Jacobites, Trains, Birthdays and Bunk Beds!

This time last week my sister, dad and I had just returned from a couple of days away.  You see it was my dad’s 75th birthday in April and I decided to get him something a little different from his usual malt whisky, golf balls or Hotel Chocolats!  I knew he’d always fancied taking a trip on the Jacobite Express from Fort William to Mallaig.  I have to admit I had always wanted to take that trip too!  Add into the mix that my sister also celebrated her birthday in April…and hey it seemed like a good idea to have a wee adventure together!  So last Tuesday morning we headed off and I’m not really sure we had bargained for such astounding weather.

We pottered up the road past the Safari Park at Blair Drummond and on into Callander.  Each turn in the road brought us to another port in our trip down memory lane!  “Do you remember when…” statements hurtled around the car as we laughed at some of our childhood memories.  After a quick stop in Callander we headed on and into Glen Coe, one of my favourite parts of Scotland.  Just then, as we came over the brow of a hill we all had a sharp intake of breath, wow!   There below us, a loch like a mirror reflecting the rolling hills still peppered with pockets of winters snow.  There were people all around – both admiring and photographing the breath taking view.  Of course we had to join them…okay so I jumped a few fences etc to get a slightly different view point but hey…I’m a photographer!  A couple of quick selfies and we were back on our way.2015-06-15_00012015-06-15_00052015-06-15_0003We stopped in Glen Coe for an early lunch and then headed on to Fort William where we had a quick g&t and malt whisky stop before boarding our steam train for the journey to Mallaig.  We puffed our way out of the station and before long were surrounded by more magical landscapes and scenery.   We were also lucky enough to be joined in our isles by a fellow photographer and his son from the Netherlands and a further 3 friends from India who were touring Scotland on motorbikes.  We shared some Prosecco and snacks over stories from our different corners of the world!  What a wonderful addition to our journey. 2015-06-15_00072015-06-15_0008Made famous by the Harry Potter movies, we all oohed and ah’d as we crossed the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct.  Again the views were remarkable.  Then onwards to the station where we stopped for a short break.2015-06-15_00132015-06-15_00042015-06-15_00142015-06-15_00092015-06-15_00212015-06-15_00252015-06-15_0023Further still and we pass over another viaduct, not quite as magnificent but by this time I had discovered I could indeed hang out of the windows in the isles to get a photograph or two!  Out of nowhere we pass the Polish Church before ambling our way into our destination for the night.  Mallaig…2015-06-15_0019Our first views were of Eigg and Rum and we were greeted at the station by Nick who had come to collect us and take us to our B&B for the night.  Well this is where it gets really funny!  I seemed to think it would be hilarious to tell my sister that I had booked us a family room and that she and I would be in bunk beds.  Now those of you who know me will know I am no stranger to sleeping in bunks as I love hosteling.  Those of you however, who know my sister, would know that even a hint of such things would be her idea of hell!  Well I would like to set the record straight (if any of her friends ever read this!!!!).  I did indeed tell her about the family room to start with however I actually went on to tell her we would be sharing a room, just her and I, and our dad would have a nice double room to HIMSELF.  However I told her on the evening of her birthday when we were all out for a celebratory meal and drinks.  She says she can’t remember me telling her but I assured her I did :)  So you can imagine the relief on her face when she seen our lovely little twin room and that we weren’t sharing with dad!!2015-06-15_0036Oh boy, how I have laughed at this…and will continue too!!!  Anyway, we wandered down to the town just in time to wave the Jacobite Express off on it’s journey back to Fort William.  2015-06-15_00352015-06-15_0026We headed down to the harbour for a quick walk and caught up with some fishermen who were bringing in their catch.  They said it hadn’t been a great one for them but also that good catches were few and far between these days.   Then we went for a bite to eat and a couple of drinks in the fantastic little Chlachain Inn where dad tried a couple of new malts and Gill and I discovered the joys of Edinburgh Gin’s liqueurs.  Yip the Rhubarb one was a winner for me!  2015-06-15_00282015-06-15_00272015-06-15_0018So here’s the view from our dad’s bedroom – it really was a great little place to stay and I’ll be sure to make it my base if and when I go back to Mallaig.  So after a good night’s sleep and a hearty Scottish breakfast dad writes in the visitors book before we board the train and head back to FW to pick up the car and take ourselves back down the road.  Of course we did manage one more stop in Glen Coe at the ‘other’ cafe for a lovely lunch and a couple of pottery purchases for me.  2015-06-15_00162015-06-15_00322015-06-15_00112015-06-15_0012What a wonderful couple of days.  Happy birthday Dad and Big Sis, I hope you enjoyed your wee gift.  Gill, I’ve got you a Scottish Youth Hostelling Voucher for next year ;)  xx

