Tuesday, 30 August 2011

GGW day 6

Tuesday 23rd August, 2011

The final day of the walk proper. I got the same bus as I'd got yesterday morning, but because I was only going as far as Drumnadrochit I was able to start walking a lot earlier.

The path starts by following the A82. At first alongside the road but then on a separate path. A couple of miles in and the path started to climb away from the road. The path joins a forest road and I followed this to the highest point on the whole GGW at 375m. The road then descended for a way to get to Abriachan. This is a kind of woodland outdoor centre with a car park, picnic tables, eco toilets, and lots of bird houses and sculptures. I stopped here for lunch.

A short while further on I bumped into the Canadians again (we'd been passing each other all day) as they were emerging from what seemed to be overgrown brushland. There is a campsite and cafe hidden away in it and they'd just stopped for a cup of tea. Curious, even though I'd already eaten, I picked my way through boggy paths to find it. It's quite a bizarre place run by an eccentric couple. It seems overgrown yet is actually maintained with fruit and veggies growing, chickens roaming about and a pond. I had a freshly squeezed orange juice (yum, vitamins - something I felt I was lacking living on instant noodles and cup-a-soups) and chatted to the couple.

They've owned the land for a few years and live in a caravan on it. They started offering camping as way of getting people to camp officially rather then wild camping and using what is essentially their garden, as a toilet. I got an elaborately hand-written receipt for my orange juice; something to do with placating the tax man.

The path continued on the level and then met the road which I followed across the Abriachan plateau for a couple of mile or so. Then I joined a path which rises again and got my first views of Inverness in the distance. The path began descending and entered a forest through which I walked for several miles. The path then drops steeply into Inverness. I had to stop several times to give me knees a break. Once on the outskirts of Inverness I was back to walking through a housing estate just like at the beginning of the walk.

The path joins the canal again near the campsite. I was about 2 miles (if that) from the end of the walk at Inverness Castle but didn't see the point in walking past the campsite into Inverness, just to walk back out the campsite again, and then walk back in again tomorrow to get the train. So I went straight to my tent instead.

Distance walked = about 16 miles.

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