Starting the Great Glen Way

After spending an enjoyable day off in Fort William last Thursday, we set off on the Great Glen Way, which runs from Fort William to Inverness.

The Great Glen is a different type of walk, much more “pedestrian” as one crusty old hiker described it, and indeed we had to shift mental gears to appreciate the much flatter valley walk after 9 days in the Highlands. The walk goes through a valley and follows a series of lochs connected by the Caledonian canal, but the easier walking does leaves more room for the mind to wander and reflect.

The weather continues to be reasonable—cloudy with showers, but no constant rain. Yesterday, day 4, from Laggan to Fort Augustus, was glorious with warm weather and sunshine. Fort Augustus was a good place to enjoy it—a small town where five locks form the major centre and source of entertainment. Like many others, we enjoyed a pub lunch at one of the picnic benches by the canal and watched a big cruise boat go through the locks.

Today we had a short walk—only about 12 km—to Invermoriston. Looking at the forecast, which predicted 60% chance of rain by 11 a.m., we decided to leave early and stay ahead of the rain. We had the option of a high- or low-route and chose the high-route. It was described as more scenic with great views of Loch Ness. We are glad we did; it was absolutely worth the extra climbing.

Finally, apologies for initially posting the pictures without any text; the post got published by accident. Blogging from an phone can be a challenge!

Starting the Great Glen Way
Walking through a sheep field near Fort William
Steam train, the Jacobite, still in daily service from Fort William to the west coast.
Tow path on the Caledonain Canal
Neptune’s Staircase, a series of eight locks at Banavie
An historic two-part swing bridge across the canal
Roy gets to operate the swing bridge
Hauling a boat that wouldn’t start through the lock at Gairlochy
Wet morning starting out from Gairlochy
Waterfalls running from the rain
Emptying tiny pebbles from boots along the rail trail
Looking back down Loch Oich
Series of five locks at Fort Augustus
Boat in the lock at Fort Augustus

Looking back at Fort Augustus

Photographing Loch Ness
Loch Ness
Wind shelter on the high route above Loch Ness
The high route
Trees on the high route

Finishing the Great Glen Way

Hello from Inverness, the end of the Great Glen Way. We arrived yesterday, Tuesday, and today we are enjoying a day in town. Tomorrow we begin walking the Speyside Way.

It was a good walk. About 290 km from our start in Glasgow.

Monday, day five, was another high level route in mostly good weather, even some sunshine, with good views of Loch Ness. We haven’t seen Nessie (the Loch Ness monster) yet, but we continue to look.

Yesterday, again, was mostly good weather. The clouds were threatening at times but the most we got was a few showers mixed with sunny peroids. There isn’t a high level option for the last day, but the trail climbs up into the hills and is well away from towns. The last bit into Inverness was surprisingly pleasant. Inverness is compact—we found ourselves walking in forest and parkland almost to the city centre. We are enjoying revisiting the city.

Some photos from Monday:

Trail up from Loch Ness
A sign says it is the Troll Bridge. Fortunately, the troll was elsewhere.
Daffodils by a quiet country road
Wind shelter overlooking Loch Ness
Drumnadrochit, our destination on Tuesday.

Photos from Tuesday:

First of many gates
Trees by Loch Ness
Sunny forest
Snack at a funky forest cafe
Chicken looking for crumbs from our snack
The Ness river, almost in Inverness
End of the Great Glen Way