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Iceland – a weekend tour of the South Western tip

It’s the 1st of February and I’ve already had my first adventure of 2015 (and there’s sure to be lots more!).  So take 1 good friend, 1 amazing package deal to Iceland, 1 Fuji X-Pro1, 1 x 18mm lens and 1 tripod and we are set for a trip that’s been on my list for a long time.  Seeing the Northern Lights has featured highly on my wish list over the years but living amidst the bright lights of the city and not owning a car makes it a little difficult to get out when the forecasts are good for sightings here in Scotland.

So when Laura called and asked if I had seen the deal on Travelzoo – 3 nights in the Hotel Klettur (my hotel of choice during previous researching Iceland), flights from Edinburgh, transfers and a Northern Lights Mystery Tour for £205 in peak season I nearly screamed down the phone…BOOK IT!   And we did.  It was our birthday treat to ourselves and can I just say…we were NOT disappointed.  I’ve never seen a deal like it through a fantastic little agency called Fleetway Travel, so it’s well worth checking them out if you are interested in this kind of weekend away!  I’d highly recommend them.

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting from Iceland but it far exceeded anything I could have imagined.  It was a truly fantastic trip.  Housing two thirds of the countries population, Reykjavik is a colourful and welcoming city (even in biting wind and blinding snow storms!) with a flair of elegance and some outstanding architectural structures.  Out of the city the natural beauty of the landscapes doused in snow were utterly breath-taking, the service in shops and restaurants was excellent, the food was delicious – though I didn’t eat puffin, shark, whale or any of the other local delicacies this time!!!  It wasn’t as expensive as I had been led to believe and our hotel was in the perfect location – close enough to town but not too close to have our sleep disturbed by the boisterous goings on of the Icelanders at the weekend.  According to our tour guides they love to drink and be merry on their downtime at the weekends.  Oh and the Icelanders have fairy lights up all year round – which I understand is to bring as much light as possible to the dark winter nights.  In addition they leave their curtains & blinds open too – so if you are like me and love admiring other people’s style (and the Icelanders do have style!) then you are going to be in heaven.  I think you get the picture that I liked it?!?!  So please, feast your eyes on our whistle stop tour of the bottom left hand corner of Iceland.

On our first morning we had booked to go whale watching however the snow and wind put paid to that…so at sunrise – yip around 10.30am we decided to take a stroll around the city centre.  Now it would be fair to say that I hate shopping…other than the online version.  However if you give me book shops, outdoor shops and galleries then you might just persuade me to while away a few hours…and Reykjavik did just that!  I loved that a high percentage of the shops house coffee shops or offer free hot drinks – now that is the way to do it in minus temperatures!  I was almost tempted to buy a new jacket in Marmot as I have one that has done me proud for over 10 years!!!  But they are cheaper to buy in the UK. 2015-02-01_00022015-02-01_00012015-02-01_0003From here we wandered down to the waterfront and took some refuge from the biting wind and captured a couple of nice shots of the water fountain, just incase we needed refreshments!  Then onto one of the most famous landmarks of Reykjavik, the Sun Voyager Sculpture.  The skies were pale and clouded but the sculpture is none the less impressive and you can see some of the construction works that feature throughout the city too.

2015-02-01_00042015-02-01_00052015-02-01_00062015-02-01_00072015-02-01_00092015-02-01_0008We strolled round past the mighty and impressive Harpa Concert and Conference centre which is the recipient of the prestigious Mies Van der Rohe award for architecture.  We again took respite from the blasting winds for a few minutes.  It didn’t deter our enthusiasm as we battled our way round to our next stop – the old Harbour.  Here we would come across a marvellous waterfront restaurant Kopar where we had an delicious lunch and yes the most incredible dessert I have ever eaten…and that is praise indeed from me!!!  If you ever visit then be sure to try the caramel cake with salt caramel, rhubarb sorbet and hazelnut praline.  It left me speechless!2015-02-01_0010After a rejuvenating meal (we were also super impressed by the healthful menus on offer here) and a holiday glass of wine we were ready to amble on further.  Across to the Square and through a few more shops and galleries as the sun begun to lower in the skies.  My enthusiasm for shopping was waning…

