Walk Date - 08 October 2013
Walkers - Steve Smith, Gina Smith, Joss Johnson
Accommodation - Abbey Cottage B&B - Fort Augustus
Start Point - Fort Augustus, Abbey Cottage B&B - Fort Augustus (NH 37944 09121)
Start Time - 09:46
Finish Point - Laggan Locks (NN 28616 96296)
Finish Time - 15:31
Duration - 5hrs 45mins
Average pace - 1.91mph
Distance Walked - 11.00miles
Height Ascended - 177.95metres
In addition it was this leg of The Great Glen Way, albeit in reverse from Laggan Locks to Fort Augustus, we all walked together last November 2012, hence no doubt in anyones mind about what we could expect from the day ahead. Whilst I have considered completing many of the UK long distance walks at some time, I can look back on this day last year as my inspiration to return for this end to end attempt. I also think it is fair to say Joss and Gina felt if the whole walk was like this they would quite fancy it as well.
As it turns out, the whole walk is not like this leg, however because we are walking the
|Caledonian Canal towards Kytra Lock|
near Eilean Floda
One bonus however was freshly made sandwiches and home made Scotch Pie from the butcher DJ MacDougal next door to The Lock Inn, scene of a great evenings food and entertainment the night before. Sandwiches packed we returned to the swing bridge and started the days walk by ascending the steps past the five lock gates in Fort Augustus, the major part of the days ascent. While a boat passed downhill from the Fort William direction I chatted with the Lock keeper, he told me it took about 90 minutes to pass through all 5 locks, quite labour intensive I thought and at a charge of £18.00 per metre for a 7 day pass for the whole canal seemed pretty good value.
|Kytra Locks gets prettier|
the closer you get
The rest of the mornings walk would be characterised by level walking on tow paths along the banks of The Caledonian Canal. So without any worries about navigation the map could stay packed safely in my pocket, leaving us all the time we needed to enjoy the scenery, photography and hints of high peaks ahead as we headed west.
The first checkpoint was Kytra Locks, marked as Kyltra on the OS Explorer map. I remembered these from last year as having a chocolate box feel even though it was pouring with rain. But today from the first distant glimpse just seemed to get prettier the closer we approached.
After the locks we returned to tow path walking and similar scenery, the difference being
|Oich cantilever bridge|
By the time we left Cullochy it was nearly mid day and could see the swing bridge
|Old cottage near Leitirfearn|
Kytra Locks just gets prettier the closer you get
Click on photograph to view slide-show