After drinking for 12 hours the day before, I can safely say I was feeling a bit rough on Saturday morning for the second day of my stay on Islay. I got up at 6am, went back to bed, got up at 10am, went back to bed, got up at 11am, lay on the sofa in the lodge, and finally I was able to get up properly at 1pm. Bit of a waste! A handful of the guys had managed to get up for another round of golf at 9.30am, and started drinking on their way round the course. I definitely couldn’t have handled that!
After I’d managed to get in and out the shower with a stonking headache, some of us went over to the main hotel for a spot of lunch. I was delighted to see they had ham and cheese toasted sandwiches on the menu. I would have taken a photo of it (in my quest for the best) but I was so hungover that actually putting food in my mouth required a gargantuan amount of effort on my part.
Still feeling rough, it was time to head off to a distillery for a tour. Nick’s future wife-to-be’s parents happen to know someone that runs a distillery, so James (for that is his name) kindly agreed to take us on a private tour of Bruichladdich distillery. Now I am not a whisky fan it must be said, but it was really, really interesting. Even though I had visited Bushmills distillery a month ago on a visit for work, I was fascinated. James was a brilliant guide and had incredible stories, but in addition, unlike Bushmills, Bruichladdich is not owned by a big conglomorate, and make whiskey the traditional way, so that made it more interesting too. James was keen to point out that there is not a computer in sight in the whisky making process. So I would recommend it for a tour! That’s us in the cask warehouse above. It’s a terrible picture of me so don’t look too closely.
A quick trip round the distillery shop (they have an online version here) and we spied a very expensive bottle of whisky. 999! I let it pass, but I did buy a tartan scarf. Hand made on Islay!
After our tour, we headed into the town of Bowmore, and had some drinks and played pool and darts at the bar of the Bowmore Hotel. It was here that we unfortunately began to notice that one of our party had developed what we could call a ‘fragrant’ problem. I’ll refrain from naming and shaming them to spare their blushes. Onwards, and it was doon the road for an Indian meal at the Taj Mahal! It was in here that a different member of our party (one who had been drinking since 9.30am) had a wee snooze on the table. Because of my massive bender the day before, I had only started drinking at this point, so was totally fine! Woo-hoo!
Once we had had our fill of Cobra beer and curry, it was off to another bar – Duffies, at the Lochside Hotel, which was right across the road from the Taj Mahal. Here things began to take a tipsy turn. We basically had quite a lot to drink. And couldn’t make our mind up whether to go to a disco which was taking place someplace else on the island. In the end we ended up staying in Duffies after a quick detour via the lovely Harbour Inn.
By this point the stag was having problems. Let’s just say he had a very strong pint (I won’t reveal what was in it) and then a triple Jack Daniels. Cue mayhem and madness. I don’t think it is fair to write here the behaviour that ensued but let’s just say the night for him, ended earlier than we had planned. Maybe the picture below will kind of reveal the state he was in. After one drink back at The Machrie, it was time for bed!
There were lots of girls on Islay by the way, and a lot of them were very attractive. I haven’t mentioned them so far, so there you go. More pictures from the trip are here!