2015-02-01_00142015-02-01_00112015-02-01_0012And yes for the observant amongst you, that is my camera-shy (minor understatement there!) friend Laura in the background of the photo below.  That’s about the only one she’d let me publish :)

2015-02-01_00132015-02-01_00152015-02-01_00162015-02-01_0017So the sun’s going down…and tempting as it was to stop off and have a coffee outside!  Nope I don’t think so, I was heading off to the top of the hill – look to the right of the coffee shop photo below.  Yip, that was where I wanted to be before sundown.  I wandered upwards, Laura still meandered around the fantastic jewellery shops.

2015-02-01_00182015-02-01_0019And this was our destination.  The magnificent Hallgrimskirkja Church which perches high in the city looking out over it’s people.  It’s a remarkable feat of architecture and the blue skies really do show it of in all it’s glory.  But inside, whilst busy with tourists it still had a sense of peace and calm.  Simple and breathtaking.  2015-02-01_00202015-02-01_00212015-02-01_00222015-02-01_00232015-02-01_00242015-02-01_00252015-02-01_00262015-02-01_00272015-02-01_0028And then it was time to leave for a few short hours of rest before our Northern Lights Tour.  We had upgraded to the Luxury tour as the basic tour was cancelled due to not having the time to get out to good viewing areas given the forecast.  We had a wonderful guide Gudbgorg, whose gentle voice gave us a plethora of interesting information about the city and the wider country over the 8 hours of our tour.  It was a fascinating adventure however the elusive Northern Lights were not out to play and so the photographs below are the best I could get.  Another plus is that when you are unsuccessful in your tours, you have the option to book onto another tour free of charge.  Our tour was deemed as a no-show, so we can rebook another time! That’s pretty impressive but I guess not everyone who is there for a weekend has the time to do that.  However the tickets last for up to two years.  So it looks like we will just need to go back then.2015-02-01_0029The next day we were booked onto the Golden Circle Tour – we had decided to take organised tours this time as we weren’t sure about driving in the winter road conditions – and oh how glad we were to have decided that as our day unfolded!  Our first stop of the day was to Pingvellir National Park or the site of Iceland’s Parliament Fields where all historically significant events in Icelandic history have taken place.  In geological terms Pingvellir is also significant in that it is the continuation of the Rift Valley – where the Eurasian and North American plates are still drifting apart – and you can walk down into and through the valley.  It is somewhat different from my experience of walking through the Rift Valley in Kenya but none the less spectacular. 2015-02-01_00322015-02-01_00332015-02-01_00312015-02-01_00382015-02-01_00342015-02-01_0037We had decided to take an afternoon stop off at Fontana Wellness Centre along with another dozen or so people.  So at -2 degrees outside you might wonder why oh why we would be up for this.  It was freezing but to be honest I loved it.  The moving between temperatures gave me a boost of energy and the ginger soup in the cafe after was the perfect warmer.  Oh yes and the lime cheesecake and coffee helped too :)2015-02-01_00392015-02-01_0041We were a little surprised to see the vehicle that had come to collect us from the Spa.  It was a winter truck – not unlike those that do the overland tours in rugged terrain around Africa.  Did they know something we didn’t?  It would appear they did but then when you are on holiday you are not always looking at the weather reports are you?!?!  Out jumps a warm, friendly, enthusiastic red-head guide named Dee-Dee to welcome us onboard!  She is burning with fun, facts and yes, weather reports.  Dee-Dee introduces Saevar (a good name really and quite close to Saviour!!!) and tells us we are in good hands and in a great vehicle but that there is a storm coming in and they are in direct contact with the met office to keep abreast of the situation.  Our tour would continue but we would need to monitor it closely.

Within the hour we were pulling into the carpark of what was to be the absolute highlight of our trip, Gullfoss waterfalls.  Sometimes it’s good to go along to a place unprepared, as I’ll never forget my first sight of this magnificent and majestic waterfall.  Dee-Dee had warned us to take good care as the Icelanders didn’t really believe in putting up fences and railings to keep you away from the edge.  We had been warned.  Well just take a look for yourself…

