3rd May – Drumnadrochit to Inverness

20190503 Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle

Wyn and I left Drumnadrochit at 7.15, anticipating a long day before reaching Inverness.

Initially the route follows the A82, before turning into the Abriachan Forest and ascending up to 380m.   Around 9.00 we stopped for a break and had just restarted when the snow began to fall.   For the next few hours we were treated to bouts of snow and hail.

20190503 Wyn battling through the snow
Wyn battling through the snow

We reached the eco-campsite near Abriachan, and stopped for bacon rolls, coffee, tea and cakes.  The food was excellent – but be warned, it is not cheap, and you might want to check on prices before ordering anything.

20190503 Five Star Cafe at the Eco Campsite
Five Star cafe at the Eco-campsite

Suitably replete and having been joined by Ove, a German friend we had met on the trail and whose partner had decided to stop at the cafe, we set off along a minor road with increasing views as the weather improved.

20190503 Five star breakfast stop
Improving weather as we leave the Eco campsite

After an hour or so of road walking, it was back into the forest before receiving our final dose of hail.

20190503 Wyn in the forest
Final dose of hail…

Descending Dunain Hill, Inverness can be seen but the final 6k has still to be completed.

20190503 Storm clouds over Inverness
Just 6 more kilometres to go…

The trail links areas of greenery in a clever way eventually leading to the Caledonian Canal and along the banks of the River Ness.

20190503 Crossing the River Ness
Crossing the River Ness

We passed Inverness Cathedral on the opposite bank of the river.

20190503 Inverness Cathedral
Inverness Cathedral

Then with a short sharp climb the trail ends at Inverness Castle.  We arrived at 4.30.

20190503 Inverness Castle
Inverness Castle

It was great that Wyn was able to join me for The Great Glen Way, and we are looking forward to completing the Offa’s Dyke Trail later in the summer.

20190503 Wyn at the end of the Great Glen Way
Wyn at the end of the Great Glen Way

Tomorrow I am going to Braemar for a week with my friends from MAC (Mountain Activities Club).   I will resume blogging again next Sunday.

1st May – Fort Augustus to Invermoriston

20190501 Looking north along Loch Ness
The view along Loch Ness

Last night in the pub there was a closure notice for today’s route due to Scottish Water working in the area.  The diversion added 7k to the distance we would have to walk.  Wyn was sensible enough to check their website, and we were relieved to find that they had finished the work early and the normal route was open.

20190501 Wyn on a typical section of the trail to Invermoriston
The trail to Invermoriston

After a less than spectacular meal last night, the cold buffet for breakfast was fine, and we left Fort Augustus at 8.30 hoping to beat the rain to Invermoriston.  After a steep climb up to a forest track the route meandered, gently rising and falling, in and out of conifer plantations.  Loch Ness was mainly obscured by the trees but occasional glimpses could be seen where felling had taken place.

20190501 Across Loch Ness
Loch Ness

Near to Fort Augustus it was just possible to get sight of Cherry Island, the only island on Loch Ness. The island is in fact a Crannog, or man made island.

20190501 Thick moss carpeting the pine forest
Thick moss carpets the pine forest

The morning passed pleasantly watching the occasional boat moving on the loch and looking out for the water company employees who were finishing off their improvements.

20190501 Telford's bridge at Invermoriston
Thomas Telford’s bridge

Around 12.15 we dropped down and entered Invermoriston. Thomas Telford’s Bridge and the Falls of Moriston were striking and would be very impressive when the river is in flood.

20190501 Falls of Moriston
The falls of Moriston

Our B&B for the night did not open until 3.00pm so we were forced to take refuge in the Glenmoriston Arms.

Tomorrow will be a longer day so Wyn and I are glad to be able to relax this afternoon.

20190501 Snack stop
Snack stop!