January 26th 2013
A Walk to Garve from Strathpeffer with Anne.
This was Anne’s idea and we ended up walking about 15 miles.
We drove through to Strathpeffer and had refreshments at the station. I had coffee and a piece of millionaire shortbread. The shortbread was lovely, the coffee vile. Why do people think I want it strong, I just need it coloured. Anne had a scone and hot water, her usual.
It was treacherous leaving the station with the car park frozen over. We could hardly get the car out. We could not move forward but managed to let the car roll back onto a pile of leaves under some trees. Once it got moving upwards we were able to keep going. We drove to Kinellan Farm and leaving the car about 10.30 followed the track past Loch Kinellan. What a beautiful morning with bright sunshine. Everything was frozen including the loch.
We got a bit mixed up in our orienteering above the loch as the Strathpuffer Endurance Mountain Bike Race was taking place. We couldn’t see the signs so we asked for help. The people were not terribly pleasant. They made us feel we shouldn’t be there. But we found our way. We had no map, no Satnav as this was not really planned.
We got lost again and had to ask more of the race helpers but they were really nice. We got down to this severely frozen track. Anne had a right crack here falling on her back.
We have got beyond Contin and here is the way down to the Rogie Falls. But it was so frozen we didn’t try to get down. We had to walk on the edges of the track.
We passed a small farm with a lot of horses. The people were really pleasant. A wee bit further on we thought we had reached Loch Garve but it was the much smaller Loch na Croic. It felt almost like Spring, the sun was giving a little warmth.
Beyond the loch we passed under the railway and then turned left for Garve. We met three Polish people, or some sort of Eastern European, here! We had wellies on and got past the water under the bridge no problem. They found it a bit trickier.
And here is Loch Garve!
We came to a new bridge where the road forked – it looked like the old road going to the right and a new track going lower to the left. We followed the new track. It was quite difficult to walk on being made of large pieces of hardcore.
And then crossed a wee ford. I think it is marked on the OS map.
And reaching the end of the estate.
We eventually reached the end of Loch Garve. Here we have arrived at Strathgarve Lodge. It is quite impressive and beautiful.
After it, we reached the tarred road and turned left for Garve.
Looking back to the Lodge.
At the end just before Garve is this military bridge.
The bridge crosses what seems to be called Black Water. It does look sort of black! We have reached Garve!
We went into the primary school because we could see a seat and we needed a rest. It was the only seat we could see. We had our picnic here. We hadn’t thought to come so far so we kept a bit of our sandwiches for later in the afternoon.
The cemetery is just beside the school.
And we headed back the way we came. The sun went away and it was a lot cooler.
On the way back we took the older track mentioned earlier – very much nicer. The views are good as the forest has been cleared but it will soon grow back.
That’s the new track going along below.
And back at the farm near Rogie.
The bridge at Rogie Falls.
We stopped to eat once we were getting near Strathpeffer. We met the cyclists for the Strathpuffer again. People were a bit nicer and explained the race took 24 hours. Some did it in teams but some cycle individually for the 24 hours! Nutters! Here is Loch Kinellan again.
Going back down. Very frozen still.
Back at Loch Kinellan and the light is going out of the day.
We got back to the car before 4.30. We had been out for just under 6 hours. A long walk in wellies and no blisters. I really enjoyed the day.