Hiberian Adventure – Great Glen Way; the backbone of the Highlands

19 05 2009

tow pathOur first day proper was a nice gentle 35 mile ride alongside the Caledonian Canal. Cutting our way through the biting wind, the beautiful snow topped mountains of Glen Nevis range constantly stealing our gaze, and coming across the ‘World Famous’ Neptune’s Staircase was a great way to start the day.

neptune's staircaseThe destination today was Fort Augustus, home of Loch Ness and its monster (no we didn’t see her!). Today was turning out to be a corker, skies clearing as we headed north, the canal lulling us into a comfortable rhythm as we spun alongside it. Trailers dutifully following in our wake. Lunch was a unique experience in a great floating pub, while tucked inside it decided to hail, oh how smug we felt.

On cue, skies cleared after lunch and we swopped sides of the canal to try the slightly more ‘off road’ option. What a surprise this track was. Turning almost immediately into a sun dappled woodland singletrack; nothing too technical but brilliant fun and very picturesque. Deciding to stay alongside, the trail now hugged the Loch (possibly Loch Lockie which gave us much amusement through the week for it’s unimaginative name!); now the trail got interesting.

Tree roots criss-crossing the entire trail and us just bombarding our way through with the trailers helping with momentum, it was our first bit of technical and we were loving it. Peels of laughter ringing out as we entered a tele-tubbie world of moss covered everything it was quite a surreal couple of mile. We loved it.

tow path 2Back onto canal towpath and with the only shop in the village possibly about to shut, we split and the boys headed off with our groceries list (whiskey no.1 priority of course). After a bit of a search we ended up camping in the unfinished-but-perfectly-ok-for-our-needs camp site attached to a newly opened Hostel just outside town.

Full use of facilities meant hot food, hot showers and underfloor heating ! The girls turning the loo into an immediate drying room (shhh don’t tell the owner), and with the only warning being that the diggers start at 9, we settled ourselves in and enjoyed our uninterrupted view of the mountain we had to climb tomorrow up and over the ‘infamous’ General Wade’s Carrieryarick Pass. No need to worry about the diggers though, the rain woke us bright and early before they got fired up !….more to follow, Lisa

(http://cycling.visitscotland.com/find_route/highlands/corrieyairack_pass)

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