Nice timelapse video of the return flight from Islay to Perth

Islay on Video

The logical follow up to the Nice timelapse video from a flight to Islay post is quite obvious: The return flight. It takes a different route, flying across Islay and then along the west coast of Jura, including a view of Scarba with the Corryvreckan at the northern end of Jura. Didn’t look like it was running when Paul passed though. I hope you’ll enjoy the return flight as much as the outbound flight:

N3600X Islay to Perth

I’m hoping there will be more videos like this showing Islay and her neighbours in all their glory. Paul has hinted there might be videos with both straight ahead and side views, showing different angles.

Nice timelapse video from a flight to Islay

Islay on Video

I’ve shared a few videos of flights to/from Islay over the years, although I don’t think I’ve had a flight from Perth yet. Well, that’s what I found today. A nice timelapse video by Paul Barnett of a flight from Perth to Islay, passing Loch Lomond and the Clyde on the way. It’s only just over two minutes long, enjoy the fleeting views:

Perth to Islay SR22

I quite liked the explanations of the places Paul passed on his way, thought this was really nicely done. Also found the views of the clouds flying past strangely fascinating yet soothing (obviously they don’t do that in real time). Well done Paul, thanks for sharing.

Some interesting Islay links (March 2022 edition)

Islay Links

It’s about time I go through some of my bookmarks and notes from the last couple of weeks (or even months) and share some of the articles and more about or at least mentioning Islay. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to read and possibly share:

To start with travel writer Peter Irvine shares his favourite spots on Scotland’s loveliest islands, which of course includes Islay and Jura. They are spots 6-9, the Paps of Jura, Geese at Gruinart, Carraig Fhada Lighthouse and the Machrie Hotel.

Not Islay specific (although Islay is of course mentioned, Irvine also calls for islanders to get more control over impact of tourism.

I walked it last year (and still owe you a post about it), the Sustrans website has a lovely article about the new Loch Indaal path between Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte.

Scott Begbie writes about Marvellous malts and pure moments on the magical island of Islay in the Press and Journal. Whisky, beaches, food and sunsets get a mention.

Uproxx (which seems to be a music, film and lifestyle website) writes about a whisky-centric trip to Scotland with a few stops on Islay. The Islay stops are Bowmore Hotel Lucci’s Whisky Bar and Kilchoman distillery. Also an honourable mention for Ardbeg and Lagavulin distilleries. Not to forget plenty Islay pictures.

To close someone from the Sunday Post tried the scones at the Craigard Kitchen at Ballygrant. They were very happy with them and will be back.

I’ll leave you with that for now, hopefully you found something interesting to read. More some other time.

My Islay (and something else) look back at 2021

Islay Events

So there we are, New Year’s Eve 2021. Another year coming to an end. Might as well take a look back at the year, what it meant to me, Islay related and a few other areas. The year brought both good and bad things and events:

In particular the first half of the year was of course still dominated by the Covid-19/Coronavirus pandemic, even though the ramp up of the vaccination efforts brought some hope. My second dose came too late for me to book anything for the first half of the year (I had decided I wasn’t going to travel until my second dose had taken full effect). Still, I managed to continue with daily posts on my Islay pictures photoblog by digging into my archives and plundering some other resources (mainly pictures taken on my phone). Also the belated online Islay Sessions 2020 took place early in 2021.

Then the first bad news struck when Ian Brooke unexpectedly passed away in June. I still miss him, my daily visits to the Islay Birds blog are not the same without him (that’s not to diminish the sterling job the team continuing it in his memory is doing, it’s just different). Also missed seeing and catching up with him at his bird hide when I finally managed to return to Islay in September, at least I had a good catch up with Margaret.

At least September brought my first return to Islay after 22 months without a visit. As you can read in that post it was magical. Being back on the beaches was just brilliant. Rediscovering some old haunts and exploring a few new places was just what I needed. And I had booked my next visit even before I left for my September visit, returning for a week in October. This time I stayed at Ballitarsin Lodge, which was another new experience. Some fantastic views from up there, also a few morning walks along the Glen Road instead of a beach. I got to meet some old friends with their latest addition to the household (and some homemade Spaghetti Bolognese on great evening), followed by some brilliant October night skies (I still need to process the pictures from that…).

Then the end of the year arrived with some bad news, but also a lot of opportunity for 2022: Earlier this afternoon I shut down my work laptop for the last time as a Verizon employee. Or in other words, from next week I’m looking for opportunities for the next stage of my career. If you know of any good jobs in the Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) area or similar, positions as a Finance Business Partner or similar please get in touch. Remote work or in the Greater Reading / West Berkshire and around area. You can learn about my skills and experience on my LinkedIn profile. Onwards and upwards, and after I’ve settled into my next career step it will be time for another visit to Islay.

Rock climbing on Islay video

Islay on Video

Rock climbing isn’t something I’ve heard of much on Islay, as far as I can tell there doesn’t seem to be much opportunity to do it. Nevertheless Roger Brown did just that (with a stopover on Skye for some more rock climbing) and made a video about it:

Rock climbing trip to Islay 2019

Some of it seems to be near Port Wemyss on the Rhinns of Islay, not sure where the rest was. May be on the Oa or at Sanaigmore? There are certainly some steep and impressive cliffs at both locations.

I hope you enjoyed the video, I found it very interesting (and a bit scary) to see them climbing above the waves rolling in at the steep cliffs.

