Fort William to Gairlochy, 16Km
A canal towpath, like a former railway track, is a dream for the long distance walker. There’s no need to navigate (unless there’s more than one towpath!), no gradient and the path is fairly straight. Huge distances can be covered in a short time. For example, I finished today’s stage at 11.35 even after a 7.30 breakfast and making two stops along the way. Had I continued I would have completed stage two by 4pm. It’s a fine sunny day, around 21 degrees and if Paul was here we’d probably have done stage 3 as well. However all the accommodation is booked so nothing can be changed and that’s why I’m sitting in the cafe adjoining the tourist shop in little Spean Bridge. They have a lovely tartan blanket which the cat would like.
Colin at the Riverside Lodge Gardens B&B said, “You’re early” as if he was expecting me to crawl in on my hands and knees, as the sun was setting. I advised him to move house farther up the trail but he showed me his specimen trees in the gardens so I guess we’re all stuck in Spean Bridge.
Wouldn’t you have thought there’d be a string of barges making their way up to Inverness, laden with food and other essentials, especially now that all our HGV drivers have vanished. We’ve already been warned not to expect turkey for Christmas dinner because there’s no workers to pluck them, let alone drive them to the shops.
Anyway there was nothing on the mighty Caledonian Canal today except for a couple of small boats chugging along not much faster than me. Tomorrow it’s Loch Lochy which should be much more exciting.