Monday, 23 July 2007

The Great Glen Way

On the 4th July, three women from Pennsylvania joined Carol in Fort William to embark on the Great Glen Way. Of the three only Chip had known Carol in advance, neither Linda or Ann had ever met her. However, as the walk went on, and on, and on, we all got to know each other well. We not only did the whole thing, the estimates on the length of it vary a good bit, but it's about 75 miles, and we did it all on foot. We had no blisters at all and actually walked up the stairs of the last B & B in Inverness, some we were told, have crawled. Most importantly, we still liked and respected each other. Good going!
Some highlights...
Constantly either adding or removing clothing as the weather and the pace changed.
Nicely kept and landscaped locks along the Caledonian Canal, with a couple of very chatty and informative Lock Keepers.
The dramatic And impressive Commando Memorial very close to our first B & B at Gairlochy.
Unpronouncable names of towns, mountains and forts all along the river.
Few, but significant, unmarked sections. Not one of us was in the mood for detours. No suggestion boxes were there for our suggestions. Just as well probably!
Mossy and magical glens, sites of Harry Potter film locations, with odd remnants of obvious human efforts to signify magic.
Interminable forests of non-native species with, inspite of Linda's vigilance, NO Woodpeckers.
Foxgloves everywhere, and many other wild flowers, including two orchids, most of which were unfamiliat to us.
No monsters in Loch Ness.
A castle to visit? How far is it ? We don't need to go there!
Drumnadrochit was probably our favourite village along the way.
Food? Great breakfasts in the B & B's, odd lunches along the way and usually pub dinners. Far and away the oddest setting for lunch was in a field next to an alleged B & B. There were some sheet metal sheds, an ostensibly abandoned caravan, a home made ladies toilet...a bucket on a homemade platform, a delapidated trestle table with some folding chairs, a rooster and two hens. Our host and hostess were both extremely cooperative, and nice, but obviously way, way out of the mainstream.
None of us lost weight except maybe Carol who could least afford it.
At the B & B in Inverness, our second 20 miler, our hostess supplied two footbaths which we were too stupid to use correctly, and, more importantly, a ceremonial tray with four glasses of scotch! We were there.

1 comment:

Lex said...

Tyson and I want to say congrats on completing this walk. way to go carol and all the people who walked with you