After a hearty breakfast Wyn and I left Forest Lodge at 8.35. Laura and Lorraine could not have been better hosts.
Initially we made our way warily along the A82 to get back to Laggan Locks. Once there, the path followed the canal amongst woodland, until it crossed the A82 and joined an old railway line at Invergarry station. The railway opened in 1903, joining Invergarry and Fort Augustus. It was designed to be the first section of a line linking Fort William with Inverness. Unfortunately the timing was wrong, none of the other sections were built, and the line closed in 1946.
The railway goes through Leitirfearn Forest Nature Reserve, running parallel to the shore of Loch Oich, with occasional views across to the far shore. Evidence of General Wade’s military road can be seen below the railway.
At Aberchalder Swing Bridge we crossed the A82 and followed the canal to Cullochy Loch. We were looking forward to coffee at the teashop by the bridge – but naturally it was closed.
From Cullochy, the trail follows the canal to Fort Augustus. This section lacked interest, except at Kytra Lock where we stopped for an early lunch. A boat was coming through the loch, and I was surprised it was called the “Orlik”, the surname of my brother-in-law.
At 1.30 we arrived at Fort Augustus, walking into the town alongside the flight of five locks which form the entrance to the canal for boats leaving Loch Ness. Our hotel was very near, so we treated ourselves to a reviving beer before settling into our room.
Fort Augustus is obviously a tourist centre, with crowds flocking to the locks and the souvenir shops. After the solitude of the path, it is quite a contrast. We have been surprised how quiet the Great Glen Way has been, compared with the West Highland Way.