Loch NessYou are Here: Scotland; Highlands; Loch Ness
Today was not my day off. I should have had tomorrow off, but that wasn't my day off either. Instead, I had to work half shifts both days. On the plus side, today I had to be in work at 6am. What am I talking about? The plus side indeed... Well, it did mean that I was finished at 10am and just after half eleven I was parked up at the Allt na Criche car park just north of Fort Augustus.
InvermoristonI set off north to start with, and immediately stopped. I was surprised you see, surprised to find a stone bridge carrying the forest road. Even more surprised when I stepped off the road and saw that the bridge was a Telford bridge. A quick look at the map told me that I should not be at all surprised, this was merely the old bridge of the A82, replaced 80 years ago, and simply left in the landscape until the Forestry Commission decided to take their forest road across it.
After taking a couple of photos, I set off once more and enjoyed a long trudge along the forest road, all 6 miles of it. Actually, it wasn't that bad. Some recent felling has opened up quite a few good views across Loch Ness, although you don't really get to see any length of the loch at any one time. There are a couple of spots where a small view is neatly framed by an natural break in the trees too. The best thing about the walk though, is that there isn't much climbing. Yes, the road undulates frequently between the 40 and 80m contours, perhaps a little too much for a nice cycle ride, but it never gets steep, and I was able to maintain a steady pace, arriving in Invermoriston well before I had hoped really.
Not that I saw much of the place. I walked down the road to the bridge, then turned back to retrace my steps all the way back to the car.
Fort AugustusWell, you might assume that when I got back to the car that was it, job done. In fact, no. There was still a whole mile of the Great Glen Way between me and where I had last left off in Fort Augustus, so I had to head south. I had left it till last as I wasn't too sure on the weather, or the time and didn't want to be too late home. A mile at Fort Augustus is that bit closer and easier to do later than if I'd turned back before reaching Invermoriston.
Anyway, I decided to follow the little waymarked forestry trail out of the car park, knowing that it looped round to the GGW further south, and climbed steeply up the side of a stream to an abandoned forest road. The path climbed higher, but I was too out of breath! Twenty minutes later I emerged on the roadside on the edge of Fort Augustus, meaning that the job was well and truly done. Invermoriston is now linked back to home, and I had also found a good viewpoint looking down on the southern end of Loch Ness. Soon I was back at the car, heading for home!