Gairlochy to Laggan Locks – 15 miles
We gathered for breakfast in a very nice dining room full of what were probably antiques. Our breakfast was very tastefully done and plentiful, whilst Glen gave us more information about the area and what to look out for as there were nesting eagles in and around where we would be walking.
Before leaving, we were given four slices of cherry cake with a hint of whisky soaking in it (mmmm). We loaded our sacks into the car as Glen was taking us back to our start point, Gairlochy, and as we arrived we saw the two (German?) ladies ahead of us. We said our goodbyes to Glen and were soon crossing the bridge to rejoin the Great Glen Way path.
We set off up a hill following the road for a short distance before turning and dropping down to the Loch shoreline, to be on the banks of Loch Lochy.
As we walked there were random information and history boards referring to the commandos and their training for WW2; we also passed the area Glen said to look for as there were nesting eagles in the area. (Guess what, we didn’t see any, maybe we were being a little optimistic.) We continued along the shore of Loch Lochy, only stopping for the occasional photo, towards Clunes where there is a mock beach landing practice pad used by the commandos.
A little further we saw a sign to the Cameron Clan Museum, but we didn’t visit as we were too early. We continued, heading into Clune Forest and then South Laggan Forest. As there was shade we decided to take a lunch break and check out any boot or feet issues. During our stop, three Irish men came by with a cheery’ hello’, then out of the blue our first cyclists came whizzing by with a nod and a smile, soon to be figures in the distance.
Whilst into our lunch a couple came walking by and with a few friendly words they carried on. We tried to guess where they were from and thought America – we found out later on that they were actually from Canada.
Time to move on walking along the trail. As we neared the end of the forest a few more cyclists appeared, then in the distance we could see Laggan Locks.
As we arrived, boats were moored up waiting for the lock keeper to open the next set of gates.
A few photos later we saw, up ahead, the Dutch barge which had been converted into a pub,
and which had also been suggested in our itinerary as one of the possible eating places for our evening meal.
It looked interesting and thought we would check with the next hosts. We walked past the lock and in to the pine forest. By now the weather had turned, it was much cooler so we needed to don fleeces. We walked through the forest for some time – about a mile- before we came to a foot bridge where we now had to turn and walk along the main A82 Inverness road, back in the direction of Laggan Locks area, to our next accommodation.
This proved to be a little scary as there was no pavement for most of the way and there was the added problem of heavy traffic in full flow. We eventually arrived at Forest Lodge B&B where Alison and David welcomed us with a very refreshing cup of tea and a lovely slice of homemade fruit cake. During our refreshments, Alison recommended different places to eat that evening, with a leaning towards the Dutch barge. We decided that was the place for us and Alison said that David would take us when we were ready.
The evening arrived and we handed in our breakfast requirements, along with our lunch pack order. David, as promised, took us to the barge and said to let the owners know where we were staying and when we wanted to return they would take us back.
Inside the barge it was quite busy, but there were still some seats available. As we were taking in the first pint, two other walkers appeared. They were staying at the same place as us but walking the Great Glen Way from Inverness to Fort William. During conversation they informed us that they were retired prison officers just notching up another walk as they had been walking together for some time and in countries such as France, Italy and Poland to name but a few places.
We duly ordered our meals which were so hot we decided we just needed one more drink to cool us down before being driven back to our B&B where we saw the second half of the rugby match, Scarlets (Wales) v Munster (Ireland), which the Scarlets won. Shortly after watching the replay of the tries it was time for some sleep.