What can a seasoned touroid like me do for a week in Strathspey in July?
The obvious answer is relax. Chill. I did a lot of that.
As I had hoped, my log cabin was ideal as a place to relax. It is spacious (for 1 person) and comfortable. It has a large deck – populated occasionally by pine martens and native red squirrels enticed by the peanuts I left out for them.
The neighbours in the other cabins on the site were quiet and trouble free.
I had several hikes and walks in the surrounding forest, as well as 3 of my Couch-to-5k sessions of walking and jogging.
Mostly I bought food in the local shops and ate at home. Local restaurants and cafes are struggling for staff post Brexit, and are very busy at peak holiday season. I did eat out once, at The Boat in Boat of Garten. The food was fine, but our enjoyment of the dinner was reduced by a group of 6 at the next table who had a screaming baby and wandering dog.
I found a great pizza takeaway in Grantown-on-Spey and used it twice.
As far as sightseeing goes, Castle Roy and the RSPB centre at Loch Garten were as far as it went. I did get to see an osprey tending to her chicks, which is not a routine event.
I made two trips to the coast, to Findhorn to meet up with family and friends. Ideal. On the map it seems quite close – 37 miles – but it is a 55 minute drive as a consequence of the type of roads. It is a fabulous drive, however.
It turns out I had a great week, and really struggle to find anything remotely negative about it. I have to admit, I had to suppress a chuckle when reading media stories of queues, delays, cancellations and lost bags at airports.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2022