Sunday, 26 June 2011
The 2011 Challenge, day 7: Newtonmore to Kingussie (1)
Well, day 7 had always been intended as a short day - to give me time to do some laundry in Kingussie (the guest house I'd booked into didn't offer a laundry service, but there was a laundry more or less opposite them) and attend to any kit repairs / replacement issues which might have arisen. From Loch Dubh (where my route card said I was going to be camped) down to Kingussie is only about 15 km. But Newtonmore to Kingussie? Just a little over 3km!
So I took a good look around Newtonmore, and saw a little sign pointing to a circular walk around Loch Imrich, which I decided to go and see. I was a bit intrigued by this Loch Imrich, truth to tell. You see, I couldn't recall seeing any lochs on the map near Newtonmore. But then, when I took a really close squint at the map - there it was! A tiny little blue egg-shape at NN 720993, which is in fact a kettle hole, and has an interpretation board telling you all about kettle holes and their formation and everything.
As a walked around it, I met an old gentleman walking his dog, who counted the ducklings and lamented the numbers which had fallen to gulls, and who told me a bit about it. Apparently, Loch Imrich had been the local curling pond, until people started getting all H&S about the whole thing ... although he said the most recent unofficial curling match on the pond was not all that long ago.
There is an old curling hut there, too, which is the prototype for the reconstructed one at the Kingussie folk museum, and dates back to 1930 or thereabouts.
Apparently, even the curling pond at the Kingussie folk museum suffers from this H&S nonsense. It is artifical, only 18" deep, yet still they're not allowed to use it unless there is 8" of ice on it. I ask you! The Swedes and the Finns and the Norwegians would laugh their socks off at that one!!