Our Walk of The Great Glen Way, with Meall na Teanga and Sron a' Choire Ghairbh
- Fort William to Gairlochy
- Gairlochy to Kilfinnan and then Cam Bhealach
- Meall na Teanga and Sron a' Choire Ghairbh (Munros beside Great Glen Way)
- Kilfinnan to Loch Oich
- Loch Oich to 4 miles past Fort Augustus
- 4 miles past Fort Augustus to Grotaig
- Grotaig to Abriachan
- Abriachan to Inverness
Friday 6th January:
4 Miles past Fort Augustus to Grotaig
|The track passes a clearing in the trees with a good viewpoint and a bench to rest and reflect on.||A river which drops down steep cliffs before joining loch ness.||Still by the shores of loch ness, the path climbs higher all the time.|
We wake up to glorious views across Loch Ness which inspire us to break camp and get on our way. We continue to follow the windy forest track which we started on last night. From High above Loch Ness it gently undulates through coniferous forest from right beside the loch to high above it. Superb views appear from time to time through gaps in the forest, and rivers which we cross over form dramatic waterfalls as they fall down the steep cliffs to the loch below. On occasion the busy A82 road can be heard, but generally the way feels remote and wild.
|The way starts to turn inland towards Invermoriston.||The old bridge in Invermoriston||After a steep climb out of invermoriston we rejoin the forest tracks.|
As we draw close to the small town of Invermoriston, the path turns inland away from the loch in a large "dog leg" of a mile or so before returning back a mile as it approaches Invermoriston. This is really frustrating as it takes ages to make it round into the town when it can only be a quater mile away. The reason for this is probably the steep banks which lead down to the town being too steep for vehicles, hense the track heads down a much less steep route with a detour of 2 miles. We cross a new bridge over the River Moriston, a tribuary to Loch Ness, and look at the old bridge which was damaged by floods in 1951. The waters of the River Moriston tumble down the rocky gorge creating waterfalls. In Invermoriston we stop at the public toilets which have a water tap outside. Unfortunately the outdoor tap does not work, so we end up filling our water bottles from the taps inside, which we are assured come from the same water source. We stop at a corner shop and find our first examples of reasonable postcards, that were not generic only to Scotland but to the local attractions too. We find postcards of Loch Ness and one with a grand overview of Great Glen. After a quick lunch, we leave Invermoriston following a long narrow road which zig zags steeply up the valley side. This is a torturously steep climb, especially on full stomachs.
|We are now very high above loch ness. The rewarding view makes up for the steep climb.||A man-made cave provides a good sheltered spot for lunch should it rain.||Jo has a lie down on a bench.|
We rejoin the forest tracks which climbs several hundred feet above above Loch Ness, before dropping down almost to the loch road at Alltsigh. The path is utterly quiet and deserted apart from a couple of fishermen at the Loch side. We see a man-made cave which is inset into the ground on a long left curve of the path. It has a seat, and would make a great shelter from the elements. Fortunately we have been very lucky with the weather, despite it being the middle of winter. At Alltsigh river, we see an ancient bridge as it crosses the narrow water course, downstream from the main path. We diverge to investigate this fairytale picture and find it has a hanging curtain of undergrowth and creepers attatched to it. We later learn that this is an old packhorse bridge. We venture carefully onto it, as there are no warning signs, but who knows what the current strength of it is. We sit nearby on top of slices of timber and Jo photographs Alan indulgine in a roll-up cigarette in order to try and discourage him.
|We both rest near a bench with good views of Loch Ness.||Looking back along the length of loch ness.||Interesting rock formations flank our left side.|
The track continues on past Alltsigh, and starts to zigzag up high above loch. The track soon ends and becomes a narrow, winding path above the loch which winds it's way down into the sparse deciduous forest near Grotaig. Walking on the path is much more exciting after all the time we've spent on forest tracks, as you do not see what is ahead until you have turned the next corner. After turning one such corner, we notice a large stag staring fixatedly at us through the trees, before he runs ahead crossing our path. We encounter him later at close quarters and he bolts as we approach. The forest we have entered, is interspersed by farmland and divided by fences. We do not find it very attractive with its damp ground, long yellow grasses, and muddy tracks. It is starting to get dark so we are keen to camp, but not in this unattractive farmland. We fill up on water as we cross a stream, and soon arrive at a minor road. We find a picnic area and table nearby bordered by trees on one side and houses beyond, and the river below. This is Grotaig, a fairly unattractive site, but flat ground, and thick grass for cushioning, and picnic bench for packing and unpacking. We figure that it is our last chance for a campsite for at least 2 miles, as the next part of the trail is along minor road through farmland. Jo, bravely, heats some water and has her second sponge bath outside in the pitch black (last one at Loch Oich). Alan is deeply sceptical of the practise, but Jo insists on her desire to be cleaner.< Previous Next >