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Day 2: Gairlochy to South Laggan

Day 2, Gairlochy to South Laggan
Approximately 11 miles.

At the beginning of day 2, we are much more lightly dressed. After staying the night in the excellent Inverour Guest House in Spean Bridge, our hosts gave us a ride back to Gairlochy (a matter of only a couple of miles, but we were happy to get the lift).

Carrie and Eugene start day 2

Gairlochy, at the start of day 2.

Today we walked the full length of Loch Lochy, a lovely wooded and mossy path that gave us wonderful views of the loch between stretches of ancient woods.

About a mile from the day’s start, we look back and can see the lighthouse where we ended yesterday, with snow covered peaks in the distance.

When he dropped us off at the trailhead, our host from the last night told us to look for “the fairy wood.” Many walkers, he said, walked right past it without seeing it, and it was well-worth a look. It was only a mile and a half or so down the path.

Questioning gnome

What is a fairy wood?

What is a fairy wood?

It’s just a place where people leave things….

Until we find it, we are preoccupied with not missing the fairy wood. When we do find it, we are…entranced.

This is a fairy wood. Or rather, part of a fairy wood. A small corner.

There is an umbrella stand and half a dozen old umbrellas. A tree covered in old boots. A tree populated with garden gnomes. A tree covered in teddy bears. A tree decorated with old car air fresheners. A tree hung with musical instruments.

I suppose the fairy wood is not terribly large, but it certainly felt like it had many avenues to explore. I am not sure how long we spent there, but I am certain that we didn’t see everything there was to see.

For me, the fairy wood was one of the most memorable bits of the entire walk.

The rest of the day was a slow meandering through woods and along the banks of the loch. At times the trees were thick, shading our eyes from the glint of the sun on the loch. Other times the trail would move right to the edge of the water, and we could stop and look across to the other side of the loch.

A stretch of open trail along Loch Lochy.

Tall and verdant, lovely green. These woods gave birth to many legends.

Our stop for the night was at the Forest Lodge in South Laggan. This “town” is so small there is really only one restaurant, and our hosts had kindly made us reservations for dinner there. They gave us a ride, and then the young bartender gave us a ride back when we’d finished dinner. She and her mother had recently taken over the lease for the restaurant and bar, and were just getting things up and running again. I wondered what it would be like working as a waitress in such a small town.

It’s probably more exciting in the summer.

Our guest house in South Laggan, Forest Lodge.

Once again, we were the only guests for the night.