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Monday 9thJune 2008
Nethy Bridge to Westhill

We had set off from Nethy Bridge having seen a red squirrel feeding on the nuts in the garden and soon arrived at the old wooden bridge across the River Spey at Broomhill where I stopped to take a photo.  It is reported to be the finest wooden bridge in Scotland and was built in 1894.  “I have left my glasses on the table in the garden at Nethy Bridge” says Christine – fortunately only 1.25 miles back to the start so it could have been a lot worse.  We collected the glasses and tried again.  The wind was blowing very strongly from the south west which was possibly good news for later on in the day but for the first part of the route we were using a minor road heading west from Dulnain Bridge to Carrbridge – it was a struggle.  The extra distance that we had done the previous day was probably showing and we were glad when we eventually reached a tea house at Carrbridge.

Just down the road was the packhorse bridge which crosses the River Dulnain.  How did horses ever cross this structure?  Our direction of travel now changed to the north west and the wind was no longer a problem as we started to make our way up to the village of Slochd, and then crossed the Slochd summit at just over 400m above sea level.  It was time to look for somewhere to stop for lunch but there was little protection from the wind at this altitude, so we carried on into the village of Tomatin crossing the unusual Findhorn bridge – a concrete structure crossing a river of the same name.  In the village we found a very popular pub serving lunches mainly to people walking in the area.  Unfortunately service was rather slow but the food was good when it arrived.

After lunch we carried on in a more northerly direction expecting to see Loch Moy – but it was hidden behind the trees.  Just before here, on a rather exposed section of the A9, we had to walk as the crosswind was threatening to blow us over.

We were now approaching our destination at Westhill on the outskirts of Inverness, however, as we had plenty of time to spare, we decided to detour to the Culloden battlefield site with its relatively new exhibition centre which had been recommended by Jenny and Dave.  It could have been an enjoyable visit were it not for the presence of an American photo crew who were busy taking shots for a new publicity brochure.  Our progress through the timeline of events was continually spoilt by having to wait for the crew – and we only had an hour to spend before the exhibition closed.  Most frustrating.

The B&B at Westhill was a very homely affair.  We were welcomed in and given strawberries and shortbread to go with our sandwiches which we had not yet eaten.  After tea we were invited in to share with Bert and Betty in their front room – the television was on (loudly) and Betty talked and talked.  After two hours we made our excuses and went to bed soon after 9 o’clock.  The picture shows the view from their B&B towards the Kessock Bridge at Inverness.

Mileage 38.4 miles Total 299.3 miles

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