And soon I shall return again, to Islay’s gentle shore
And see across the tide waves wide, the bright lights of Bowmore
Or wander through Bruichladdich, as night begins to fall
And see the moonlit beam on lovely Lochindaal
– Iain Simpson (The Lights of Lochindaal)
We’re about two months from go time for the 2019 Calgary tour contingent. This will be the fourth group I’ve taken over in the last eight years (that doesn’t include solo jaunts). And the requests keep rolling in. There are two potential journeys back to the homeland in 2020 coming to fruition as we speak.
But let’s concentrate on the matters at hand. Namely, the trip looming just over the horizon. I’ll try to do a little better this time at keeping you apprised of how things are coming together, how they unfold, and how it all wraps up. It was all ‘great guns’ with trip updates for the first couple journeys, but man…growing up sucks. My time is less and less my own as the days go on. I’m 41 now and feeling every day of my years. Finding daylight hours for jottings like these seems to be getting tougher and tougher. But if these are the worst of our problems, so be it.
But let me give you the rundown. I think we’ll keep it to first names here, in the event any of the lads prefer to maintain some semblance of their anonymity. Something tells me that’s a non-issue with these blokes, but y’never know (especially as the stories begin to come to light, aye?) This crew? Scott: a gent who came across with me once before (2012), Kent: an old friend (old, as in long-time, not age), Dave (ditto, also one of my football mates), Devin (a man with one of the most laidback personalities I’ve encountered in some time; in other words…a prefect travel companion), and Doug (a sandbaggin’ sonuvagun that has forgotten more about whisky than most people will ever learn). With a collective like this, it’s gon’ be a time, b’y!
We’re heading across in a few separate groups before meeting up in Glasgow for a wee bit debauchery, a tour of Auchentoshan, then the wee hop across to that hunk of Hebridean heaven: Islay. We’ll knock around the island for a few days, ford the great waters back to the Mull of Kintyre for a couple days in Campbeltown, then head back to Glasgow to see our mates at the Bon and the Pot Still.
And the details shall be yours as they unfold. Planning notes, trip updates, on-location images and details (I think!), and post-trip recollections. Perhaps we can even sucker some of the others into contributing some thoughts here.
Watch this space.