The top team were back together for the 17 mile walk from Aviemore to Grantown on Spey via Boat of Garten and Nethy Bridge. The route is generally flat and in its early stages follows the track of the Strathspey Steam Railway. Unfortunately, no trains were running along the 10 miles from Aviemore to Broomhill (also known as Glenbogle in the BBC series the Monarch of the Glen). There is work in progress to extend the line to Grantown.
Leaving Boat, the path enters the Abernethy Forest and passes close to the RSPB reserve at Loch Garten. The loch is renowned for summer visits from ospreys, who nest in the reserve. The species became extinct in Britain in the early 20th century but in 1954 two breeding birds from Scandinavia came to Garten completely of their own accord, and slowly Scotland was recolonised. The ospreys have two links with Busega Scotland; they fish regularly at the mouth of the River Spey and are seen from time to time from John and Christine’s front window. Also, they over winter in Africa – but west not east.
Keeping with the wildlife theme, a pair of woodpeckers were hard at work near Aviemore and Christine had the pleasure of watching a treecreeper, while waiting for us at Grantown. There was also a cow on the platform at Nethy Bridge station.
However, the day ended in disappointment. The planned reward for completing the longest walk was an ice cream was in Grantown. Both ice cream shops in the town are closed on Mondays. How unfair is that?