The longest day so far in terms of distance so I was keen to get a good pace going along the flat path beside the Caledonian Canal. The skies were grey but no threat of rain as I passed a couple of locks busy with tourists in cruisers finding their way between Loch Oich and Loch Ness. At the first I enquired of the occupants of one boat how long they had been waiting at the lock. “All night!” Was the reply. After a few miles the path along Loch Oich became one of General Wade’s Military Roads, and was also a failed railway line venture. Also on this stretch was a mini wild camp site with a composting toilet. My curiosity needed to be satisfied of course!! Arriving at Laggan after about 11 miles I passed the same people on the boat that I had spoken to earlier, again waiting for a lock to clear. I remarked that it was maybe faster to walk. They asked where I was going, “Lands End” I replied. “Oh, you must be the chap whose wife we were talking to yesterday in Fort Augustus with the little black and white Staffy”…small world indeed!
The afternoon was mentally challenging – 8 miles along a mind-numbing forest track along Loch Lochy with no hills, no views and no land marks. I will write something separately about the mental aspect of this journey. Eventually I was back onto a road briefly past some WWII training heritage at the end of Loch Lochy with some very nice properties around Achnacarry, the historical seat of the Clan Cameron, looking across the Loch to Ben Nevis shrouded in cloud. Finally a quick skip round the Loch shore to Gairlochy and an extra half mile up to the campsite.
I did actually pass a few other walkers today, the most interesting was a guy with 2 dogs and a buggy full of camping gear on his way to Inverness and back raising money for ME.