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Published: July 22nd 2010
Day 33 Boat of Garten to Inverness via Nairn 46 miles 1072 miles
A bright and sunny morning followed the previous days rain so I set off after a hearty breakfast. It was only four miles over to Carrbridge on the old main road and then I turned on to the very quiet B road heading north towards Nairn. A very gentle ascent through the heathery hills was pleasant. I heard and caught glimpses of breeding curlew and Golded Plover. A large raptor in the distance may have been a golden eagle but it was too far away to be sure. The ditches and banks along the road side had lots of good plants including Butterwort, Heath Spotted Orchids, Wintergreen and Sundews. After crossing the watershed a gentle decent over the moors had views of a large reservoir to the North East and distant views of the Moray Firth. Reaching an area of forestry I turned on to a minor road and soon came to the Dulsie Bridge, an old stone bridge which crosses the River Findhorn where it goes through a deep gorge. Stopping here for a break, I explored a trail through a small forest of
aspen trees. An interpretation board told me that the bridge was the only one to survive the "Muckle Spate" of August 1829, where the water reached to within 3 feet of the keystone , forty feet above normal level. Despite recent rains , all seemed fairly gentle on this July day.
The lane meandered on in a general downhill direction through plantation forestry until it emerged into farmland a mile or two before reaching historic Cawdor. I considered going into the castle but the admission charge was rather high for a brief visit. I contented myself with an ice cream and a postcard. I noted that one of the estate farms I passed was called Stackpole Farm, no doubt named after the Cawdors' former summer residence in Pembrokeshire.
I took the road on to the coast and headed through fertile farmland towards Fort George on the Moray Firth. It was a delight to see and hear so any Yellowhammers. The weather had turned thundery and I endured heavy bursts of thunder rain together with thunder , lightning and the steady noise of small arms fire on this active military area. Taking care to keep in the safe area I
was hoping to catch a glimpse of the Moray Firth Bottlenose dolphins in the narrows between Fort George and Chanonry Point on the Black Isle. I caught some possible distant glimpses of dolphins, but had good viewing of arctic and common terns and arctic skua.
Not trusting the weather I got back on the bike and pedalled on pleasant backroads through seven or eight miles of countryside before I reached the edge of Nairn where the heavens opened and I got drenched in the final mile or so to Narn station. I abandoned my plan to explore Nairn and caught the train in to Inverness.
After getting to my B&B in Inverness and showering and getting into dry clothes I went out and met up with my cycling friends from Beverley for a curry.
Tot: 2.298s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 10; qc: 59; dbt: 0.0444s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb