My favourite shot of the entire Scotland trip is this one, and there’s quite a story behind it. It’s shot on the island of Islay, famous for its harsh and peaty whiskies, with the smallest camera I own - the diminutive Fujifilm Cameras X100s.
As a fan of the powerful flavours that dominate the liquor, I’d been looking forward to this leg of the trip more than any other, but it nearly didn’t happen - fortuitously, there was a whisky festival on at the time, but this meant the ferry from the mainland was booked solid for vehicle traffic on the day we turned up, and we wouldn’t be able to drive our camper van on. Undeterred, we decided to ride our bikes instead, knowing full well that doing so would result in a fifty mile pedal from one end of the island to the other to catch the last boat back.
What we weren’t prepared for was the generosity of the distilleries and people there. Our first stop, at my personal favourite Laphroaig, resulted in us being invited inside for a special test tasting of eight different drams, much to our bemusement and that of the invited whisky aficionados who’d been personally invited. Next, Lagavulin, who provided three more samples each and a proper old leather chair to enjoy them in. By the time we got round to shooting this image, at around 11:30am, things were already starting to look a little blurry, to say the least. Thankfully autofocus took up the slack and we managed to bang this one off. Truth be told, there’s not much of a trail there, but it was just too beautiful to pass up.
We finished the day with a trip to Ardbeg, where the magnum bottles were flowing freely, the aforementioned fifty mile pedal (into a headwind, no less) and a quick stop in at Caol Ila. Even had time for quick pint at the pub in Port Askaig before making our way back to the mainland. All in all, an amazing day in an amazing place that I’ll remember for a long, long time.
There’s a lot more stories just like this one in Seb Kemp’s Bike Magazine features, both on shelves in print and online right now. If you’ve even a passing interest in whisky, mountain biking or what on earth a Great White Snail is, it might be worth you checking it out.
Mission Workshop / WANDER
Mission Workshop / Wander
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Isle of Skye