Distance 19.04 miles – cumulative distance 189.36 miles – 9 hours – actual walking time 6 hrs 10 mins- pace 3.1 mph – B&B Lilac Cottage
Over a hearty breakfast in Dornoch View B&B courtesy of the very fine host Hayley we had tuition in the correct pronunciation of Scottish place names on our route from a group of Scottish walkers. We got tested at the end breakfast. They also asked if I was in the Forces and remarked to Lynn that she looked as if she had military background. Lynn is still trying to decide if that was a compliment or not – Steve is staying strictly neutral.
We continued along the Great Glen following Loch Ness, after a mile we had to choose between the high level route and low level route. The high level route is longer and climbs 330 metres – our heads said low level, thinking the long game, our hearts said high level. After a short debate hearts won – and we were rewarded with a spectacular walk with fine views down the Great Glen and Loch Ness.
Halfway was Fort Augustus the last place to stock up for a few days. Fort Augustus is very much on the tourist trail with coaches dropping off for Nessie boat trips. From here the route follows the Caledonian canal which strings the Great Glen Lochs together connecting Inverness on the East Coast to Fort William on the West Coast for boats.
After crossing the A82 the route is along a disused railway alongside Loch Oich. The railway, intended to also connect Fort William to Inverness was never finished and only the Eastern end ever ran before being abandoned.
After an evening meal at a loch side holiday centre we faced our first moral dilemma when with just a kilometre to go to reach the B&B a car pulled up beside us and asked which way we were going. It turned out she was our host for the night and she offered us a lift. At the end of a long hot and tiring day this was something of a test you will be pleased to learn that Lynn did not waiver politely refusing the lift and the offer just to take our rucksacks – Steve had already loaded his rucksack in the boot and put his seatbelt on and reluctantly got back out.
Now you might think we are going soft having two consecutive nights in a B&B (or just sensible) but we were meant to be camping in the grounds of a hostel. However the hostel had been booked for the exclusive use of a large group of school children and much as we would have enjoyed an evening with loads of noisy kids they were not offering camping.
Thanks to Tim and Lois for the suggestion of doing an Ironman triathlon next but we are not thinking of doing any explosive sprint events in the foreseeable future.