2 October 2021.
(Cairngorms National Park)
Another leisurely morning. A bit of reading my book in bed, which lasted until I’d finished it. An easy breakfast looking at the hills… generally not much speedy movement. It was raining on and off and looked a lot greyer today.
We did finally get ourselves sorted and out the door, and drove towards Loch Insh and Kincraig, before taking the Glenfeshie Road for a few miles and finding the forestry car park for the Uath Lochans. It was surprisingly busy, but perhaps that was because it was Saturday. Many of those out walking seemed to be local.
Our walk started from the car park and the first part wound through and around the small lochans, looking over to the Cairngorm mountains.
After circumnavigating the lochans, we kept going on the Badenoch Way before turning off the main trail and up a side trail to climb the Farleitter Crag, some 600 feet above the lochans.
The trail followed the summit ridge, and afforded superb views of the lochans and of the Strath Spey. I’ve called this blog ‘Strath Spey’ all week. Prior to this trip, I’d only ever really thought about Strathspey as a Scottish dance or music, slow, strong, elegant (or at least, that’s the intention). But ‘strath’ means broad, flat valley, and that indeed describes the Spey valley, with its glacial origins, perfectly. Hence, Strath Spey.
From the crag we descended down the northern side, and back onto a wider forest track for a while, before following the written instructions and taking a side path. This included winding through the bracken, and crossing muddy sections but, more worryingly, didn’t feel as though it was headed in the right direction. At an intersection with another trail I checked the OS map and confirmed that we had in fact taken a (fortunately quite minor) detour from our intended route. A right turn soon brought us back to the main trail and from there it was a simple case of plodding along the forest road past trees covered in ‘hairy’ lichen, beneath the giant mass of the crag, until we were once again back at the Uath Lochan car park. Once more we had avoided the rain, or at least been sheltered by the pines.
A short time later and we were in Aviemore once more. Andrew returned to the outdoor shops and bought some winter gloves he’s been thinking about all week, and then there was the obligatory quick stop in Tesco, this time for some of the local Cairngorm brewery beers to take home with us. Then it was back to the cottage for muffins and coffee.
We had decided to eat out, which we did at the truck stop/diner again. No trucks, it seems, on a Saturday night, but plenty of locals, which tells you all you need to know about the food, and Andrew finally got his chance to have haggis for the first time this week. And then it was time to return for a final night in with the fire.
Post script: tonight’s bonus feature is a video from yesterday’s walk around Loch Morlich. https://vimeo.com/620248278