A night on the town on Islay
Port Mor campsite, on the edge of Port Charlotte on Islay, is set above the beach, with all electric hook up pitches looking out to sea. The campsite is community owned and run, with football pitches, changing rooms and a cafe on site. The facilities are kept immaculately clean....always a bonus.
We pitched up and went for a wander down to the small beach, exploring the rock pools and looking out for dolphins (not in the rock pools you understand, but out to sea, where they're supposed to be in abundance) As ever, not a fin or snout to be seen.
There are two pubs in Port Charlotte and the Port Charlotte Hotel is the one with live traditional music on Wednesdays and Sundays. I thought I'd give it a whirl, so after tea cunningly prepared in my Remoska multi function table top oven I set off to walk the half mile or so into the village, leaving Jinty to snooze in the Romahome.
The sun was still shining and the sea, as ever, looked glorious. The music hadn't started when I went in but it was pretty full. I stood at the bar for a while with half a Fenlaggan ale, a local Islay brew. Four young men were at the bar and at first I thought they were speaking Gaelic, but no, they were Dutch. Why are Dutch men so common on Islay? It's a mystery.
I pulled a spare chair from one of the tables over to a vacant floor space just in time to see the musicians setting up in a corner of the bar. Three men with several instruments between them...piano accordion, banjo, penny whistle and either a ukelele or a mandolin. After a bit of tuning up they set off, with tunes that really deserved to be danced to. No dancing, but a lot of foot tapping ensued.
Not wanting to walk back in the pitch dark I didn't stay too long. On the way back the birds were giving their best for the last songs of the day and the smoke from each house's chimney with a fire burning had its own distinctive smell, maybe peat, maybe a particular wood. Time for a last walk to the beach with Jinty before it's time for bed in the oh so cosy Romahome.