A Momentous DayWhat the hell am I talking about? I have tried to explain Here, but in case that is not clear enough, or you are too lazy to click on the link, here goes again:
A few months ago, I read about a bloke who had walked to the highest point of every 10x10km square in the National Grid (Thats OS, not Electricity). From his home. Now obviously, he hadn't done every single walk every time, he had just linked together all of the walks he had done and filled in the missing bits where necessary, so that at some point in the last x years he had walked all of the bits of the way from home to each point.
This set me thinking, and while I have no wish to emulate this guy's (in)sanity, I wondered how far I could get from home, by foot or cycling. It was quite surprising, but when I added in the routes I had done elsewhere, there were a few obvious short links that would make it a whole lot farther. One of those links was to connect my Loch Leven and Fort William 'webs'. I tried via Glencoe a few weeks ago, and got cut off by the A82. I was about 100yds short, but there was no more path, and the road was far too busy. On Monday 5th October, however, I succeeded:
Glen RighIt might seem a strange place to start, as I have often commented how dangerous the A82 from Corran to The Fort is for cyclists, but nevertheless I parked up at the Inchree forestry car park and started cycling. Now, obviously, I didn't go anywhere near the A82, instead I pedalled my way up the glen, following the track which I had followed 3 or 4 years earlier, and continuing right to the end of the forest. Here, a convenient stile leads over the fence into the wilderness beyond. I chained my bike up and started walking, knowing that in just a couple of miles I would have done it!
Lochan LundavraThe road through Blarmachfoldach south of Fort William is called Lundavra Road as it climbs out of the town, and finishes at Lundavra Farm on the shores of the Lochan. Before it reaches the farm, though, it meets the West Highland Way between FW and Kinloch. I have previously walked all of the way from there to Glen Nevis and back (and from FW up Glen Nevis to that point), and walked and cycled through the Lairig Mhor to Kinlochleven. I have also followed the WHW onwards over the Devils Staircase into Glencoe, and all the way to Forest Lodge above Bridge of Orchy. As I stumbled across the pathless bog, I knew that I was only minutes away from linking that huge web of past routes to the Loch Leven web.
But what was I thinking about? Actually, I spent most of my time wondering why on earth the contractors had fenced in a huge piece of land (about 20feet wide) where they had laid the new water pipe from FW to Loch Leven. It wasn't as if it was keeping the sheep out...
The first thing I reached, however, wasn't the Loch, but the old abandoned village that lies to the west of it. The old cottages are barely knee high now, but it is quite clear from their ruins that they were real traditional Black Houses here, not the more modern style that have survived as Bothies elsewhere. Ten minutes later, I was passing through the gate into the fields that approach the farm. The track was easy to follow, with gates and stiles where necessary, and so soon I was at the road end.
For good measure, I walked past the car park I had used in the past, and right up to the WHW. I then turned back, passing the Loch on its opposite shore, and so to my bike and back to the car. A Job well done!