Bruichladdich to Port Charlotte Footpath

A few weeks ago work has commenced on the long-awaited foot and cycle path between the villages of Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte. This will be a great asset for locals and others visiting the Rhinns. At present you'll need to walk and cycle on the road which can be a dangerous undertaking, especially for the younger ones. If the new path will be anywhere near as good as the distillery path, and the signs point in that direction, it will be wonderful.

Gordon Currie from Port Ellen is doing all the work and at this stage they are preparing the ground for the path and laying the foundations for the bridges. The planning is that the path will be finished at the end of the year. Fingers crossed.

More photos here

Starting a New Chapter

After having spent most of our life in the Netherlands, our wee family came to Islay some six years ago to actually live on the island about which I’d been writing so much on my website www.islayinfo.com since 2004.

Some time ago, however, we’ve decided that the time has come for us to begin a new chapter in another country, Germany.

Living the dream to stay, work and bring up our daughter on a remote Scottish Island was fantastic, it couldn't have been any better. We have learned so much about Islay and its fantastic people and we are still learning. It really takes time to properly understand how it all works here and some things will always remain a mystery to us. We feel very privileged and grateful that we had the chance to experience life on Islay and that we’ve been welcomed and accepted by the locals in such a wonderful way. We’ve made some really good friends whom we’re hoping to keep, even if we’re 900 miles away, as the crow flies.

All things considered, now is a good time for us for the “big move”: We’ll be moving to a place which brings us closer to our family and friends who are (just like us) not getting any younger and whom we've missed a bit too much in recent years. And we’ll be moving on to pursue new dreams and do other, and new, exciting things.

Annika will attend a bi-lingual High School and Ela has been offered a good job at her old playground, the gym, as a trainer, nutritionist and Yoga teacher.

For myself work won't change all that much. I will keep doing what I’ve loved doing all those years: promoting Islay as well as maintaining and building websites through Braveheart Web Design. Working in the digital world has the advantage of being able to work from any place on the planet, providing there is an internet connection!

Of course, we'll be coming back often to stay in touch and for our "Islay Fix". However, we are not gone yet. The official move will be somewhere in June or July but we will leave Islay at the end of March for a month or so to start the preparations for our new life.

Spectacular Sea Eagles Encounter and Photos Islay

I couldn't believe my eyes when I returned home from Ardnave early in the afternoon when I spotted a White Tailed Sea Eagle on top of a Barnacle Goose close to the RSPB Gruinart visitor centre. When we pulled over the Sea Eagle flew off, dropped the Goose which escaped, and landed a few metres further on the grass next to another Sea Eagle!! I couldn't believe my luck. I've never seen such a spectacular display of these majestic birds. It's already hard to spot one so close by, now I had two of them on the ground in front of my camera. After some 10 minutes or so they flew off scaring some more Barnacle Geese further out towards Craigens. Below are the eight photos I managed to take. Wow, what an experience that was!

Continue to more Eagle Photos

Get Islay Presents for Christmas

The dark days before Christmas are here so now is a good time to start thinking about Christmas presents! Before you rush off to Amazon and the likes you might want to consider doing some of your Online Christmas shopping on Islay and support the local businesses as there is plenty of choice, as you can see on our online shops on Islay page.

But there is more. The Islay Celtic Craft shop in Portnahaven also sell their items online through Ebay and you can find a wide selection of Islay and Celtic related items. For an overview visit their Ebay page. Jane Taylor's beautiful whisky prints can also be purchased online and if children's books are your thing you must visit the website of Ailsa Press, they have some lovely children's books.

We also sell our own photos online through Island Light Photography. All the photos on Islay Info, on our popular Facebook page and many many more can be purchased as canvases or prints and can be mounted or framed. If folk on Islay order framed prints we have it professionally done by Islay Studios. You can also download the file and have it printed with your local print shop. For more info see www.islay.photos. We also sell our mounted prints at the Blue Letter Box in Port Ellen.

You can find a wide range of whisky soaps, special gift packs, creams, scenting candles, balms and other bathing and personal care products on the www.spiritedsoaps.com website and for those of you with a sweet tooth I can recommend the Islay tablet shop. The attractive online Islay Shop is another great place where you can find a nice collection of gifts such as Jewellery, calendars, t-shirts and whisky gifts. Continue reading...