Sunday, 6 October 2013

Great Glen Way Day03 - Grotaig to Invermoriston

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 06 October 2013
Walkers - Steve Smith, Gina Smith, Joss Johnson
Accommodation - Abbey Cottage B&B - Fort Augustus
Start Point - Great Glen Way path below Grotaig (NH 49488 23712)
Start Time - 09:59
Finish Point - Invermoriston, Glenmoriston Arms Hotel (NH 42020 16876)
Finish Time - 15:33
Duration - 5hrs 34mins
Average pace - 1.65mph
Distance Walked - 9.17miles
Height Ascended - 678.66metres

Peaks visited

Taxi drop off point on A82 and track
to Great Glen Way near Dùn Scriben
Quite a long taxi ride from Fort Augustus to the days walk start point just below Grotaig.
However after today we will have walked close enough to Fort Augustus to make it economic to be met at Invermoriston by Great Glen Travel and of course meant us saying goodbye to Caroline of Drumnadrochit Taxis.
Today being the start of the third consecutive days walking marks the limit of our pre-walk training, so I would not be surprised if there was some measure of apprehension about having done enough preparation, If there was any, nobody let it show. In any event, although the ascent at over 650m was the most we would have to do in any one day during the entire walk, the distance to walk today was only 9 miles.

That of course did not include the ½ mile we had to walk from the A82 up the forest track to the start of the days walk start point just below Grotaig, but once again nobody complained. Maybe it did not seem so far as we had already walked the forest track in the reverse direction yesterday. 
Day03 Start.
Easy to follow track and blue marker post at
start of todays walk just below Grotaig
Anyway after photographs to record the days start point we set off for a days walking which by now was becoming routine. I do not think the girls realised we were in to the routine you get in to on  a long distance walk, but any doubts they may have had about completing the walk could well and truly be dismissed.
The first part of the walk was through native birch and elder which as the forest track gave way to a narrower path became pine.
Warm sunshine and start of Autumn colours
on footpath through Ruskich Wood
uch of the walk was enclosed by the canopy in Ruskich Wood but there were glimpses of Loch Ness made more dramatic by sun breaking through the thick black clouds that had brought heavy rain the night before.  There was not much steep ascent, more undulating, but by the time we reached the first checkpoint at Allt Ghuibbais we had ascended over 200m without much effort.

The Highland Five - Creag Dhearg.
We won't be going up that today.
From Allt Ghuibbais we carried on with the gradual ascent and undulating ground for a short while with the Highland Five Creag Dherg in front. Forestry work had cleared much of the Wood and to our left, as well as Loch Ness, we could see the hairpin bends in the track we would follow down to Alltsigh.
At the bottom of the ascent near Alltsigh being near 12:30 we left The Great Glen Way and followed the sign to the Youth Hostel for a coffee break.
Briarbank B&B Alltsigh .
Getting the girls past a coffee shop
seems to be nigh on impossible
Unfortunately the hostel has now closed but we were made very welcome at Briarbank B&B and enjoyed a coffee on their decking. 

Chatting with the owner about his run in with the Loch Ness Monster (only last year November 2012) extended our stay longer than intended and as we did not feel it was appropriate to eat our own sandwiches meant we had had our lunch break without actually eating our lunch.

Lunch Break
in Stone Cave
After returning to the bridge over Allt Saigh we munched on snacks and a protein bar deciding to press on to the Stone Cave before we had lunch. We did take photos of the waterfall under the bridge but failed to notice the old pack horse bridge mentioned in the Cicerone guide.
The guide book did not give an exact location of the cave and in fact I was expecting a detour from the path to see it, so I was pleasantly surprised when we came across the familiar blue Great Glen Way post also had an arrow to the right with the words "Stone Cave" below. Even better; looking to our right, there it was adjacent to the path.
As planned we had lunch which by now was very welcome. The weather was very pleasant, however if it had been raining the stone cave would have provided adequate shelter as it had done for the reputed washer woman all those years ago.
Start of ascent up to
Allt Coinneag river crossing
The final quarter of the days walk from the cave to Invermoriston was completed in just over an hour it also had the steepest part of the day up to Allt Coinneg. There was a stone seat to visit near here but we decided not to bother, choosing to press on for Invermoriston and an earlier finish. 

High Fives for Joss and Gina
at end of days walk
Arriving at the Glenmoriston Arms Hotel marked the end of the days walking and as in previous days no Orange/T-Mobile phone signal. Unlike previous days we were near a bar were we could purchase essentials. The receptionist kindly called the taxi for us and we (I) had no alternative but to drink 2 glasses of Stella whilst waiting for the taxi to arrive.

More Photographs
The Highland Five - Creag Dhearg ahead. Loch Ness on the left
Click on photograph to view slide-show

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