Armin's World Tour of Scotland

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Facts of the Day:
Date: 09/July/2002
From: Port Charlotte, Islay
Via: Port Ellen, Islay
To: Port Charlotte, Islay
Miles: 64
Midges: 1500 (Estimate)
Weather: Sunny, some clouds developing
Mood: Fantastic

Picture of my room at the hotelAfter all the activity on The Oa the previous day I needed a good rest. The nice room at the Port Charlotte Hotel helped with that, very quiet, only the waves to be heard. And a very comfortable bed.Picture of the view from my room I slept very well and the next morning woke up to a beautiful sunrise over Loch Indaal. My plans for this day were to visit the Eastern side of Islay with several of it's distilleries, historical buildings and beaches.Picture of Lagavulin distillery My first stop was near Lagavulin, where you can see two places at the same time: Lagavulin distillery on one side and Dunyvaig Castle (or to be precise, what's left of it) on the other. The clouds lifted again while I visited this place, allowing me to take some nice pictures. The ruins of Dunyvaig CastlePicture of Dunyvaig Castle are very unstable and dangerous, so I only took pictures from the outside and didn't enter it. Continueing my drive along the coast I spotted a few sealsPicture of the seals enjoying the sun. I think they can be spotted in this loch (Loch an t-Sailein) quite often, I think I've seen them here before. Next I drove to one of the best known attractions of Islay: Kildalton Cross.Picture of Kildalton Cross This cross is the only surviving complete Celtic high cross in Scotland. It was carved in the eighth century from the local "bluestone", probably by a sculptor from Iona. The scenes carved into the cross include the Virgin and the Child as well as David and the Lion. My last stop for the day was near Ardtalla, where I went for a walk/hike along the coast.Picture of the Sound of Islay From here you have very nice views over to Kintyre, the Isle of Gigha and the Isle of Jura. I didn't go too far as walking along the coast was mainly climbing over rocks, but still got a nice view of the Sound of Islay with Mc Arthur's Head and over to the Isle of Jura with Jura House. I then returned to Claggain Bay, where I had parked my car. Claggain Bay is a quite nice place, its "beach" is made up out of quite large round stones and pebbles.Picture of Claggain Bay The drive to get there is quite long, but I think it's worth it. You will see quite a few birds as well and might be lucky when you go fishing. Two young lads were trying their luck when I was there, at least one of them caught something quite big in the short time I was watching them. Finally it was back to the hotel where I had a very nice pheasant breast for dinner.Picture of Claggain Bay

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