Conveniently, quite a number of my favorite distilleries are located in a fairly close cluster around SW Scotland. After plotting out the distances, it appeared that I wouldn't have to do more than a few dozen miles of riding in any one day. That discovery started to get me excited - while I've always been a decent cyclist, the idea of riding a lot of miles carrying a lot of gear and having to navigate unfamiliar terrain were fairly daunting, so I didn't want push myself too hard. It was supposed to be a vacation, after all.
Buying the tickets really committed me - this was going to be the first time I had traveled internationally by myself, so there were a lot of unknowns. To begin with, my passport needed to be renewed, a decade after my last international trip (this turned out to be a completely smooth process).
|Slightly travel-stained plans|
After that, I had to make sure I had somewhere to sleep every night. Again, since this was a vacation, I wasn't particularly interested in camping. Given the high chance of rain and the hilly terrain, a warm bed and a hot shower at the end of every day felt like a necessity. Thankfully, while there were a few places that it was hard to nail down (Port Ellen was surprisingly busy for early September), I got everything settled without too much trouble or having to commit to spending a lot more money than my ideal.
At that point, it all came down to waiting...