Thursday 13th January 2022

A scooter run down to Loch Morlich in the Cairngorm National Park (164 miles).

A good new year to you all. Here is the first trip of 2022. After some very cold weather and a bit of snow in early January the temperature is now getting into double figures. This is very unusual for January in the North of Scotland. If it is due to Global Warming, then bring it on. The weather forecast for today was amazing with temperatures to reach 11°C. I could not have done this on this day last year as we had deep snow all through January. The scooter would not have managed to get out the garage!

Also we have 7h 11m 4s of daylight duration today. Compare that to the shortest day which was 6h 33m 18s of daylight duration at our latitude (57.70548°). 

The day had its challenges. More of that later but here is my good old scooter ready for another adventure.

I drove over the Black Isle using the A9 to get to Inverness. At ASDA I took on petrol.


My bike is still giving a much lower fuel consumption than it was; about 10 mpg less.

Now the next photo shows something interesting. Anne gave me a pair of USB heated gloves for my Christmas. They work! Your hands are not hot in them but the chill is certainly removed. There was no frozen fingers at all, even later when it got a bit cooler.

I took the Essich Road out to Loch Duntelchaig stopping for my morning break by the loch. The picnic consisted of some crisps and milk chocolate all washed down with Pepsi Max – the proper stuff. I had come through some light drizzle at this point.

Then the first of the day’s problems came – the Tordarroch to Farr road was closed, so I had to detour by Inverarnie.

I got back to Farr and then headed to Slochd. I came across this road conditions fairly early in the climb – oh dear!

And a bit further on, this. The scooter really slithered in the wet snow. The picture is having crossed it, obviously!

But this was the real problem. I had overtaken that cyclist earlier. I have passed the obstacle when this photo was taken. I tried to drive on the snow – impossible. You can see my scooter track going into the snow. So I walked the scooter carefully using the throttle along the heather to the left of the photo. It really bogged down at the start and I thought it was stuck. It was a real Ewan McGregor / Charlie Boorman type situation. But I’m a hero. A hero with a hernia that should not be doing such things! A car could not have got through this.

I eventually, and with some relief, got down to Glenkyllachy. 

It was then on to Findhorn Bridge, Slochd using the old road and Carrbridge and Aviemore by the old A9. At Aviemore I took the Coylumbridge Road up to the Cairngorm Car Park. I instead went to the Coire na Ciste park not realising there was a one-way system which would take you to the main Cairngorm Car Park. These are taken at the car park.

I headed down towards Loch Morlich. I needed to answer natures call and went beyond the green barrier to do so. Someone else had as well. Hanging on the branch of a tree was a disposable catheter and thrown on the ground its packaging. Now I do feel sorry for someone with a medical problem like that but it is no excuse to foul our Highlands of Scotland like that. Bag it and take it away.

I stopped by the loch for lunch. The day started to get brighter.

I came back to Coylumbridge and took the road to Boat of Garten but went on to Nethy Bridge. This is at Loch Pityoulish where I have stopped before for a picnic on another trip.

Before Nethy Bridge I turned onto the Coulnakyle Road to take me to Broomhill. Look how dry the roads are!

This is Broomhill Bridge.

It was then on to Dulnain Bridge and along to Duthil. I stopped at the church.

At Duthil I turned onto the Nairn/Forres Road. 


There was a lot of heather burning taking place. This is to encourage new heather shoots to grow which grouse can feed on. The hoi-polloi then come along with their guns and blow their brains out. 

I came down to Nairn and went to the harbour. I was quite shocked to see you have to pay to park at the harbour now. I didn’t! I’m disappointed in Highland Council. It is great that in so many of our towns you don’t have to pay to park.

It was then back to Inverness and over the Kessock Bridge. I went into North Kessock and took the road to Redcastle. I stopped before Redcastle to eat and enjoy the view.

My last pictures are at Milton of Redcastle, a very quick stop.

Tore was the next target to get back onto the A9 and head for home. I was home before four and washed the salt off the scooter.

This was a brilliant day. I never expected to get out in mid-January. A blessing.