InvernessYou are Here: Scotland; Highlands; Inverness
The forecast was for rain, and it didn't disappoint. Or, at least it did disappoint - we got rain. Lots of it. As I had completely failed to get into the shops while in Leeds last weekend, there were still a number of things that I needed to buy and with some urgency - there's only so long you can be at work with a shoe thats falling apart. So, today I headed north to Inverness, where I hadn't been since January, and did some shopping.
The CityI don't appear to have mentioned Inverness on here before, so here goes. It is, as we all know, the 'Capital' of the Highlands, standing at the point where the Great Glen meets the Moray Firth, and is by far and away the largest settlement in the whole Highlands & Islands region. It is also still rapidly growing, and seems to be sticking two fingers up at the recession! The city centre is compact, but pleasant and with a wide variety of shops. Looking up, there is also a wide variety of Architecture on view, and if you take a wander along the river bank you will pass almost all of the citys churches, or at least thats how it feels as they stand staring at each other across the placid river, their spires vying to be the tallest!
Heading homeOk, enough about the city of Inverness. As it was only about 2 o'clock when I'd finished, I decided to head south along the A9 and take the long way home, rather than the dull A82 or the nicer route along the eastern shore of Loch Ness. It was an extra 40 miles coming back the way I did, but I stopped in a few places along the way!
I should probably own up and admit that my primary reason was to investigate the road for the Sabre Wiki, and I had hardly left the city behind when I reached the bridge over the A9 at Daviot. There are actually two bridges here, at right angles to each other. One old and one new. I then took the old route of the A9 through Moy and on to Tomatin where the Tomatin Viaduct and Findhorn Bridge cross the River Findhorn.
Rather than turn off onto the A86 as you might expect, I continued south to drive one of the few sections of the A9 that I have never used before, down to Dalwhinnie. I have now driven all of the road from Auchterarder south of Perth to Latheron in Caithness and some other bits too, or in other words, most of it! As I was travelling along this 'new' piece of road, however, the heavens opened in one of the most torrential downpours I have ever experienced. I gently eased off the accelerator, scared to touch the brakes, and let the speed drop. By the time I'd got to 50 the worst of it had passed, but so had the best of the road and Dalwhinnie was already ahead.
I headed home on the A889, alledgedly Britains most dangerous road, but considering that it has hardly changed since General Wade built it in the 1720s, it is still a good road. Some fast straights across open moorland give way to shorter straights between right angle bends as you drop back into Strathspey and so to the A86 at Laggan. Sorry if this is a bit roady, but you didn't have to read it!