Our travels aren’t complete without a decent hike. This time we choose The Great Glen Way, a 118,5 km long hike, starting in Fort William, ending in Inverness. We did not hike all of it, but allmost half of it; 51 km (32 miles) from Laggan to Drumnadrochit. The Great Glen Way is stated to be a decent introduction into long distance walking, following a low level walk path for most of the time. In 2014 a high level route was introduced, so you have the option to either stay in the forest or walk above the tree line. Routes are well marked.
We started walking in Laggan, a small village on the banks of Loch Oich and finished in Fort Augustus on the first day. It was a 14 km hike, on a mainly flat, paved path. The first part on an old military road through forest, along Loch Oich, the second part along the Caledonian canal. Beautiful views, parts of the canal could be Holland with the mountains in the background being fotoshopped into the scenery 😉. But to be honest, kind of boring after a while, I don’t realy like the straight, flat forever ongoing roads towards the next ‘corner’. It was a good warm-up for the next day, but we were glad to finish at Fort Augustus and the beautiful edge of Loch Ness.
The next day started quite challenging; going up. Not just an easy increase of hight, but seriously going up, especially when carying a backpack. Not an easy introduction to long distance walking, but indeed... a ‘decent’ introduction. To be honest I think it’s a more than decent introduction, it’s a quite challenging walk.
When I planned the trip I thought only 14 km to Invermorrison would be too short, especially making it the next stage to Drumnadrochit a 23 km distance. So we decided for Altsight to be our end destination for the second day. Was I wrong... The path from Fort Augustus to Invermorrison along the ‘high’ route is a challenging walk, on a mountain ridge with a steep decent. You’re out in the open as well, so good weather proof clothing is a must! But unfortunately Invermorrison was not our end destination, we had to go 5 more kilometers to Altsight. Starting with a 30 minutes ‘going up’. In the end we did 20,7 km, it was a little too much! The views made it all worth while, you have a magnificent view of Loch Ness and we could see all the way to Loch Oich, the way we came.
Our third and last day we hiked from Altsight to Drumnadrochit. Starting with 30 minutes ‘going up’. For a nice while we wondered through beautiful green forest. The environment seems to be very healthy according to all the moss-covered rocks and trees. Unfortunately the last hour we walked on the road, in the rain, reaching Drumnadrochit after 17 km. A beautiful detail was the yellow broom along the way.
So what about photography... well, to be honest parts of our hike I was too busy going up, trying to keep a pace going. At the top I made some pictures but I was not able to shoot a clear, sharp Landscape picture. What can you expect when not using a tripod... Other parts of the hike it was more easy to stop and take some time for a picture, but weather, time and light were not on my side. I will evaluate my learnings about photography in an upcoming post!