2015-02-01_00422015-02-01_00452015-02-01_00442015-02-01_00482015-02-01_00502015-02-01_00512015-02-01_0052Utterly spectacular!  It was then time to visit the Geysir but to be honest it was always going to be difficult to follow Gullfoss.  Oh and just in case you wondered, this is our truck below!  The Geysir was well, a geysir and whilst that’s a spectacular natural phenomenum it didn’t really grab us.  Unfortunately Laura took a nasty fall too, thankfully nothing that needed a hospital trip instantly!  And isn’t that a relief.  And isn’t it also true that I have learned not to post certain things on Facebook in real time in the knowledge that my Dad would be in a fit of worry :)  So, back into the truck and Dee-Dee tells us that the storm is coming in sooner than expected and that now the race is on to get to the mountain pass before it closes.  Hmmm!  Laura and I have front row seats and by now it’s pitch black, raining heavily and the water is pouring in from the roof behind the driver.  It’s starting to feel a lot more of an adventure that we had first anticipated…2015-02-01_00572015-02-01_00552015-02-01_0054So the race is on and we can see Dee-Dee constantly checking the forecasts and speaking to the weather station and other guides for updates.  The rain turns to slush and hail, the water drips faster and then Dee-Dee turns and say’s sorry folks, the mountain pass is closed as there are over 100 vehicles stranded and needing dug out.  It was a bit hard to believe that the weather can be so ferocious in different parts of the country but there it was.  The mountain – our route back -was closed and more roads were closing by the minute.  We pull in to a service station and Dee-Dee calls her boss to take advice about what to do next.  We are told to stock up on supplies as it could be a long night.  Waaaa, well we hadn’t bargained for this little addition to our tour!  But we were in the best kind of vehicle for whatever the weather would send us.  Seavar and one of the guys on the tour braved the now torrential snow to put snow chains on the wheels.  There were still a few roads open so we had the all clear from the bosses at Grayline Tours and we would attempt to get back to the city.  We set off, and within a few miles the snow chains would thud, coming off as there was not enough snow for them to catch a grip.  Further still and again they would release. Eventually Seavar decided to take them off.  We carried on and remarkably the storm didn’t hit us on the road.  We had to take an astoundingly long round about trip but we made it back in one piece with great team work and moral boosting from the Gray Line Tours Team Dee-Dee and Saevar.  So again if you are ever out on a tour with them, you are in for a treat!  They were brilliant however we were glad to climb into our warm and cosy beds that night!

Well if you are still reading at this point I salute you as it’s a long read and a lot of photographs but there you have it, my first time in Iceland and what an adventure it was.  So we didn’t see whales or the Northern Lights (to any real degree) but that didn’t get in the way of a wonderful trip.  Our last visit was to the famous Blue Lagoon – a place that many people recommend.  It was fine but to be honest was my least favourite part of the trip.  It was insanely busy and was a bit too conveyor beltish for my liking.  Of course I know that it’s a major tourist attraction but I felt that so many other parts of the this corner of Iceland had got the balance right – this wasn’t one of them for me.  So I’m not sure that it would feature in any future trips I take but that’s just my opinion for you.  I did however quite enjoy the feeling of the salts under my feet and the colour of the water whilst the snow and wind blew a hoolie round my ears.  Oh and the lunch in the restaurant was pretty great too.

2015-02-01_0056Well I’ve already decided I’m going to return during summer to do a driving tour around the whole Island – which is a mere 1180 miles with lots to see and do around this Arctic gem.  The only question is when!

I hope you enjoyed our little tour and as always feel free to leave some comments or share your experiences of Iceland.  I’d love to hear about them!  Until the next time,

Jacqui x

Happy Birthday Blog and Islay – Her name is Girl Carmen

Happy Birthday dear Blog…3 years old today and ooh ooh ooh – I’ve just seen that it’s my 50th post too!

Wow and hello September!  I’m more than a little unfashionably late in publishing some of my summer adventures.  In fact my blog has been positively neglected recently.  Well adventures abated (for a few weeks at least!) and I’m chilling with a glass of wine and starting to put it all down on here on the first quiet night in months.

