I made an early start from my home in County Clare to catch the ferry boat at Larne which would take me to Scotland. The most direct distance was about 400 km (250 miles) but I took a somewhat longer route to avoid large towns. Better to deal with the rural mileage than the urban traffic congestion. It was before motorways linked main towns. The year was 1993 and I was riding my Honda GL650 Silver Wing. As usual it did not miss a beat and I arrived at the ferry port with time to spare. (Someone in Shannon is riding that motorcycle these days.) The weather was nice which always helps. As an individual with a propensity towards sea sickness I was particularly happy there was no wind blowing for the two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride. (I get sea sick taking a bath.) After securing the Silver Wing (it was gray, actually) for the voyage I visited the galley restaurant for a meal. Some people claim one is less likely to get nauseous if one has eaten. Of course, it can turn out to be a total waste of money if the meal goes over the gunwales. Anyway, I arrived on Scottish terra firma with the meal still inside of me. After visiting the picturesque village of New Luce where I phoned home from the one red telephone kiosk I arrived at my pre-selected campground. After setting up camp I strolled to a local hostelry as is my wont. Being in Scotland I ordered a local whiskey. I asked the bar maid if it was customary to add water to the particular drink I ordered. She did not know. We turned to a man seated at the bar who looked as if he would have the information we required. In a dour and unsmiling way that is so typical of people in the western part of the Scottish Lowlands he stated: “Water is for bathing.” I thanked him and took a seat with my glass of undiluted uisce beatha.

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Tags: Honda, Larne., Luce, New, Scotland, Silver, Uisce, Wing, beatha, ferry


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Comment by Fran Reddy on June 20, 2014 at 9:34pm

LOL! I still have to learn to drink my whiskey neat ;)

Comment by P.J. Francis on June 21, 2014 at 11:28am

To tell the truth I could have used some "rocks" in mine on that occasion.

Comment by P.J. Francis on June 21, 2014 at 11:29am

Robbie Burns is said to have lived in the tower in the photograph.

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