Reproduced from www.viewranger.com. Map data: Ordnance Survey ©Crown Copyright and/or database right 2016. License number 100043379.
|Follow N bank of Loch Ericht. At head of Loch NN 6322 8444 follow SE path to pass under railway at Dalwhinnnie, Take right at roadway and cross to join foot path 100y to SE and join E bound track to follow aqueduct to NN 689 870 then E with river Allt Coire Chuaich as right handrail to camp at NN 701 885.|
|OS Landranger series maps: 42|
|Length: 33.07 km|
|Total Ascent: 676m|
|Total Descent: 454m|
|Max Elevation: 586m|
|Min Elevation: 357m|
So, if I am feeling weary, I will take this much easier, but less inspiring lochside route.
Shortly after I leave the bothy, above me on the slopes is a feature marked on the map as Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Cave but originally known as Cluny’s Cage. After the Battle of Culloden – the failed Jacobite rebellion of 1745, Redcoats ravaged the highlands, raping and pillaging and raising to the grounds the homes of Jacobite leaders and members, and those suspected of helping or harbouring them. Ewan MacPherson of Cluny, having failed to protect Badenoch, saw his home destroyed, and he and his followers scattered. He found refuge in a small cavern here near the lochside. He was soon joined by Prince Charlie, and they sheltered together for a time, supported by loyal followers, but never betrayed. Charlie left the cave on hearing of a ship that was to transport him to France and he vowed to return to Cluny, the only man he could trust. Cluny waited 8 years with no reward, and fled only after a drummer boy. captured by the English Army, was forced to lead them to the cave. He beat on his drum and Cluny recognised potential danger and fled also to France, never to return.
From the Bothy, I follow the Lochside in a NE direction. I am now walking through the Ben Alder Estate. The estate covers 60,000acres and offers luxury lodge accommodation at 5 locations on or near Loch Ericht. but CuldenFaw who own the estate do not seem to champion their stewardship of the land, just the luxury and opulence of the properties to rent.
Loch Ericht is the 10th largest loch in Scotland, and is excellent for trout fishing. it is 24km long and owned by Scottish and Southern Energy.
As I approach Ben Alder Lodge, I rejoin The Thieves’ Road, and still follow the lochside to Dalwhinnie. At Dalwhinnie, I cross the boundary into Cairngorms National Park. I am now in around halfway, and my route is mostly territory I have never walked before. I might have a sherry in the hotel, but regardless will cross the A9 and follow an aqueduct to Loch Cuaich.
This is another hydro electric resource, its power station generating 2.5Mw of power. at the loch I will walk a little further and see shelter for the night a the head of Coire Chuaich, on the southern slopes of Meall Chuaich.
See you tomorrow.