So where to start….WHY ISLAY OF COURSE!  Could it be anywhere else really?!?!  Those of you who know me and/or having been following this blog for a while will know that I fell in love with Islay during my first visit in September 2011.   In fact round about the time when I started this very blog!  Anyway, you can read about my 2nd trip here and my 3rd trip here if you’re interested.  Go on, I’ll wait for you as it’ll give you the back story to this post :)

Ok, so back in July I took my 4th visit to this magical island across the water.  Staying as always in the Port Charlotte Hostel, I’ve become one of the many regular visitors whilst Karl and Lorna who manage the Hostel have become very good friends of mine.    So much happened during this trip that I’ve decided to post a couple of different blogs but I want to get straight to bit that excites me the most.  This time I was on a personal mission to see if I could find out any more about that beautiful old boat that has totally captured me and which I’ve been photographing since my first trip.  Well this time I was in luck.  Here’s what happened and what I found out…

Take one west coast girl, her camera and a bike (thanks Alistair for allowing other guests at the Hostel to borrow you bike – it was brilliant!).  Yes you read that right…a bike and 7 miles of stunning coastal road – and that’s where we pick up the story this time.  I’m on my way to my favourite part of the island – Portnahaven. 2014-09-13_0032 2014-09-13_0033 2014-09-13_0034Leaving Port Charlotte behind I’m on my way and after a fair bit of puffing and panting I can see her there in the distance.  Firstly I freewheel down into Port Weymss and sit on the coastal path watching the seals bobbing and the fishing boats coming and going.  Then it’s onwards…2014-09-13_00012014-09-13_0002At the bus terminus I park up the bike and take in some of the many views that I’ve fallen in love with.  Top this off with the fact that just out of shot to the right here is the An Tigh Seinnse – yip that’s the place that serves the best pint of prawns around!  And they do a pretty mean scone too :)2014-09-13_00042014-09-13_00052014-09-13_00032014-09-13_00092014-09-13_0008Just take a look at those prawns below…well it would be rude not too wouldn’t it?!!   So I sat in the sun, taking it all in and working my way through this heady pint which was accompanied by the most delicious salad and homemade bread.  Gee I can almost still taste them as I write!  Sheer food heaven.

And for the observant amongst you, yes that is a YES van centre amidst the floral shots above.  I was a little surprised that many of the people on the Island were already fully immersed in the Independence debate back in early July whilst it still seemed altogether quieter on the mainland.  Though it seems odd to be writing this now on the night before the Referendum and it’s been anything but quiet on the campaigning front in recent weeks.  Tomorrow Scotland will decide on it’s future and I’m nervous.  That said, it’s heartened me to see so many people engaging in the discussion.  Politics have made their way into the front rooms, the offices, the parks, the street corners, the pubs, the shops, the schools and the street, in a way I have never known.   Anyway, I had some interesting discussions whilst I was there and I hold the greatest hope for everyone’s future on the eve of this momentous decision that we have to make.

But let’s get back to where I was going…the boat!  Oh yeah, and that’s a reflection of the mobile library above too in case you are wondering.  2014-09-13_00062014-09-13_0007As I finish up my delicious lunch and look towards the Boatyard I see a man coming out of the pub.  I decided to ask him if he knew who owned the boat, “Ah, that’ll be Jack yer looking for but he’s no in as I seen him going out the village a wee while ago!”  Well that’s one step further anyway, so I take a cycle round the bay taking in a few shots and meeting a few of the locals on route before I take the bike and head back homewards to Port Charlotte. It’s time for tea :) 2014-09-13_00122014-09-13_0010So not to be deterred I jumped on the bus the following day and headed back to to Portnahaven, and what a day I got for it.  Look at those skies!  I wander down into the Boatyard and watch the local fisherman bringing in their catch.  I shout over to them to find out what they’re bringing in – it’s crab and lobster – which he tells me will be exported to Portugal and Spain.  2014-09-13_00112014-09-13_0017And I wander round and take some more shots of that beauty as she is – worn and tired looking as I see her from a new and different angle.  But it’s time to see if I can find out a bit more of her story.  I knock on the door…no answer.  Then I hear something in the Boat shed and I peak my head in.  “Hello” I call, a man pops out from the back.  “Hi, are you Jack” I say, “yip, that’s me, how can I help?”  “Do you own that boat out there I say?”  “Yeah, how do you want it?” he replies.  “Eh, no…but I do love it!” And so it begins.

