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Voyage To The Isle of Sanda

It wasn't the remoteness of the pub on Sanda that prompted this American's 3,300-mile journey. Nor was it the long-anticipated drink that awaited him there. It was the pub's name.

BY JOHN DARNTON

Granted, 3,374 miles is a long way to go for a drink. Especially considering that the trip wasn't exactly a piece of cake. We took the red-eye from New York to Heathrow, changed to a flight to Glasgow and drove for miles beside the lakes of the Scottish Highlands, overnighting in spectacular Minard Castle on Loch Fyne. The next morning we resumed the drive south along the peninsula of Kintyre, through a landscape that turned increasingly rugged, with pine forests and wind-swept, rolling hills, until we arrived at Campbeltown. There we boarded a RIB, a Rapid Inflated Boat, for a bone-rattling trip along the Mull. As the boat traversed the treacherous brew where the North Channel meets the Firth of Clyde, dousing us with ocean spray, I looked over at my wife, Nina, grasping the handholds of the saddle seat next to me as if she were riding a bucking bronco. I yelled out: "Is this crazy or what?" All she could do was nod and hold on for dear life.

The full text of this article is available in the Winter 2006 issue of Scottish Life.

Click here to preview our feature article on Fort George by Richenda Miers.

Photos left to right: © VisitScoland/Scottish Viewpoint; John Darnton; Charles McVey