Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

July 2007 : Island Do 2 : Islay

Following the success of the Barra Beach-Landing Party in 2005, the decision was taken to hold Island Do 2 on Islay, the southernmost of the Hebridean islands off Scotland's west coast. Although the island lies a mere 72 miles west of Glasgow Airport, it might as well be in another world - one where friendliness, courtesy and trust are alive and well, and where stress and road rage are viewed as strange and irrelevant aberrations.

The full Do experience was a Friday to Monday affair, but for me and several others, it was a case of going out on Saturday morning and returning on Sunday evening. The prize for the furthest travelled went to Brendan, who came all the way from Reno, Nevada!


Saturday kicked off properly with a guided tour and tasting session at the Bowmore Distillery.

We then had time for a quick look around the town and a welcome lunch stop where Nathan, another American, was introduced to the delights of Scotch Pie, chips and beans. He seemed to like it! One of the undoubted highlights of the trip, for many of us, was the opportunity to sample a ride in Richard's small plane. This was a first for me, and it was an experience that I will enjoy re-living for a long time to come. After a short drive to do a bit more exploring, we finally congregated back at The Machrie for a DIY Champagne party, followed by dinner.



Sunday brought a somewhat surreal experience. After the shocking weather that had afflicted so much of the UK, here we were basking in glorious sunshine on one of Scotland's Western Isles! After seeing off Richard and Scott, we drove to the attractive little village of Portnahaven and enjoyed a leisurely walk in the sunny conditions. We then looped back to Port Charlotte for lunch, travelling via the winding west coast road. Finally, we drove through Port Ellen and Ardbeg for a final stroll at Claggain Bay.