Tuesday 23rd March 2021

A scooter run to Carrbridge (120 miles).

The COVID19 Lockdown rebel scooters again! 

I left home about 9.45 and headed over the Black Isle by the quiet back roads over to Inverness. I went to see my 93 year old mum and had a coffee with her. I also spoke on the phone to my wee sister, Liz, who is just recovering from a fairly major cancer operation. She sounded very upbeat.

I went to ASDA to pick up petrol. That was the nearest I came to social mixing, today. The pumps are at least 3 metres apart! I followed the ring road (A8082) round the town and headed out on the Culloden Road.

This is just before Culloden Battlefield looking North.

I decided to look in at Clava where there are cairns. Clava Cairns or the Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Bulnuaran of Clava are a group of three Bronze Age cairns located near Inverness. Clava Cairns date back about 4,000 years. On the day that Mairi was born, May 15th, I took the two boys here and there was about 2 inches of snow on the ground! The snowdrops are starting to turn. They give such a lovely show at the end of Winter and start of Spring.

It is amazing how the walls are constructed. Look at these small stones packed to support the large ones. No cement.

I headed out to Dulsie Bridge passing the Culloden Viaduct. I didn’t go under it this time being on the road above it.

Looking North.

I reached Dulcie bridge about 12.40. It is strange to see no cars parked here and the roads all so quiet.

I went to get a photo of the bridge. Not a great job!

I walked a wee bit along the path that is beyond the viewpoint and had my lunch. It was again a very windy day so I sheltered by some rocks.

After moving on I passed another deserted cottage just as you come off the Dulsie Bridge road. I think it is being used as a byre.

The Cairngorms are just showing.

I then went over the moor to Carrbridge. It wasn’t really the target for the day but the furthest out place reached.

What a reason for world fame. Here is an excerpt from the rules

The World Porridge Making Championship® title and the Golden Spurtle® will be awarded to the competitor producing the best traditional porridge, made from oatmeal [pinhead, course, medium or fine].

The traditional porridge must be made with untreated oatmeal (not with oat flakes/rolled oats) and with only water and salt added. Any porridge made with oats other than oatmeal will be disqualified. Competitors, who prefer to ‘soak’ their oatmeal, may do so, but no prior cooking is allowed.

Each competitor is required to produce at least 1.5 pints or 750 ml of porridge which is to be divided into 3 portions for the judges to taste. Presentation bowls will be provided for each competitor to enable them to present their 3 porridge portions anonymously.

Judging of the porridge will be made on the consistency, taste and colour of the porridge and on the competitor’s hygiene in the cooking process. Judges will enter the cooking area but anonymity of the final traditional dishes is preserved by a secret numbering process.

The heat winners must be available to compete in the final cook-off and will be required to produce a second batch of 1.5 pints or 750 ml. of traditional porridge.

Porridge is not one of my favourite foods!

This is the old packhorse bridge from which the village is named. The bridge, built in 1717, is the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands.

I headed back North but took the old A9 (now the A938) to Slochd. You have to join the A9 for about a mile at Slochd before turning off beyond Slochd Summit (1328 ft above sea level) onto the road to Findhorn Bridge and Tomatin. This is just after turning off. There is still the evidence of winter about.

The old parish church at Findhorn Bridge.

Findhorn Bridge.

Beyond the bridge you turn left. This is Strath Dearn.

Further on you go right onto the road to Farr. It goes a bit higher than Slochd Summit.

And then down to Farr. This is Loch Farr.

I must have set up my route wrong. I plot my route on Google My Maps and then export it as a KML file. My satnav can use that as a route. It took me to Dunlichity. That’s no problem. I like Dunlichity. My MacQueen and Cameron ancestors share three graves here. I have covered who they are on another web-page.

I headed down to Inverness and over the bridge. I went by Drumsmittal to Munlochy and then Mount Eagle to get over the Black Isle. I stopped at Suddie cemetery and had my picnic there. I sat on a stone placed by great, great great grandfather, Kenneth MacIntosh, for some of his sons. How very sad. 

I deciphered the inscription about 30 years ago.

Placed by”Kenneth McIntosh
Farmer Auchterflow
In Memory of his Son
Kenneth McIntosh who
Departed this Life the 27th
Day of Dec 1853
Aged 28 Years

Also of
Even McIntosh
Farmer Their
Who Died 30th March 1868
Aged 58 Years

The cracked stone beside it is my great, great great grandfather’s memorial.

This Stone is
Placed Here by
Kenneth MacKintosh
Farmer Auchterflow who
Departed this Life
the 16 January 1872

89 Years

Also to the Memory
of his Wife Mary Jack
Who Departed this Life
the 25 Day of August
1838 Aged 52 Years

This stone near to it is of William MacIntosh son of Alexander (my great great grandfather), son of Kenneth. He was a school headmaster.

The Memory of
William McIntosh
Late Schoolmaster
Youngest Son of the Late
Alexander and Ann McIntosh
Bennetsfield, Avoch
Who Died on 23rd August 1936
Aged 72 Years

And just a wee bit off is Alexander and Ann MacIntosh’s grave.

To the Memory of
Alexander McIntosh
Farmer Mains of Bennetsfield
Born 30th November 1815
Died 22nd January 1889

And of his Wife
Ann McIntosh
Born 13th April 1822 Died at Newhall Mains
9th March 1915

Also their daughter
Mary Born 19th Dec 1846
Died at Cullicudden 24th July 1895

Also their sons
Alexander Born 10th April 1852
Died at Newhall 5th June 1932

And Hector Born 11th May 1858
Died at Springfield 14th May 1932

Here is Kenneth MacIntosh and Alexander MacIntosh on my mum’s family tree

The satnav can take you down great roads. This is below Culbokie.

I arrived home at about 4.15. Just great to be travelling.