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Great Glen Way

Perfect companion: 5th edition of our popular waterproof guidebook, extended and revised in 2014/16 to cover the High Route and other updates
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| |-+  Great Glen Way, Fort William to Inverness, Scotland
| | |-+  The Great Glen Way, yet again.

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Author Topic: The Great Glen Way, yet again.  (Read 2238 times)
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« on: July 30, 2017, 07:53:28 am »

Well, I'm back from Scotland, suitably tired and muscles aching, but feeling very proud of my achievement. So, I'll get right down to business.
Day 1, Fort William to Gairlochy
Started out at Fort William, (the Soldiers Bridge has been finished and is now open) made my way in the rain along to Corpach Lock,  and then along the canal towpath to Gairlochy, when after pitching my tent the rain stopped and the sun came out. Met a nice guy from Amsterdam and we spent the evening telling tales of our past adventures.
Day 2, Gairlochy to Laggan Lock
Not a bad start to the day, the sun was out got my gear packed up, said goodbye to my new friend, and was on the trail again by 6:30. This is one of my favourite parts of the GGW, the walk alongside Loch Lochy, past Clunes then through the forest to come out at Kilfinan with a great view of Laggan Loch. Had a mug of coffee on the Eagle Barge, and stayed the night at the ever welcoming Great Glen Hostel.
Day 3, Laggan Loch to Fort Augustus.
On the trail by 7:00, for what proved to be a very easy and uneventful day, walked past the yet to be finished railway station museum, and made good time to the Aberchalder Bridge, where I met up with a nice German family who were camping by the loch side. After a short rest, I pushed on, back once again on the canel tow path, and  made Fort Augustus by 11:30, camped at the Stravaigers Lodge campsite and it rained. But, it held off long enough for me to sit and watch some of the boats go up and down the staircase of locks.
Day 4, Fort Augustus to Altsigh.
The start of the hills! So, from this day onwards it's hill walking of a sort, and after a short walk along a minor back road, you are faced with a short but fairly steep climb, then it's not bad going all the way to Invermorison, where I indulged in a cup of coffee at the corner shop, and it began raining. Left Invermoriston after a twenty minute break and made my way (slowly) up the next, but this time more serious hill, then it was all fairly straight forward walking all the way to the now refurbished and newly named Lochside Hostel, which most will remember fondly as the SYHA Loch Ness, but had a great night there and met some nice people from all over the world.
Day 5, Altsigh to Drumnadrochit
Left the Hostel at 6:00 and was immediately faced with one heck of a climb, 2 miles of relentless twisting and turning roads, which I took at my own slow pace, (well, after all I'm well past retirement age and I was carrying full camping gear) but, I got to the top to be rewarded by splendid views both up and down Loch Ness, the words spectacular do not do it justice. Made my way along an undulating trail eventually to arrive at Drumnadrochit at 12:30, and camped at the much improved and far better run Borlum campsite, pitched my tent had a shower, after which the sun came out in all it's force. Made my self a tea of Magi's Chow Mein noodles and coffee, then waited for the sun to go down and went to bed early, in preparation for tomorrow.
Day 6, Drumnadrochit to Inverness.
This day starts off so easy, easy that is until you get to Temple House. Then the climbing begins, short, narrow, up and down hill slopes to begins with. Then when you go through the gate and pass into the forest, it begins in earnest, and it just gets steeper and steeper the higher up you go, so take your time. As you get closer to the top, the path particularly on some of the sharp bends, could, to say the least do with some major attention, so be careful. Once at the top congratulate yourself on your achievement, but the climbing has not yet ended, it is still a steady and at time uphill slog all the way past Corryfoyness and well into the Abriachan forest. Then you arrive at the ever welcoming Eco-Cafe, and after consuming a bacon and egg cob and real coffee, I said my goodbyes, and begun my last leg. A two mile walk along a minor road with spectacular views of the Highlands, eventually takes you onto a small cinder path, which you follow practically all the way the way path Dunain hill, until you get your first view of the old hospital and of course your target, Inverness. Then, well it's all down hill easy walking, eventually reaching if only for a short time the Caledonian Canel and the Tomnahurich Bridge. A slight diversion now has to be followed because of major roadwords, but your tired legs should within 30 minutes take you to Inverness Castle and the stone monolith which marks the end of your long trek.

I had a good time this year doing the GGW, I met some nice people, will, I go back next year, well maybe not, but certainly I'll be there again the year after that. My advice to you, if you are thinking of doing the GGW, stop thinking about it, and just do it! Grin
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 08:05:09 am by Jack » Logged
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