Drone video of the Rest and Be Thankful (Route to Islay)

Islay on Video

While we obviously can’t travel to Islay when I’m writing this I hope there will be some travel possible in H2 2021. Until then we have to enjoy videos in the safety of our homes. Here’s one of the well known Rest and Be Thankful on the A83, the main route to Islay. It doesn’t mention any of the troubles with landslides and other problems, so if you want to forget about all that this is a nice enjoyable view:

Rest and Be Thankful

I hope you enjoyed the video and it gave you a bit of an escape.

See you next year, Islay (hopefully)

Islay News

Several factors were involved in this decision, but over this belated bank holiday weekend I have made the decision not to travel to Islay this year. Back in March when I wrote Sadly no Islay visit for me for the foreseeable future and also in recent weeks I still had hopes and plans to visit later in the year. I’ve got two weeks off work in October, which I had originally planned for a long Islay visit. But I’ve now decided to make it another staycation in West Berkshire, where I live (and currently work from home. I normally work in Reading, but we’ve been told to work from home until at least the end of the year). I don’t feel I have to justify that decision, but I still would like to explain:

To start with I’m still not comfortable to travel or go anywhere with people in confined spaces. While my GP told me she doesn’t consider me a Covid-19 high risk and I don’t have to shield like some other people I’m still very careful. I’ve read several reports of long term health implications from Covid-19 infections, including heart problems. Having fully recovered and been given a new life after my major heart surgery a few years back I just want to minimise the risks. I haven’t been to a pub or restaurant since March or even February (can’t remember) and obviously haven’t used the dining voucher scheme by the government. I haven’t even been to the beer gardens some of the pubs around where I live have opened. I’d love to, but I must admit I’m feeling physically uncomfortable even when walking past them. Some will say I’m overreacting, that might well be, but that’s how I feel.

Going on the long trip to Scotland with these feelings doesn’t feel right to me. It wouldn’t feel like a holiday. The journey (with over night stops, ferry crossing etc) would be very stressful and even on Islay I couldn’t fully enjoy it. Sure, most of the time I would spend in the cottage and outdoors away from people, but even though it’s probably safe (I know the restaurants, distilleries etc all follow the latest guidelines and do their best to keep everyone safe) I wouldn’t feel comfortable to go for a meal, go to a pub/bar or visiting a distillery. Visiting any friends isn’t very realistic either, I wouldn’t feel comfortable going into anyone’s home.

Finally the news over the last week or so have further tipped me over to the decision not to go. As I’m sure everyone is aware the infections rates, R-values and whatever else they measure have gone up. While it’s probably too early to say that there is talk of a second wave. Across the continent we have significant increases, same as earlier this year where the UK was lagging the continent by a few weeks. Some restrictions have already been put in place, I fear further restrictions might come over the coming weeks. For me personally not the time to plan a trip, just too insecure (I’ve seen it very closely, some people I work with had to cancel their holiday in France the day before they were due to depart as the rules changed).

I’m obviously very disappointed that I won’t visit Islay this year. I hope the situation will improve next year, I’m hoping that there will be an Islay walking week again and that I will have the confidence to travel. Should that turn out to be too early then I’ll have to wait. All I know is that at some point I will be back.

To finish I’d just like to make clear that this is a purely personal decision. It’s no guidance, direction, anything for anyone else. If you want to go and it feels right for you to go, by all means visit Islay. I’ll be happy for you to go, share your pictures and videos and experiences so that others can enjoy them as well. Islay will welcome you, many businesses on Islay are waiting for you, support them in this difficult time.

Great video of the Corryvreckan whirlpool between Jura and Scarba

Jura Excursions

Recently a quite interesting visitor was spotted around Islay and Jura, the Thunder Child II, a very impressive boat. The first XSV20 built by Safehaven Marine in Co Cork, Ireland. Unfortunately it had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but they hope to set a new record for a trans Atlantic crossing soon. This week they didn’t go that far, but visited one of the local attractions where they filmed a great video of the famous Corryvreckan whirlpool:

I’m pretty sure Thunder Child II could have easily coped with even wilder conditions, but even here the waves and views are impressive. I also found their way to “land” their drone after filming them quite interesting (you’ll have to watch the video to see how they do it), first time I’ve seen it done that way.

I can only recommend a boat tour to the Corryvreckan, I went with Jura Boat Tours in June 2019 and enjoyed every minute of it. Seeing the whirlpool up close is a great experience, even if it is running at less than half of its full strength.

Dave’s and Neil’s Islay distillery visits video

Islay on Video

Just enjoying a wee dram of Laphroaig Cask Strength (Batch 009) Islay single malt after a few Scottish real ales (from Drygate, Harviestoun and Fyne Ales. Unfortunately Islay Ales don’t ship to the mainland at the moment) earlier. So there’s nothing better than watching a nice video from an Islay visit with plenty distillery tours in December 2019:

I hope you’ll enjoy the video as well, maybe with a wee dram or two?

Nice walking on Islay (and Jura and Colonsay) video

Islay on Video

While we don’t know when, if it’s going to be this year or next year, at some point we will be able to go walking in the beautiful wide open spaces of Islay, Jura and Colonsay again. Until then we have to watch videos like this, showing walking on mainly Islay, but also Jura and Colonsay, in all weathers, from beautiful sunshine to pouring rain:

There are many ways to walk on Islay: you can go on organised walking holidays like in this video with About Argyll, you can come for the Islay walking week or you can go just for yourself whenever you want and wherever you want.