Saturday, 30 May 2009

Day 14 - Glengyle Bed and Breakfast.jpg

I arrived here at 20:05 yesterday and was met by Craig who showed me to my room. He has advised me to push on tomorrow passed Kinlockleven and aim for the Kings House Hotel, which is a further 6 miles. That means either a 21 mile hill walk tomorrow otherwise on Monday when the terrain is tougher. I'm starting to get a little bit anxious now about the Grampians.

I opened the collection pot today for week 2 in Craig's presence. A total of £220.11 plus I received a donated cheque of £50 giving a total for week 2 of £270.11. Thank you to all who donated. Don't forget you can also donate at That's taken the grand total over £7000, next stop £8000. Come on everybody let's do this.

Facilities at the Glengyle Bed & Breakfast have been extremely luxurious.

Glen Levis, Fort William, Inverness-shire, Scotland
Tel. 01397 708622
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Day 14 - Fort William High Street.jpg

Just take a look at the building on the left, what a heritage. The town is quite small and very tourist driven but it is lovely. It has a small museum in the middle of the high street which is packed full of unique items. I was especially impressed with their two secret pictures which you have to view at an angle and reflected by a cylinder. Well worth having a rest day here.

I've managed to launder all my kit and polish all my leather goods. I've also found time for a couple of pints while catching up on my blogs. Which I will probably have to do next week as well given that my route through the Grampians does not take me close to any large clusters of civilization (no phone reception).

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Day 13 - Neptunes Staircase.jpg

O.K. I'm now really, really, really shattered. (Don't let the sunshine fool you - its late in the day.) I've made it to Neptune's staircase and I reckon I've still got another 2 miles to go. You can bet these miles will take the longest and be the hardest 2 miles so far.

Think rest day, think rest day, think Grampians... Oh creepers.

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Day 13 - Ben Nevis.jpg

What's all the fuss about? Doesn't look that big from here. Yeah right... I'll tell you on Sunday night after I've started on the West Highland Way heading south and over the Grampians.
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Day 13 - Moy Bridge.jpg

I'm shattered. It is now 1600 and I've still got 8 miles to go (I usually only aim to do 15 a day), but even so I'm still in good spirits because tomorrow is a rest day. Here I met an ex police officer who allowed me to grab some more much-needed water. It has been great these last two days away from the main roads.

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Day 13 - View of Loch Lochy.jpg

Picturesque or what? This spot was next to a road but it was quiet and peaceful with a wonderful view of the Loch and surrounding woodland. Why go abroad for a holiday?

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Day 13 - View of the road on setting out for the day.jpg

Eventually (quite late at night) I reached my B&B and relaxed for the night before my final push of the week on to Fort William.

Forest Lodge Guest House

South Laggan, by Speak Bridge, PH34 4EA

Tel. 01809 501219

As you can see, today the weather is cloudless. In fact it is sweltering and I'm wearing wool clothing and armour. Nutter.

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Day 12 - Car Trouble.jpg

Whilst walking the Great Glen Way on the eastern bank of Loch Oich I met an elderly couple trying to drive down what eventually was to become a single file track. I explained to them that there was no way their vehicle and dog trailer was going to make it much further. And to be fair, when they had started down the track it was a disused railway. However the railway becomes overgrown with 50 foot trees and so the path leads off to one side of the old railway line.

So, there we were, three of us having to turn a vehicle and trailer 180 degrees back the way they had come. I'm sad to say a few young trees did not survive the incident, but an hour later everything was sorted. I hate to think what might have happened to them had I not been there. Given their predicament they were both in remarkable spirits and very kind hearted.
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Day 12 - View of Loch Oich.jpg

After finally leaving the tea shop this is the view I got of Loch Oich. No I'm not floating on water but right next to the edge of the Loch. It could just as easily be a scene out of Lord of the Rings... Magical.

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Day 12 - Tea and Cake.jpg

This one is for THE TUDOR GROUP, as we all know, nothing gets done without tea and cake. Actually this transformed from a 30 minute rest stop into a full blown 2 hour lunch break. (Ruth - you'd be proud of me.)

The owner has a friendly dog who delighted in making a chew thing out of my Scots bonnet.

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Day 12 - With walkers at Kytra Lock.jpg

Met up with a friendly group of walkers at Kytra Lock. They are also heading for Laggan. The lock keeper here was a nice gent and wanted to know all about the kit I am wearing.

(Looking a bit rough and ready now - will have a shave at Fort William.)

