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Dihaoine, 06/Feb/2015

Friday Islay Picture #357 - Bowmore and Loch Indaal

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Sorry for the lack of posts, it's been another busy week in the day job with long days including today. Hence another late Friday Islay picture. For this week I've picked a nice view of Bowmore and Loch Indaal from near the Campbell Monument:

Picture of a coastal village at a sea loch

That's all I've got for tonight, I'm off to bed. Good night.

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Diluain, 02/Feb/2015

Commuting on Jura

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Something a little bit different for those of you who like me are usually getting stuck in traffic on their daily commute. Philip lives and works on Islay's neighbour Jura and commutes from Inverlussa to the south of Jura. In October 2014 he recorded five videos from his journey:

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Did you spot the Deer in part 3? Notice Loch Tarbert in part 4? Enjoy the morning sun in part 5? While he says his bike is well outside its comfort zone his journey still seems much more relaxed than mine on the A4 and M4. I hope you enjoyed the drive across Jura.

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Didòmhnaich, 01/Feb/2015

Islay Blogging Roundup #323

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Doesn't time fly, February already. Hopefully not long until spring now. Yesterday I visited Aldermaston Lock open day, an interesting (and rare) experience. Today was rather lazy. Still, now it's time for a quick Islay blogging roundup:

Some Islay whisky: Fredde tastes the Laphroaig Old Malt Cask 14 y.o 50% 2000 (Hunter Laing & Co) while Whisky Empirically was In the Lap of the Gods: Bunnahabhain 18. The Bearded Boggan admits I have a new weakness. Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch 10… and the Norwegians taste the Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006 50 % as well as the Kilchoman 2009 Original Cask Strength 59,2 %. Brendan starts a series about Islay with The Islay Series – Distillery #1: Caol Ila. From Germany the Alkoblog writes Die Dampflok von Islay: Lagavulin 16 Jahre im Test. There are some annoying opinions about the Laphroaig 10 (Bottled in 2000). On the Bruichladdich News blog we can read How Is Bruichladdich Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky Made? 2. Malting.

Bernadette finds an unusual description for a B&B on Islay (I think this must be an old brochure?) in Skottland. Stephen has a nice report from his visit to Islay with many pictures. Candice writes about Islay + the weekend I learned how to take photos. Daniela writes Why You Should Go To Isle Of Islay. For Serge and a few others the Islay Odyssey 2015 has started and David writes about Fly Fish Islay Guided Fishing 2015.

A peotry blog shares a poem from an Islay poet, Mavis Gulliver – Cancer. Ron writes about Snowdrops in Bridgend Woods Islay. Port Ellen Primary reports from their Robert Burns Day while Rachel writes about the Feis Ile Burns Supper 2015.

For the birdwatching and wildlife the Islay Birds blog has a new Islay Birds Facebook page, but also blogs about 4241 bird sightings on Islay, Redwings and high winds and the rainfall tally for January.

To close of course the pictures: Ron shares a winter view at Gruinart. James Collett revisits a Knockangle Point Wave. From my own Islay Pictures photoblog I've picked the Tràigh Baile Aonghais panorama, Light and dark in the Sound of Islay and Mala Bholsa from Bolsa, Isle of Islay.

That's it for this week, good night!

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Disathairne, 31/Jan/2015

Cycling to the Mull of Oa, Islay

Islay on Video written in stencil

When I blogged the nice Islay cycling tour video earlier this week I mentioned a second video I was going to share. Unfortunately the weather wasn't as kind for their visit to the American Monument on the Oa, but I think the video is still well worth watching:

YouTube: Islay American Monument by bike

The Oa is worth a visit in almost any weather (I think the steep cliffs could be dangerous on a stormy day), there are always interesting views in this dramatic landscape. In addition to cycling it's great for walking and wildlife watching.

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Dihaoine, 30/Jan/2015

Friday Islay Picture #356 - Beinn Bheigier

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That's a nice meal finished (Steak with pepper sauce), a nice Islay single malt whisky in the glass now (a Laphroaig Triple Wood) and some dark chocolate waiting to be eaten. It's also time for this week's Friday Islay picture, a view from Islay's highest hill:

Picture of a view over hills and mountains

This is from a walk on Beinn Bheigier in April 2014, the view going over to Jura with the Paps of Jura. From left to right: Beinn a'Chaolais, Beinn an Oir and Beinn Shiantaidh.

Good night and have a great weekend!

