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My first full day on Islay (check my Isle of Islay pages for further information) took me to the Bruichladdich Distillery and the dunes near Loch Gruinart. I started the day with a visit to the newly reopened Bruichladdich Distillery:
Picture of Bruichladdich Distillery Picture of a roofless warehouse in a distillery
Picture of two workers loading casks on to a lorryAfter having to close in 1995, Bruichladdich Distillery was reopened in June 2001. Perfect timing for my visit in July. Very interesting and informative distillery tours are offered regularly. During my tour we had the opportunity to take pictures of cask being prepared for transport to the warehouse in Port Charlotte (picture on the left, thanks for posing for us, guys!). Above right a view over In the still house during the distillery toura disused warehouse. The plan is to convert it to a facility for bottling the whisky, an activity currently performed elsewhere. The idea is to create local employment opportunities and in particular create jobs for disabled people.

On the right a view into the still house during the tour. The heat and humidity in there was amazing, I don't know how the still man can work there for the whole day.

After the distillery my next destination was Loch Gruinart and the dunes and beach behind Killinallan:
Picture of a view over a loch at low tide Picture of a large beach with four people on it
Picture of two feet in the water on a beachAfter my lunch I drove along the eastern side of Loch Gruinart. Above left is a view from near Crois Mhór towards Ardnave (left) and Killinallan Point (right).

Having left the car at the end of the road as far as you are allowed to drive I walked on past the farm at Killinallan until I reached the dunes. It was very busy at the beach: four other people! The water was very cold, so I only went into it a little bit (left)

A seal (far away)As the day was quite humid, there was a lot of mist around. Together with the clouds and sunshine it created some nice effects: Below left a view from the beach over the dunes towards the hills in the background (I can't be sure, but probably Beinn Bhreac). Below right the sun is reflected by the water on the beach. From where Gortantaoid River flows into the sea I then walked all the way back to Loch Gruinart along the beach, passing Killinallan Point on the way. Especially this part was quite interesting: The tide had come in and at high tide the water comes very close to the dunes. For a short distance I actually walked through the water (until my feet got too cold). Back in Loch Gruinart I saw (and heard) several seals. Unfortunately the zoom of my camera wasn't strong enough, so the little picture above is the best I managed to take.
Picture of dunes in the sun with a hill under dark clouds behind it Picture of the sun reflecting in the shallow water at a beach

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