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Day 12 - Setting out from Fort Augustus on the Great Glen Way.jpg

After passing the lock system leading from Loch Ness into the Caledonian canal this was the site before me. Low cloud system and a seemingly endless canal. However, I have it on good authority that halfway through my walk today will be a tea shop. .. wot no pub! .. :-(

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Day 12 - Setting out from Three Bridges Bed and Breakfast.jpg

Day 12 and the weather is a little better with just light drizzle today. Only 2 days walk until my 2nd rest day.

Last night was spent at the Three Bridges Bed and Breakfast. There was a group of 4 staying there and they have advised me to check out a tea shop on route. They also suggested I take the Caledonian Canal route rather than the A82. It's flatter and more scenic, no brainer really.

The B&B was located just a short walk from the town centre along the A82. There is a back road so you don't need to negotiate traffic. A pleasant stay with a friendly host.

Three Bridges Bed and Breakfast
Fort Augustus, Invernesshire, PH32 4BN
Tel. 01320 366712
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Day 11 - View of the locks at Fort Augustus.jpg

Well, the rain finally stopped at 1500 to my relief. I was starting to get a bit miserable. However everything was made better once I reached Fort Augustus. I had a shower, got changed into dry, modern clothes and went for something to eat.

While eating a rather yummy portion of fish and chips I took this photo of a rather impressive and scenic lock system. Just look at the background surrounding it. That's Loch Less for you. Sadly no sightings of Nessie were achieved.

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Day 11 - Bridge crossing at Invermoriston

It is now 1430 and it has rained on me all day. In fact just after I took this photo it thumped down. Still nothing for it must plod on and think, "hot shower, dry bed".

Watching the water flow through this set of double bridges was quite something.

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Day 11 - Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness

Forecast today was for rain at 0600 then to brighten into a sunny day... Yeah right, it's still raining at 0900. Can't wait for the rain to abate must push on with 19 miles today and reach Fort Augustus.

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Day 10 - Laserlarge it at Borlum Campsite.jpg

This is my second night under canvas. The Laserlarge is extremely quick to put up and even quicker to take down. I had to pitch it on a slight slope but actually it made for a better night's sleep. I had a wonderful dinner tonight: of MOD ration packs.

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Day 10 - A view of Meall Gorm

When the sun shone over this view you could have mistaken it for a glimpse of the African Savanna. All that was missing were elephants. Either that or it was a picture of a jurassic scene and I was about to be eaten by a T-Rex.

Maybe being out here alone is starting to affect my brain.

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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Day 10 - A view of Glen Convinth

Last night I stayed at the Caledonian Hotel in Beauly. Although it looked a little uninviting from the outside on the inside was a very friendly host. Who not only fed me but also made a handsome donation to HELP FOR HEROES (

As for the view... Well awe inspiring really.

You will all have noticed that I'm not getting my updates done on a daily basis. Well what can I say, blame Vodaphone for poor reception.

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Day 9 - Dingwall Memorial with tower in background..jpg

Feeling ok. Found another memorial. Notice the tower in the background!

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Day 9 - Conon Bridge - Cromarty Firth

A look back at the Conon Bridge over the Cromarty Firth (A9 south). I picked up a follower at this point, namely a Jack Russell Terrier. He stayed with me for about 2 1/2 miles until the owners turned up in their car and ordered him to jump in. Worst of all I had motorists giving me disapproving looks as they nearly ran him over. :-( he wasn't my dog.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Day 8 - Bunkhouse at Black Rock Campsite.jpg

At last my place of rest tonight. Mind you I'm glad I did the prep work informing all the police authorities about my walk. I was stopped in Alness by the Northern Constabulary. They were polite but concerned about the fact that I was carrying a sword and half-pike... rightly so. Once they had confirmed who I was and what I was doing I was allowed on my way.

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Monday, 25 May 2009

Day 8 - Woodland just before Alness.jpg

Just to prove it's not just a blog of Bed and Breakfasts. This woodland walk parallels the road and makes for an interesting walk into Alness.

I met some other walkers today, they were doing Lands End to John O'Groats. They suggested I ditch the extra weight of tent, sleeping bag and food in favour of B&Bs.
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Day 8 - Morangie Bed & Breakfast.jpg

Day 8 and I'm on the road again. Today I'm heading for Evanton and a campsite called Black Rock.

As for my rest day I fully enjoyed it. But now week 2 beckons and Fort William for Friday.

Thank to Tricia and Allan who were perfect hosts. Especially for the laundry. So if you're ever up in Tain check out Morangie Bed & Breakfast, Morangie Road, Tain, IV19 1PY. Telephone: 01862 893855 Email: or website:
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