Day 3: South Laggan to Fort Augustus
Day 3, South Laggan to Fort Augustus
Approximately 12 miles. I think.
Today’s walk took us the length of Loch Oich, then along the Caledonian Canal towpath to the base of Loch Ness and Fort Augustus, a village where we plan to stay two nights.
The path at the start of the day is beautiful, in a very close way. The trail climbs higher up the side of the loch, and follows an old railway line. The trail is somewhat sunken, with mossy rocks fencing us in. For a while we followed a duck as it waddled ahead of us.
We passed more than a few remnants of the old railway….structures that were covered in moss and lichen, looking much older than they were.
We passed this little cottage, which is like nothing I’ve ever seen in the US.
Across the loch we could see the ruins of Invergarry Castle….and below the castle, the wreck of a boat that had apparently drifted a bit too close to shore.
At the north end of Loch Oich, we crossed the road to take a closer look at Oich Bridge before continuing along the Caledonian Canal. Eugene thought the bridge was extra-cool, since he’s an engineer. I thought it was cool, but really didn’t understand the engineering enough to see it as a marvel.
But THIS was cool. As we were passing Cullochy Lock, two boats were navigating the lock. As there were picnic tables handy, we stopped for a snack and to watch the lock in action. The boats had already entered the lock when we arrived, but the water wasn’t yet raised. It took about a half hour for the water in the lock to reach the level of the south side of the canal. Then the lock opened, and off the boats went, headed for Loch Oich.
I didn’t take much pictures the rest of the day; the sights along the canal began to look much the same, and then it started to rain. Eugene dragged me along at a brisk pace that didn’t leave much room for chatting, or photography anyway. Our next stop was Fort Augustus, where we grabbed a late lunch and then went to find our lodgings for the night. Note to any who follow: the Three Bridges Bed and Breakfast was a really lovely place. I totally think the guy at the Clansman Centre who told us it was a swinger’s B&B was joking.
In preparation for a relaxing night and no walking the following day (and because we were out of the Ben Nevis scotch we bought in Fort William), we stopped at the local gas station for a night cap. Or two.