Laggan Locks to Fort Augustus – 10 miles
We woke to a view that didn’t look very promising, low mist in the distance;
we could also see that it had rained over night so it was going to be wet gear today.
At breakfast we met the two prison officers from last night, along with a couple from Perth, Australia, who had walked the West Highland Way the week before and were now doing the Great Glen Way before heading off to Skye, then Aberdeen and finally London before flying home.
Yet again we had a wonderful breakfast, not too filling but just enough to start the walk and take us up to lunch. We soon donned our wet gear, picked up the lunch packs and with a friendly goodbye we were off into the drizzling rain, walking along the A82 towards our finish/start point from yesterday.
The walk back to the start was equally as scary; now we were walking with our backs to the traffic in order to save crossing the road twice.
At the start point we set off into the forest following the Caledonian Canal until we eventually arrived at a disused railway line, with an old steam engine in some stage of renovation. Following the old railway line, after some distance
the track ended and we continued along the track bed with views of
Loch Oich to our left, now looking out for Invergarry Castle amongst the trees on the opposite side of the loch. After some distance, we could see ahead the young lady from Iceland putting on her waterproofs, but didn’t catch up as she was soon off walking again. Before reaching the Bridge of Oich, Aberchalder, we decided to stop for a rest in the drizzle. One cup of coffee and a biscuit later,
we headed towards the end of Loch Oich. As we neared the swing road bridge over the canal we made a detour to see the historical old bridge,
designed by James Dredge in 1850 and used by cars until 1932 but now only used by tourists to walk over and view.
Amidst our usual photo taking a small group of Italian/German visitors arrived so we asked them take a group photo of us. Then a young couple appeared so Steve offered to take their picture; they too were walking the Great Glen Way. As we returned to cross the road swing bridge all the alarms and barriers started to operate and stopped us
as we had to wait for a sailing boat passing through in to Loch Oich.
After the bridge was back in place we were able to continue,
this time walking between the Caledonian Canal and the River Oich. The drizzle had now turned to rain,
but it wasn’t so bad that it makes you want to give up. Just before where the canal joins the river, we stopped for lunch under the cover of trees. This was not the wisest of moves but it was necessary. Whilst lunching, the two German ladies passed by with a damp smile. Half an hour later we were on the move again, nearing the end of the day’s walk.
We knew our accommodation was on the side of the canal but didn’t realise just how close it was. We had arrived two hours too early, so our rooms weren’t ready. After speaking to our host, we left our rucksacks and headed into Fort August for a coffee.
As we wandered into town it was busy with more tourists and boats working their way through the locks, with the aid of the lock keeper.
We checked out a few places for an evening meal, before making our way to our host’s recommended coffee shop/restaurant near the
Loch Ness lighthouse
and overlooking Loch Ness.
We were able to get a table by the window so could admire the views. After nearly two hours of sitting in damp clothes we were ready to return to our accommodation, so we made our way back to Tigh na Mairi B& B. Our host took our wet jackets, over-trousers and boots to dry for the following day, and then showed us to our rooms.
After freshening up it wasn’t long before we had a drink and found a good place to have a meal before settling down for the night.