Monday, 1 June 2009

Day 58 Monday - Laggan Locks to Fort Augustus

Walking 9.00am to 1.00pm
Distance walked today 10 miles
Total distance walked 861 miles
Distance left 191 miles

Camp at Laggan Locks

The good weather continued again today. The Great Glen Way continued alongside the Caledonian Canal through woodland, just perfect walking and so attractive. I got up a cracking pace as the terrain was so easy.

By Loch Oich, I caught up with Rick and Vickie from Toronto, Canada, doing the Way, staying in nice hotels and having their baggage transported for them. We walked together for the remaining few miles to Fort Augustus, talking as we went. It really is amazing how much quicker a walk seems when in good company. We stopped on the way at the Bridge House Tearoom at Bridge of Oich. Vickie kindly gave me a donation for my charity. What nice people.

Loch Oich

Rick and Vickie
We continued walking together into Fort Augustus where they went off to locate their B&B.

At Fort Augustus, I had the choice of stopping early or eating into tomorrow's mileage. In fact, I've stopped. Going into Stravaigers to camp, I thought a bunkhouse bed might make a change. In the unmanned office was a notice saying they were full but plenty of camping spaces left. This was OK but as I went out, the man in charge appeared and said that was yesterday's notice! Consequently, I'm in a single en suite room for £20 with breakfast, the first "paid for" proper accommodation since leaving Land's End. I'm enjoying it.

I've met a couple here from New Zealand. He's over here looking for temporary work; I've never met a sheep shearer before. He can shear a sheep in ninety seconds.

Each evening, I look at my route for the next day and place a mark at each mile interval. This helps me to pace myself during the day. My schedule gives the distance from Fort Augustus to Cannich as 20 miles; I've now calculated it to be 25 miles - problem. My longest day so far has been 21 miles. A ruse that I find works for me when I have a long day ahead is that whatever mileage I cover before 9am doesn't count. I then treat what is left as the day's mileage. So, if I can do, say, six miles before 9am, I then have a "full" day to do nineteen miles. At least with the evenings staying light till 10pm, I can walk well on into the evening. The reason this is important on this occasion (particularly as I'm two days ahead of schedule) is that my wife has driven up here from home in our camper and she'll arrive at Cannich tomorrow. She'll then shadow me to John o'Groats and then we'll drive back home when I've finished the walk.

If I don't manage the full distance tomorrow then she may need to drive out to pick me up (literally!) and drop me back the next morning. That would work as I appear only to have a twelve mile day on Wednesday. I can't verify that till tomorrow when I pick up my next batch of maps.

Whew! This has been a long posting - sorry.


  1. Well done Geoff - Totally agree with your 'long day' approach - always works for me. Just remember to take a 'boot-break' when you get to the '19 miles to go' point as that way your feet will start nice and fresh for the 'start' of your day!
    Yuu are doing absolutely splendidly. Well done and have a good day tomorrow.
    All the best

  2. There is a nice hostel in Cannich if you need it....I am totally jealous by the way. Sitting in an office looking out at perfect blue skies, reading things like this is a nice release....

    by the way, a week late I made it to Caldstane slap on saturday to see where you had camped -

  3. Heh heh, I love your idea that the mileage doesn't count before 9am. I must bear that in mind in any future walks I do :)