2021

Day 35 – Wandering along the shores of Loch Lochy

Gairlochy to South Laggan, 20Km

It’s not everyone who has a 45 foot girth Sequoia in the garden. Last night’s B&B was built in the grounds of the old manor house and when it was time to crumble the cookie, Colin got the Sequoia. He’d been a fireman in Brighton before moving to Spean Bridge and now runs the B&B with military precision. You couldn’t fault a thing; everything was of the highest quality. And yet it was empty. “I don’t advertise”, he said, “I just take bookings from the walking companies. Normally I’d be full but this year I’ve hardly had anyone”. That’s been the story everywhere. No foreign walkers and Brits too scared of catching Covid 19.

Colin made my scrambled eggs and then drove me the 6Km back to the trail at Gairlochy (which I walked yesterday). I resumed walking and what a fine day I had. Alongside me was Loch Lochy and it looked a picture in the morning sunshine. This is classic Scottish scenery: a Glen, a Loch, some heather and conifers. Even the occasional Sequoia. I was alone. The water glistened in the sun and the little waves splashed on the shore.

I walked along the shoreline pointing my little Sony camera at everything. The woodland was a delight, a mixture of copper beeches, sequoia (giant redwoods), oaks, rhododendron etc. I crossed the Allt Coire Choille-rais and then diverted into the woods to see St Ciaran’s church in Achnacarry. It was built in 1909 to serve the local community and is owned by a charity. Unlike almost all churches nowadays, the door is never locked so I went in, switched the lights on and soaked up the atmosphere. This part of Scotland is the homeland of the Cameron Clan and it wasn’t long before WW1 took its toll on the Camerons and others, as seen on the various memorials. Sadly the monthly service stopped in 2019 when attendance fell to zero and the charity’s funds are almost depleted. One wonders if there isn’t a modern day Cameron who might spare a few pounds to ensure its survival.

Back in the sunshine I continued my woodland walk along the shore of Loch Lochy, crossing a bridge over the Allt Glas-Dhoire Mor. But then the view was lost to thick conifer plantations and the magic went.

I arrived at the end of Loch Lochy at Laggan Locks where the Caledonian Canal resumes its course. A barge is now home to a cafe and bar. The owner made me a tuna sandwich and served a bottle of Peroni to wash it down. I sat on the sun deck watching some boats sailing by and decided, after all is said and done, that going slowly is ok.

Colin’s Sequoia
On the shores of Loch Lochy this morning
I could have sat here all day
Waves
St Ciaran’s church in Achnacarry
Inside the church
No doubt one of the Cameron Clan tending the flock
Sailing up the Loch
Laggan Locks and the Caledonian Canal resumes its mission

10 comments on “Day 35 – Wandering along the shores of Loch Lochy

  1. Maybe you will spot Boaty McBoatface on Loch Lochy. They have a way with words, these Scots.

  2. Are you actually travelling by helicopter? I can’t believe you walk all these miles…

    • Hi Emma, it’s strange how much distance we all cover every day. I bet you’ve walked many miles in the past month, even just walking your inu

  3. Roger Clarkson

    Over a month into your travels and you seem to be going well, keep it up.
    See if you can get a photo of a Ptarmigan or even the much rarer Capercaillie. Not many cats on this trip.

  4. Miyuki

    I love the first picture. Such a peaceful and beautiful place! It’s been more than a month since you started already?!

    • I know! 5 weeks. It seems like a long time but the rest of the trip will fly by. It always speeds up in the second half for some reason. Scotland is so beautiful 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  5. Superb photos again today – I was surprised you use a separate camera? a Sony? I thought iphones/androids were now comparable. So sad that Covid has had such an affect on travel. I think your pilgrimage is the perfect escape – outdoors and socially distanced!

    • The Sony has a good zoom and a bigger sensor which is needed because I print a lot of these pics. In these days there should be more not less walkers unless less is more, of course

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