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From Glasgow to the Scottish island of Jura is half-an-hour by helicopter. Not having one of those at my disposal, though, it takes me most of the day to get there. First, a large bus winding along moody lochs and around mountains to Kennacraig. Then the big CalMac ferry to Port Askaig on Islay — which is little more than a pier, a pub and a hotel. And then another, much smaller ferry that battles swift currents to deposit me at the lonely jetty at Feolin.

A bus is meant to take me to my final destination on the island, but I can’t spot it. There’s a minivan with “Corporate Tours” emblazoned on the side that I assume is there to collect tourists. Only once it has departed and there’s no sign of any other vehicle do I realise that must’ve been it. I board the vehicle when it returns an hour later, one of a handful of passengers — mostly children who attend the high school on Islay.  The 25-mile journey northwards gives me a sense of the island: moors and peat bogs, secluded ba...

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