I was clearing out a drawer when I found this old photograph. It shows my good lady, Gwen, and her Kawasaki GT550 wrapped up well against the elements in a bleak looking location. On the back it said "Islay, Sept '86".
The road sign "Kentraw 3, B8018" allowed me to locate the position exactly. It is in the west of the island of Islay, the southmost of the Hebribes. In the distance (although hard to see) is Loch Gorm.
|On Google Maps - and it's sunny!|
Unlike most of the Hebrides, Islay has many flat areas and is pretty desolate especially in dull weather which is a lot of the time. I'd say the only reason to visit is if you're interested in malt whisky. The island is a major producing area with many famous distilleries. These are flavoured with the peat that most of the island is made of.
I remember a couple of things about the trip. I forgot to pack a pair of shoes. I though "I'll buy a cheap pair when I get there". But the lack of shoe shops (and just about any other kind of shop) meant that I spent the weekend clumping about in boots. Also Saturday night in the hotel in Port Ellen was like a Wild West saloon. Not only do they produce booze, the locals like to consume it.
In the photograph Gwen is wearing her Rukka jacket. From Finland these were the best wet weather gear you could get at the time. Her bike is the touring version of the GPz550 with the same 4 cylinder engine but with shaft drive.