As a sequel to his well-received travelogue/guide to the distilleries of Scotland, “Whisky Burn”, published by Wittenborg University Press, Ben Birdsall is set to embark upon the ‘sequel’ – the distilleries of Ireland.
Where are you going this time?
Mid July, I am taking a clockwise, more or less coastal route from Dublin to Dublin, passing through some of the most important cities, like Cork, Limerick, Galway, Belfast, (are there any others?) and back to Dublin again. 1,600km, I think, which should take about three weeks.
How are you travelling?
The only way to travel – by Vespa! I’m shipping my trusty 1979 50cc to Dublin on a pallet, then flying in and collecting it the day I start the trip. I often get asked why I don’t just hire a car, well, the answer to that is it wouldn’t be the same. I’ve been making Vespa trips like this for years now, in Italy, Switzerland, last time in Scotland, and now Ireland, so it has become a sort of tradition. Also, I paint landscapes along the way and the Vespa suits me in two ways for that – I can park up pretty much anywhere, and it goes so slowly (max. 42 kmph) that I don’t miss anything. I always bring along a tent, so accommodation is never a problem.
How successful has the first book been?