LEJOG Day 59 – Carrbridge to Auchnahillin 17.42 miles. Cumulative 1066.20 miles.

After an easy day yesterday we were refreshed and ready to go again. We had a lovely stay in our camping pod, watching the wildlife through the picture window, rabbits, deer and we even saw a cat prowling in the woods that had all the features of a Scottish wild cat.

View from the pods bedroom window.

A day of drizzly showers and still rather chilly.

A taxi ride to start the day as there wasn’t a bus service on a Sunday and the first train to Carrbridge wasn’t until 1230. Although there are several taxi firms in Inverness, Steve was nearly at the end of the list before managing to make a booking the previous evening.

Our route today followed the NCN 7 again, a mix of road and cycle path. Continuing with the animal theme, we saw our first red squirrel of the walk, signs had first appeared in the Pennines, so it was a real treat to spot one.

Not a real Red Squirrel but this one was large and slow enough to be photographed.

A long climb near the start of the day took us to Slochd Summit at 401 metres above sea level, before dropping down and crossing the Thomas Telford Bridge into Tomatin, which promised a cafe.

View from the Thomas Telford Bridge towards the rail and A9 bridges at Tomatin.

Given it was a Sunday, in what appeared to be a village in the middle of nowhere our hopes weren’t high, but the cafe was open. The cafe was also a community hub with a small shop and was busy with cyclists as well as normal people!

Horny Cow (L) and Lynn (R)

Much of our route has followed B roads which were once the original A9 before the ‘modern’ A9 trunk road was built. Often these roads, in turn, were built along the route of the original General Wade Military Roads. This network of roads in the Highlands were built in the 1730’s to assist the military in quelling the Jacobite rebellion. The roads also had military forts along them at regular intervals, hence Fort William, Fort Augustus and Fort George. The ruined barracks we photographed at Kingussie are another example.

We continued along the NCN to our campsite at Auchnahillan, passing several animal themed statues and benches.

‘It’s got my nose’

Auchnahillan is another village in the middle of nowhere. Other than the caravan park and a large care home (both sets of residents looked similar) there is nothing here, so we planned an al fresco dinner for tonight. There is a small campers kitchen on site with kettle and microwave and somewhere to sit in the dry.

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