Thursday 28 June Inverness
Today we spent a few hours at the Highland Archives Centre in Inverness town centre and found a birth certificate and two marriage certificates. It was not a cheap exercise but well worth the expense and effort. The rest of the day was spent on groceries and laundry. We returned to our Tesco camp for the night.
Friday 29 June Inverness – Cairngorms National Park
Today we drove along the A9 to the Cairngorms National Park which is the largest national park in the UK. We had planned to go for a ride on the Cairngorm Mountain Railway, a funicular railway which goes to the Cairngorm plateau, but it is closed for maintenance and will not be open until July 4.
So, we decided to go to Glenmore and visit the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre. Reindeer were reintroduced to Scotland in 1952, having died out many years ago. We went on a guided walk with a warden to see and feed Britain’s only reindeer herd that live in their natural habitat. It took about 20 minutes to walk to the vast fenced in area where the reindeer roam. At the moment there are around 60 male reindeer and 1 female who gave birth to twins about 6 months ago. The remaining 80 female reindeer are out roaming the mountain ranges freely, until later in the year, when the males leave, and the females return.
Because it was very hot today all the reindeer were resting in the shed, so when the warden coaxed them out with food, the reindeer came rushing, racing between us and out to a grassy part of the field. It was an amazing but a little scary spectacle to witness. We stroked and fed the reindeer who were very tame and gentle and then returned on the same track. It was definitely something different to experience.
Tonight, we wild camped in a layby along Loch Morlich in the Cairngorm National Park. As the sunset the midges come out in droves and attacked.