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Published: July 22nd 2010
Day 32 Newtonmore to Boat of Garten 33miles 1026miles
A bright and sunny morning and just a short run into Kingussie where I restocked. Moving on, I joined a minor road to cross the valley before joining the B road which heads up the east side of the valley towards Aviemore. Stopping for a breather and a photo of the Ruthven barracks landmark I heard a shout of greeting from my companions of the previous night.
The road was very quiet in traffic terms which gave plenty of opportunity to enjoy the views of pinewoods, across the Insh marshes and the tumbling river Dromie which I crossed by a fine old stone bridge. Most of the woodland was semi-natural with lots of scots pine with an understorey of juniper. Not dense woodland but open with birch , alder and aspen. Once again red squirrels were visible and I heard and caught glimpses of crossbills up in the tops of the pines.
Dropping down to Loch Insh, I had a break watching the canooists and dinghy sailors from the local watersports centre. Carrying on, I stopped to admire a substantial wooden house being built. The builder told me the
frame was made from prefabricated timbers from Germany, a shame as there was an almost unlimited resource of local timber. Across the road from this was an attractive Martagon Lily growing on the verge.
Leaving Loch Insh the road crossed tumbling River Feshie and carried on towards Rothiemurchus. I stopped to take a walk around a sculpture Park of examples of "chainsaw and wood sculpture of varying quality. Taking a side turning a two mile detour took me up to the beautiful Loch an Eilein which I had visited last time I was in the area. Otters were visible out on the loch, and I watched Crested tits as I sat under the pines on the lakeside eating my sandwiches. I stopped to buy an ice cream at the small visitor centre and the first heavy drops of thundery rain started to fall. By the time I got to Rothiemurchus this had turned into a full deluge and the last seven or eight miles up to Boat of Garten were fairly sodden.
It was a delight therefore, to be greeted with a warm welcome and a cup of tea in the hostel I was staying in for the night. After
eating in, I went out to a talk in the village hall by local RSPB people about the management and restoration of the Caledonian Pine forest on their large Abernethy reserve.
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