By and large the locals we encountered on our travels about Islay were all fine characters.
Some individuals in particular stuck in our minds though. They were mostly to be found in The Ardview Inn, which is an establishment located on the shorefront of Port Ellen.
It had been recommended to us by Ashley, the tour guide who worked at Laphroaig. We’d asked where there was a place with a bit of atmosphere and a good selection of malts behind the bar. There’d been a sharp intake of breath from the other staff when they realised where she was sending us.
Certainly a colourful place, with a choice of about two hundred whiskies to choose from, with the added entertainment of some friendly people who wanted to share their opinions with us.
There was Fluorescent Man with Finger Missing, who declared whisky ‘shite’ and whose conversation ebbed and flowed with interjections of medium to heavy misogyny and homophobia.
Then there was Tourette’s Amphetamine Lycanthrope, and his brother/ward – I coudn’t tell which… Deaf as a post, and who had to have every answer we supplied to his animated questioning repeated at least three times. He said he’d be joining us on the return journey on the ferry back to Kennacraig.
And there was boring Australian of Greek Descent Pharmacist, who told us statistical stories of drug efficacy. My worry was that he was making my malt less effective and I wanted to place him on medication by force.
The stars of the show though, were our hosts, Adele and Kevin Murphy. Fantastic breakfasts of champions every morning, dried our sodden clothes for us, supplied us with a dram or three, and gave us a guided tour of Islay. Far more than we could ever have expected, and we’d thoroughly recommend their amazing home and warm welcome should you ever decide to visit Islay.
You can’t go wrong.