It’s back through Grantown and further along the Spey, so we add a few distilleries to those we’ve already spotted: Grants, Aviemore & Dalwhinnie.
A quick visit to Blair Atholl, just to walk the town – it’s where Toby always used to go on holiday as a child, and then down the road to Pitlochry for the dam, salmon ladder and distillery.
It’s the wrong time of year to see any Salmon, but it was interesting to see the hydroelectric plant. Pitlochry dates to the 1950’s. There are two 7.5 megawatt turbines that both seemed to be running. There was a wonderful hum as we walked over the dam. There are quite a number of plants along the path of the river Tummel, so these 15 megawatt stations soon add up. Although obviously controversial at the time, the lakes behind the dams are picturesque and are good for fishing so they help the economy in a number of ways.
We turned into the campsite only to find that we had managed to take a wrong turning and had ended up in a static caravan park. The chap came out and greeted us with a great welcome and we even managed some French. We didn’t bother leaving to go find the proper campsite and stayed for a couple of nights on an empty static caravan pitch.
Cerfontaine was a quick stop-off on the journey back west and it was attractive because it had a couple of big lakes to go explore. There’s an upper and lower lakes and a hydroelectric plant sitting in the middle. It ended up a 50 km cycle over the day, with a lovely Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur for lunch with a Chimay Trappist beer. Nom, nom.
Towards the end of the day, we discovered the European jet-ski championships on one part of the lake, so we watched that for a while too. The lakes have a great amphibus tour, but it was a little beyond our dwindling budget at 25€ each, so we contented ourselves with watching it!