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Monday, 3 May 2010

The 2006 Challenge, Day 4: through Inverness to Culloden

Here is another day of which I have but a sketchy recollection. Leaving Lovat Bridge I took the road past Ferrybrae to Kirkhill, where I caught up with my companions from Luipmaldrig once again. We strolled together a while; but when we reached the main road they were turning left, for an easy day into Inverness with a good pub lunch. The suggested I join them and I was certainly tempted. But I had other things in mind, so we said our farewells and I took the back road through Newtonhill and headed up over the Aird to Blackfold.

The track I followed this year was both clear on the ground and the one that is shown on the map, so I made good progress. After Blackfold I crossed the road and took the path to Dochgarroch, where something (I am sure) went wrong - although I cannto now remember what it was. I think it may have been that the path down to the camp site simply didn't exist, and so I ended up joining the main road at GR 623417. In any event, I did not take the path down between the A82 and the Caledonian Canal, but instead ended up following the main road for 3 or 4 km into Inverness.

I turned right after crossing the canal, and wondered whether the ice rink had a public session that I could join. I quite fancied the idea of a short excursion on ice, even if it did mean wearing hire skates. But, alas, the ice rink is closed all day on Monday! So I carried on through Inverness and out the other side on the B9006 through Westhill.

At Culloden I paused to walk the battlefield, and then spent some time at the visitor centre. It is well presented, and well worth a visit. And it doesn't take much in the way of imagination, once you have seen the actual ground, to understand why the Highland Charge was doomed to fail that day in 1746!

Another three kilometres took me from the visitor centre to the camp site where I stopped for the night.

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