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July 30th 2006
Published: July 6th 2008
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I had a wee dram of Talisker on the Isle of Skye last night. Since we couldn't get to the distillery, it was the least I could do. Last time we were in Scotland we had haggis at the Saucy Mary's (the hostel on Skye we were staying in). At the time we had had haggis a few times already and so were able to say, with a degree of certainty, that the haggis at Saucy Mary's was the best we had had so far. So, I was looking forward to haggis and Talisker as my last meal on Skye. It was not to be. Under new management, haggis is no longer on their menu. In fact, haggis has been very elusive this trip. No where have we seen it. Oh sure, the odd butcher has it and one TIC (Tourist Information Centre) had longlife, preserved, haggis in a variety of different flavours - vegetarian haggis anyone? No restaurants though and I haven't seen it in the supermarket (not that I'd buy it if I did, it's just weird seeing it there). As I recall, last time we were here, nearly every restaurant had it on the menu and you could buy it in the supermarkets. You can buy whiskey in the supermarkets here though - so it's not all bad. Actually, you seem to be able to buy whiskey in the corner stores too (please note that it is a corner store (even if it isn't on a corner) not a dairy, a dairy is a farm with cows). Anyway, we have finally found a restaurant that does haggis here in Aviemore. I like a bit of whiskey with my haggis and luckily Aviemore is at the foot of the Spey river so I'll have my pick of eight different whiskey's which are distilled in the area (if I want to go local) which includes Glenlivet and Chivas Regal, so maybe I'll have two or three whiskeys with my haggis.
Anyway, Aviemore, we got here by taking a bus from Kyleakin to Kyle of Lochalsh, the train to Inverness and then another train to Aviemore. The manager of the hostel is grumpy in a cheerful kind of way - which is interesting. We are here for three nights and originally we had had to order a four person dorm for the first two nights (due to lack of space) and then a twin private for our last. That didn't really matter though as he had lost our booking, but placed us in a twin private room anyway while he sorted it out (at this point he told us to go to town and have a looksee - so we did). He then found our booking, but refused to charge us till he had confirmed it with the booking company (at this point he told us not to worry, that he'd catch up with us sometime - leave it to him - so we did). Then he confirmed it, and found that we should have been in a four person for the first two nights, but decided to leave us where he'd put us and then charged us less because we were in a smaller room... So in the end, check in was a four hour affair and frankly, bizzare.

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