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Diciadain, 28/Jan/2015

Nice Islay cycling tour video

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With the days getting longer again now it's time to get out a bit more. That's what Paul Wilson and another biker did on Islay. They went on at least two (there might be more to come, I don't know) tours on Islay and filmed it with a helmet camera. Here's one taking in the old Radar Station above Machir Bay on a circular tour from Conisby:

YouTube: Islay Cycle To Radar Station

Some nice views over Machir Bay from up there, well worth the effort. Keeping in mind they also cycled out from and back to Conisby I guess they must have been out a good few hours. In any case, a nicely edited video, I hope you enjoyed it as well. I hope to show the video from a visit to the American Monument some other time.

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Diluain, 26/Jan/2015

Breezy day at Port Ellen Marina, Islay

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Not a full blown storm, but still a fairly breezy September afternoon at Islay's Port Ellen Marina. I recommend to turn down the sound a bit, it does get a bit noisy from the wind:

YouTube: Port Ellen, Isle of Islay

I hope you didn't get seasick watching…

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Didòmhnaich, 25/Jan/2015

Islay Blogging Roundup #322

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Just one more week to go in January, February starts next weekend. Yesterday I went Otmoor near Oxford to watch the Starling murmurations, probably one of the last chances to see them in these numbers this winter. Looking forward to spring. But now as it is Sunday evening it's time for the weekly Islay blogging roundup, what did the blogs have to say about Islay this week?

For those wanting to plan ahead the whiskyfanblog from Germany has Mit dem Traditionssegler „Flying Dutchman“ zum Islay Festival 2015. Joan from Spain also writes about events for Islay 2015. Whisky for Everyone went on a Distillery visit - Bowmore.

Krav tastes the Laphroaig 10 year old Cask Strength Batch 005, again, but served four ways and the Alkoblog from Germany has a Halbe Portion: Bowmore Small Batch Bourbon Cask im Test as well as Der Gute aus der zweiten Reihe: Caol Ila 12 Jahre im Test. A Norwegian blog tasted the Laphroaig 8 år Provenance 46 %. The Whiskycuse had the Laphroaig 1991/2014, Sherry & Refill Hogsheads, OB Vintage for Germany, 5.000 bottles, 52,6 %vol. Also a Finnish whisky blog tasted the Laphroaig PX Cask 48%. Rob says Bowmore Brings Me Back. The Bootleg Brew crew goes on an Islay Adventure: Introduction with Islay Adventure: What should your first Islay whisky be?

On the Bruichladdich News blog we can read about Milling The 2014 Harvest.

On the Our Learning Blog of Port Ellen Primary we can read about a Visit From Maggie Bell and they also report from their visit to The Wollen Mill.

For the birdwatching and wildlife the Islay Birds blog reports from the Big Garden Bird Count, expect strong wind in a few days and has the numbers from the Bowmore to Gartbreck count. The INHT blog announces the INHT - Winter programme of talks and shows Snowdrops amongst the snow showers. John Armitage also participated in the Big Garden Bird Watch, earlier in the week he was On the trail of the Greenland White-fronted Goose. 20.1.2015.

To close of course the pictures, where Ron shares Two New Islay Winter Panorama Pictures. He also has Sheep in a wintry landscape and a Roe Deer. From my own Islay Pictures photoblog I've picked Jura and Islay from Colonsay, the Rock in Saligo Bay and the Calmac ferry passing McArthur’s Head lighthouse, Isle of Islay.

That's all for this week, more next week. Enjoy your wee dram of Islay single malt whisky on Burns Night!

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Disathairne, 24/Jan/2015

Take a walk around Lagavulin Distillery, Islay

Islay Whisky News & Links in stencil

Many of you will be familiar with Google Streetview, where you can ‘drive’ along roads all over the world from the comfort of your own home. Here Islay was covered by Google Streetview since March 2010. More recently Google has started to cover areas you can't reach with a car, e.g. you can walk on the canal towpath opposite my flat from where I'm blogging this. Via the Lagavulin Facebook page I've now found the first place on Islay where you can do this, which is Lagavulin distillery including the still house:

I think all that's left to say is, pour yourself a wee dram and start exploring. It's good night from me, the Islay blogging roundup to follow on Sunday.

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Dihaoine, 23/Jan/2015

Friday Islay Picture #355 - November sunrise

Friday Islay Picture in stencil

Back to a more normal week (as you will have noticed from the number of blog posts this week), yet I'm running late again this evening after getting sidetracked by a variety of things. The Friday Islay picture I've picked for tonight is a panorama of beautiful Islay November morning in Machir Bay, the Sun just rising above the crags:

Panoramic picture of a sunrise over a bay with a sandy beach, a wreck in the sand

Just love this view, the big skies, the Sun just starting to come up behind the crags, the golden sand, the old wreck in the sand, the big wide open.

As the limited space I've got here doesn't do it justice I will (as usual) post a larger version on the Islay Pictures photoblog on Saturday morning. Good night for now, have a great weekend!

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