We have arrived at Glenmore campsite in Aviemore, which remains a firm favourite of ours. The roads over from Fort William were all clear of snow, as too was the access road to the Cairngorm Ski Area: the same road that passes the campsite.
However, the site itself is still under a few inches of snow, but more importantly, has ice on all of the site roads. It is very slippy … but not quite enough to test out the snow-chains … yet!
After lunch in the ‘van, we cycled, for the first time in a while, the 7 miles back down the ski access road to Aviemore village centre. When we’ve stayed here in the past (many times) we have cycled on the “Old Loggers Road” which is basically a forestry path that runs adjacent to the vehicle road. It is a fantastic path to cycle as it weaves its way through the Caledonia pine forest. It is a very popular walking route for families but unfortunately, today, it was covered in very hard ice from the number of walkers who have trudged their way up and down it. Employing the more cautious approach we decided to simply cycle down the main road.
Aviemore itself was really busy with skiers and others who are visiting the Cairngorms over the New Year period. It was really great seeing it so full of life. After a brief walk around the village, browsing in some of the shops and having a coffee and cake at the Mountain Café (the best café that we’ve come across – www.mountaincafe-aviemore.co.uk) it was time to cycle back up to the campsite. By now it was completely dark and we got the chance to try out our (reasonably) new bike headlights. Our lights are made by MagicShine and are stated to have an output of 900 limens from a single LED. They are also relatively cheap compared to similar bright mountain bike lights. All I can say so far is that they are simply brilliant.
Using only one lamp each, mounted on our helmets, we were able to illuminate our road home and a quick tilt of the head upwards was always enough to get drivers coming towards us to dim their lights. Superb, and highly recommended by us both.
Once back at the ‘van we had dinner and then settled down to watch a DVD: Jack Black’s “School of Rock”.
It’s great to be back in the Cairngorms National Park.