|Looking back up loch Arkaig. That's a lot of loch.|
I walked parts of the way with John Woolston and Harry from Newcastle and John from Midhurst. Having people to chat to helped the miles pass reasonably easily. It was a long plod, but the road by the loch was quiet in the early(ish) morning and, as everywhere in the north of Scotland, there were good views to be had. The view I most wanted, though, was a tea shop. I had consoled myself when thinking about this leg of the journey that as I was walking along roads for much of the day I would be able to stop on occasions for refreshments. I was particularly looking forward to a coffee and slice of carrot cake. My route was to take me through Achnacarry. The map showed a museum there. That meant there had to be a tea shop didn’t it? Of course it didn’t. But soon after that we would hit Gairlochy. All those boaters on the Caledonian Canal would need a café wouldn’t they? Apparently not. And there would be one of those mobile refreshment trailers parked up for the tourists at the Commando Memorial, perhaps even selling bacon butties. No there wouldn’t be. There was, of course, a selection of tea shops in Spean Bridge (if a single tea shop can be said to be a selection) but I was there by then wasn’t I so what was the point?
|Loch Lochy near Gairloch|
|Not a café in sight...|
The pleasantest section of the walk was the short off road stretch around the foot of Loch Lochy on the Great Glen Way. The most memorable part of the day, however, was the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge which I found quite moving. The thoughts of what these generations of brave men had done put our little walk and a bit of rain and sleet into perspective.
|These guys did more than a long walk|
That evening I spent an hour drying gear and sorting a supply parcel in the B and B. I hung the soaking Akto over the shower to dry out, and gave the enormous slug that I later found in there a piece of my mind. I didn’t so much mind that he had left a sticky trail all across the flysheet; but I was pretty miffed that I had lugged his big fat body all the way from Loch Arkaig. Every gramme counts, doesn’t it? So I punished him by chucking him out of the window. Please do not report me to the RSPCA for this wanton act of cruelty. I later ate at the Old Station at Spean Bridge. Not cheap, but lamb in red wine washed down with Guinness, followed by Bread and Butter Pudding is rather tastier than your average freeze dried muck, n’est ce pas?