04 October 2010

Remoteness as tourist attraction

The beaten path can lead to some unexpected places. Sometimes, the very remoteness or other-ness of a place is precisely what draws the masses. Like all the people who tailgated Elizabeth Gilbert's bliss-quest all the way to Bali, in search of peace and quiet and enlightenment, only to find . . . lots of other people in search of same. Or there's the most remote mainland* pub in Britain, where a fair amount of people go precisely because it's . . . the most remote pub in Scotland. "Getting there is half the fun," says the pub, The Old Forge, on its web site. Seventeen miles by foot or seven by boat.  

And now it's for sale. You, too, can own this oft-visited symbol of the road less traveled. From The Guardian (via World Hum):

From hikers to yachties to locals, anyone who has ever been to the Old Forge will tell you it's a special place. It's not just the food, from its Skye crab to its haggis lasagne, that's fantastic; it's not just the fact that its local ales, such as Red Cuillin, go down a treat after a day out on some of west coast's finest peaks; nor is it just the ravishing view out across the bay at dusk, to those giant knuckles of rock encircling the still waters. No: it's the whole party spirit that seems to affect the place as the sun goes down.
... It's on sale for offers over £790,000 but cash alone won't guarantee a sale. "We won't be selling to anyone who won't keep its spirit alive," says Jackie. "All the interested parties have been customers. They understand the culture of the place: good food, good music, good people."

* Note the qualifier here: most remote mainland pub. My quick Googling doesn't turn up details of the most remote British pub, period--nor, surprisingly, can I find (again, quickly) many details about the world's most remote bars, aside from this one in Australia. (I did, however, find this round-up of remote hotels.)  There's also the Restaurant at the End of the Universe (RIP, Douglas Adams), but that is another matter entirely. Anyway, I'd bet that most of these bars (a) attract some odd, interesting people, both patrons and proprietors, (b) have some interesting reasons for existing, e.g. they used to be on some common route or part of a now-abandoned town. Given the the lack of details readily available, I think someone should write a book. Ahem. Hey, Lee . . . 

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