Friday 15th April 2022

A scooter run up to Loch Mullardoch (97 miles).

Billy and I had planned going for a run out East today but the morning was wet. Billy also had a cold (or maybe the virus, you never know!). So we called that off. However after lunch it was a lovely day and it was mild so I went for a short trip.

I rode out to Dingwall, via the Old Evanton Road, to Poundstretcher where I bought a small bottle of Diet Coke. I had taken an Empire Biscuit and a Cream Egg from home (a real healthy eater). I then headed by Muir of Ord to Beauly. At Lovat Bridge I took the road up the Cannich Road. This is just beyond Aigas where the river has been dammed to produce electricity.

The church at Struy looked so nice I stopped for more pictures.

And then reached Cannich. 

Here I took the road up Glen Cannich.

It is many years, probably 46, since I have been up this road. I cycled from Inverness up to the car park at the road’s end and then went up Toll Creagach (I think I didn’t go up Tom a’ Chòinich). I have very little memory of doing it. I didn’t recognise the territory today, like where did I leave the bike? My only memory is that I was exhausted and found going up really hard after the cycle.

I was also here one or two years before that. My siblings Liz, Billy and Roddy with my cousins Martin and Jane spent almost a week in the hills out here. We were dropped off at Inverchoran in Strathconon and walked over to Glen Orrin where we camped. We climbed Carn nan Gobhar, Creag Ghorm a’ Bhealaich, Sgurr a’ Choire Ghlas and Sgur Fhuar-Thuill. A day later we walked up Glen Orrin and over a pass to Loch Monar where there is also supposed to be a monster! We camped the weekend there. It was idyllic. I remember us taking the Sunday off and trying to honour the Sabbath as best we could. We then came down Glen Strathfarrar and crossed a pass over to Glen Cannich. We camped high up on the pass. We trudged down the Glen to Cannich where we raided the shop for sweets and ice lollies. We set up camp by the River Glass and had just cooked our evening meal on our stoves when a Gillie came and told us to go away. Horrid man! We were six exhausted young people aged 14 – 20. What harm were we going to do? As an old man now I’d like to give him a piece of my mind. But we were young and obedient. After finishing cooking and eating we packed up and just went a mile further down the road and camped on a slope in a forest hidden by the trees. It was a miserable night! The next day our parents picked us up and took us back to that Paradise on Earth, Newhall.

The road is far quieter than going up the Glen Affric road. It was lovely.

Loch Sealbhanach. These Gaelic names are something else!

Here is the dam coming up. The concrete dam is the largest in Scotland.

The water is low. We have not as much precipitation as we normally do for the last two years. Though the last couple of weeks have been pretty wet and snowy!

I stopped just below the dam and had my wee picnic. It’s like the Black Gate of Mordor.

Back down at Cannich I took the road to Drumnadrochit. This is at where I stopped to help with my old man’s troubles.

Further down at Glen Urquhart I stopped at St Ninian’s Church by Loch Meiklie.

It was brilliant to see all these verses of Scripture along with some thoughts all around the site.

I have never stopped here before – quite beautiful.

I went over the Culnakirk before Drumnadrochit and came back to Lovat Bridge and Beauly. From Beauly I crossed the Black Isle. This is looking to Ben Wyvis from near Ferrintosh.

And looking back to the West.

I came down to the Cromarty Bridge and then back home. Just a lovely afternoon out. In some ways it is better to do shorter trips. You are not tired after them.