Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Day 96: Fort William to Kinlocheil

Today is what we have dubbed, a link day. One of us, who shall remain nameless (but it wasn't me) felt it was "cheating" to catch the ferry as described in the Cape Wrath Trail Guide Book, and we did not want to walk too much of the Great Glen Way: so today we walked the around Loch Eil in order to reach a point where we set off on the Cape Wrath Trail. I must say, however, that as I contemplated those contours now that this section of our journey is nie, the Great Glen Way with its boring flat tameness was looking better and better. The butterflies in my tummy had turned to Scottish Midgies and were gnawing away at my insides and when we reached Neptunes Stairway and the Great Glen Way went off along the Caladonian Canal and we went on up the A830 I was tempted to rebel and head down the canal too. But I am getting ahead of myself! Today was to be a road walk primarily: boring, hard on the feet and, at times, terrifying as cars, trucks and coaches hurtled past at breakneck spead.

We followed the road out of Fort William then had a brief respite as we followed a path past the ruins of the Old Inverlochy Castle, built in the 1200s.

and then on to Neptune's Staircase... A series of 8 locks in succession on the Calidonian Canal.

Then back to the road. At this point and for the first 10 km or so there was a footpath (sidewalk) along the road, so, although it was hard on the feet we were safe from the traffic. At Corpach we stopped for a while and popped into the "treasures of the Earth" museum where we enjoyed the well presented display of rocks, minerals and precious stones; then had lunch at the pub.
We had a brief respite from the road at the Locheil Outward Bound Station when we followed a logging track up the hill and then parallel to the road for a Km or so, then down again. Not only did this afford us respite from the tyranny of the road but provided great views across the Loch,

and, best of all, as we looked back toward Fort William, the great giant Beinn Nibheis (Ben Nevis) saluted our leaving by doffing his crown and revealing his face to us!

Then it was back to the road and foot slogging it the rest of the way to our B&B and the glorious views of Loch Eil.

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