An Lochan Uaine and the BMW i3

I managed to tick swimming in An Lochan Uaine (green loch) off my bucket list today. It’s an emerald-coloured lochan with a sandy beach about 5 miles from Aviemore. It’s so inviting that even Daniel and Ben ventured into the water, despite the frigid temperature. I’m not sure what the temperature was exactly but it was definitely much colder than the River Dee. Ben said it nearly froze his balls off.

We had a splendid picnic by the loch after our swim. We got some wraps from M&S in Aviemore and Ben and I got vegan hoisin duck wraps while Daniel and Elizabeth chose meat wraps. Daniel’s wrap was also a hoisin duck but made with real duck rather than vegan duck. He accidentally grabbed Ben’s vegan version and ate half of it before I saw that Ben’s lunch had disappeared and pointed out to Daniel that he was eating vegan duck. He hadn’t noticed. I asked him why doesn’t just get the vegan duck if he can’t tell the difference.

You can’t get to the loch by car – there’s no carpark there – but it’s only a 30-minute walk on a very good woodland path from Glenmore Lodge. The path is good for cycling and there were lots of people on mountain bikes using it. I believe you can cycle all the way from Aviemore along these paths. They’re not sealed but they’re perfect for mountain bikes and it’s reasonably flat.

There’s a surprising lack of information about this loch online. I wanted to find out why it’s green and the best explanation I could find is because fairies wash their clothes in it. I assumed it had something to do with minerals in the water from glacial melt since that’s the explanation for similarly green bodies of water in New Zealand but I can’t find anything to confirm that for this one. Whatever the reason it’s very pretty and one of the most beautiful lochs I’ve seen and had the privilege to swim in. It also seems quite deep but again I couldn’t find any information about how deep.

There are two dogs on the far side of the loch in this next photo swimming after a duck. The duck got away.

The walk to the loch is also near the start of the walk that goes all the way from Aviemore to Braemar. I’d love to do that one day.

We’ve come in an electric car to Aviemore. I haven’t booked one of the electric car-club cars for a while because they were limited to about 80 miles. In the two years or so since we last booked one the range has more than doubled. The Renault Zoe can do 245 miles and they’ve added the BMW i3 to the fleet which can do 160 miles. We booked the BMW and it was a joy to drive. It’s so zippy and easy to manoeuvre. There are no fumes – yes, I have a thing against car fumes. We all should. It’s also quiet. The only downside is the boot is tiny. We wouldn’t be able to fit all our stuff for a winter holiday in the boot of this car. We also had a few problems using the navigation systems and at one point accidentally changed the language to Arabic.

We got to Aviemore with plenty of battery power to spare and there are several charging stations in Aviemore and the surrounding area. There’s a charging station at Glenmore Lodge so if you park there your car can charge while you go for a walk and swim which is what we did. At the charging point on the main street in Aviemore we parked next to a Tesla. That is definitely my kind of car. If I was a car-person, that is. Isn’t is gorgeous?

We brought the cold-blooded killer with us and she’s been enjoying exploring a new space and has been behaving herself. She sleeps most of the time so there’s not really much she can do in the time she’s awake although she has managed to find all the really high places already. Spot the cat.

11 Replies to “An Lochan Uaine and the BMW i3”

  1. It sounds like one of those swims yo really enjoy when you get out! As for the cryogenic preservation of Ben’s sperm, there are simpler ways I believe. I thought I’d recommend a book to you, debunking a load of food myths, called Spoon Fed by Tim Spector. He covers everything from the pointlessness of supplements for the healthy, through the anti fat and anti salt lobbies and especially how useless most diets are because they fail to take into account our individual stomach microbes – apparently even identical twins have only 30 something % similar stomach microbes, even though they are genetically identical. Sorry, rather diverted from your post but I’ve found it a fascinating listen (I’m a bit of an audible fan, when I’m walking or gardening).

    1. Haha I told Ben about the cryogenic preservation of his sperm and he laughed. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get him to go wild swimming again. Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll check it out.

  2. Looks like you picked a good time for a holiday!

    My wife has an i3 and I must say since we got it it’s been a joy to own. Apart from the lack of noise and fumes the main benefit is the cost of running which is almost unbelievably tiny. We only charge at home (the longest journey we do is about 90 miles round trip) so we recharge between midnight and 6am for an off-peak total of around £2.50.

    1. It is a great car and perfect for couples. It’s not really a family car because of the lack of space in the boot but perfect for everyone else. I really like it and we’ll definitely book it again for day trips to castles.

  3. Hey great that you have made it up. If you have mountain bikes that Green Lochan Trail continues all the way over the tops and drops into Abernethy forest and Nethy Bridge / Boat of Garten. It is a beautiful trail, did it a few years ago with the family including Eve 6 -7 years old on tag-along.
    Let me know If you would like advice on some off-the-beaten-track hidden gems in the area, there are many!

    1. Yes! Please give us some suggestions for tomorrow. We haven’t decided what to do yet. We’ve thought about renting some bikes. How long is the ride to Boat of Garten?

  4. Boat of Garten From Aviemore on Speyside Way is about 13 miles there and back. Bike hire from Mikes Bikes is ok

  5. Another couple of rides
    Aviemore to Loch Morlich on the Logging Track 15 miles there and back
    Aviemore to the Duke of Gordon Monument on the new extension bit of the Speyside Way to Kincraig (the last bit you need to walk) its about 10miles, need a padlock to leave the bikes
    Around Aviemore to / and around Lochan Eilleen about 10 miles, don’t take the B970 turn-off at Rothiemurchus, go a few hundred yards East to the Inverduie wee road follow that up for a few hundred yards then turn right on the forest tracks
    For a good swim good to Feshie Bridge, there are lovely rock pools just downstream of the bridge

  6. Stunning scenery! I take it you don’t own a car? If you mentioned that before, I must have missed it. My sister and I are planning a four or five day road trip through the central South island in the early part of next year, so I’ll be competing with you for stunning pics 🙂

    1. Yes, we don’t own car. We sold it when we left NZ in 2014 and never bought another. It’s pretty easy to live car-free here. Central Otago and Canterbury have some amazing scenery. I hope you’ll post lots of pics on your blog.

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