending on what the weather is doing and what time we eventually get kicked out of the hostel…we’ll either make the 15 mile trip to Port Askaig or the 20 mile trip to Port Ellen for the ferry back over to Kennacraig to collect the car and head back home with what I’m sure will be some great memories and where plans will no doubt be made for the return trip!
We’re planning on keeping you all up to date with our antics as much as possible via our facebook page so keep your eyes peeled there. We might even ‘go live’ now and again but we’ll let you know when that’ll happen!
Here’s to a great trip away to the world famous whisky mecca!