I explain that I’d asked in the pub about who owned the boat and that I’m a photographer and blogger and that I’ve been visiting the island for the last 3 years.  I also told him about the photograph I’d taken in 2011 and turned it into a digital art piece called “Beauty in your Brokenness.”  Jack listened quietly – probably thinking “what on earth!”  I rambled on nervously, saying that I was just so drawn to the boat and that I’d love to know more about her story.  Jack graciously obliged by going on to tell me about her.  Jack said he had owned her for about 25 or so years.  Previous to this she was a fishing vessel registered in Stornaway in Lewis and whilst out one day had gotten into trouble in a storm.  She became stranded behind Nave Island off Islay and sadly the damage to her was so extensive that the insurance company had to write her off.  Jack salvaged her to shore and over time began the process of trying to make her seaworthy.  He stopped… 2014-09-13_00192014-09-13_0014“I’ve still got her name, number and ship’s wheel somewhere.  Do you want to see them?  Come on it!” OMG, I’m about to burst with excitement.  “That would be amazing Jack, yes, thanks so much!”  And so I follow in Jack’s footsteps, climbing over boats and parts, past the make shift bar and up to the end of the shed.  Jack climbs up high, and hands me down the sawdust covered signage.  She’s called Girl Carmen.  Next he unearths the ships wheel and the registered number.  I can’t wait to get outside to photograph them next to her.  As I do Jack watches on…”Jack, please will you take a picture of me with her sign?” “Sure” he replies.

“In fact” he says, I must have some photographs of her over the years and can let you see all the work that’s been done to her over the years…if you’re interested?”  What do you reckon my reply was?!?!   You bet I was… 2014-09-13_00152014-09-13_0028So meet Jack everyone!  He wanders outside with packets of beautiful old printed photographs – agh photographer heaven again!  He tells me all about the work he has done to her over the years, and introduces his other love – the little red boat to the left of Girl Carmen.  Yip, that’s Girl Carmen in the photographs below with the white cabin and blue & grey hull.  She’s certainly changed a bit over the years, but she still has so much character in my eyes.  With a bit more information Jack say’s that she’ll never be back on the water now.  I’m a bit gutted.  “So you like boats then?” Jack says, “Eh’m well yeah, sort of.  I haven’t spent much time in them but I’m always interested in wandering round harbours and love looking at them.”  “I’ve built the 2 Skiffs we have here on the Island”  “Oh we have one down in Portobello in Edinburgh I say, “and one in Port Seaton”  “Yeah, that’s the Boatie Blest” Jack says, that’s it I say.  “Yeah, we race them in the regatta” he says.  “They’re pretty good.”   2014-09-13_0025I’ve got some photographs of us building the Skiff if you want to see them, they’re on the computer.  Yes please!!!!  So Jack tells me a bit more about the Skiffs and talks me through the process of how they get the kit delivered from Leven and build the vessels – they are just beautiful works of art.  The first one was called after his granddaughter – Lily Bheag and is red and grey and in July 2012 the second one, called Bluebell made had her maiden launch.  “In fact, if you’re not doing anything tonight you could come down to the pier at Bruichladdie as we’ll be out training in the boats if you want to see them?”  haha, need you ask what I said?  Didn’t think so…So I thank Jack so much for his time and say I’ll probably see him later.  I head on up to the War Memorial on the hill to get another perspective on Girl Carmen then jump on the bus back to the Hostel.  2014-09-13_00262014-09-13_00212014-09-13_00232014-09-13_00242014-09-13_0031What a day…and it ain’t over yet.  I have dinner and mention to a few folks all about my day.  I say that I’m going to head down to the pier and Jerry, Shuggie and Justine decide to join me.  We wander down.  I get to the pier and wander down to a small group standing.  One of the girls turns around and I introduce myself, saying Jack had suggested I could come down.  Helen introduced herself, “haha, I’ve heard you visited Jack today”  Do you want a shot in the boat?  And so it was, off I went.  Gerry joined me and Helen and Tom (one of the fisherman I had shouted to earlier in the day) took us out for a little bit of a row.  It was totally brilliant fun…and quite hard work…but good prep for my sea legs given that I was going 5 days sea kayaking later in the season!!!

Helen, I’m going to take you up on the offer of coming round to Port Ellen the next time I’m on the Island – I loved being out on the Skiff!  Thanks so much for everything guys.  I can’t wait to get back to Islay.  It rocks my world :)

And there it is, another tiny chapter of my time in this amazing place that is Islay, it’s under my skin!  There’s more to tell but that can wait. A future blog will be all about the people I meet on Islay!  So I’ll leave you with a wee shot of some of the inspirations I met this trip.  Introducing Gerry, Shuggie and Paul (from left to right) along with yours truly.

I’m not any less nervous as I finish writing my birthday blog for 2014 but I can finish up by saying – Scotland I love you, you are My Home and I’m thankful every day for that.  Tomorrow will bring change and I hope it’s for the best.

As always, thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment etc if you like, Jacqui xx

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