2021

Day 39 – The Gingerbread House in the Woods

Drumnadrochit to Inverness, 32Km

Drumnadrochit is the monster epicenter of Loch Ness. There is a theme park (Nessieland) and an exhibition centre. Additionally, there were Nessie cafes, a Nessie hotel and souvenir shops. The inn only served the rather unpleasant Loch Ness lager, my only indulgence.

I ate a Loch Ness breakfast then set off on the final day of the Great Glen Way. At first, the path led down to the Loch but without warning it diverted me up and over the side of the Great Glen and that’s the last I saw of it. Perhaps I should have bought a ticket.

The path joined one of the old Drove roads which took cattle down to the markets for sale to the English in the 18th and 19th centuries. It led me through more beautiful scenery, open moorland and lovely woodland and I didn’t miss the Great Glen.

I met Rose & Matthew again (Rose will walk with me up the coast for a few days) and we walked for a bit until they stopped for breakfast. I continued into the woods and once again a spell was cast over me. Perhaps it was yesterday’s Troll Bridge. The woods were alive with all sorts of strange plants and fungi and I started to see little signs tempting me on. “Coffee”, “Hot Chocolate”, “Lemon Cake”, “Vegan soup” and more. Was an evil witch trying to lead me astray, deep in these woods?

A sign pointed off the path and I followed it to a gingerbread house. Another sign said “Ring the bell, but first complete the contact tracking form”. I hurried through the form and rang the bell. A lady rushed out of the house and said “Hello, who have we here?”. She looked more of a fairy godmother than a witch. I told her I was walking to Orkney. If it wasn’t for the plastic screen I’m sure she would have hugged me. She came from Orkney and missed it every minute of every day. She was brought up on a farm on the tiny island of Egilsay where I will start the St Magnus pilgrimage. Oh, how much she wants to walk that pilgrimage! She disappeared and soon her husband arrived bearing a large pot of coffee and a giant slice of lemon cake. Very impressive as they don’t have electricity.

I forget the ending of Hansel and Gretel which is how it should be when you have to see it every Christmas.

A new canal
The Drove road over the moors
First sign of enchantment
I was soon captivated
The path led me deeper into the woods, past an ant nest
The Gingerbread cottage
A remnant of an old Scots Pine forest
I picked them all for dinner
I’m saving this one for a special occasion
Inverness Castle at the end of the Great Glen Way which incidentally was opened on 30 April 2002, by the Earl of Inverness who is no longer on duty and can’t be mentioned. Good riddance to him

9 comments on “Day 39 – The Gingerbread House in the Woods

  1. Roger Clarkson

    Fairy tales. What next, Billy Goats Gruff or a wolf in red riding hood. Spotted any wildlife recently? (Saw a kestrel here last week).

    • Fairy tales are the very essence of life, particularly in their original form. I doubt I’ll see the big bad ugly wolf but I have ordered porridge for breakfast. I’ve seen lots of big birds but I couldn’t tell a hawk from a handsaw

  2. Vicky Williamson

    Kia ora Tim, Thank you for my regular fix of fantastic fungi. Love the scenery but I’m really looking forward to the wild and woolly scenery that I’m sure is ahead of you. Ganbatte, kia kaha, Vicky

    • Hi Vicky, there won’t be much more as I reach the coast soon. If all goes well, the next stage up to John O’Groats will be impressive. Tim

  3. Tassie Kaz

    Now that’s what a walker likes…a SLAB of cake 🍰 ….none of this dainty sliver of a slice you usually get!
    I hope you enjoyed with the gusto it deserved. 😋
    Can’t believe you hit Day 40 tomorrow… any idea of total kilometres (or miles…I can convert) so far?
    Gambatte.

    • I ate the whole slice, no problem! I don’t know the distance to date but maybe 750Km. There have been many short days

  4. wonderful day for you with lots of charm. And now I’m craving lemon cake and gingerbread 🙂

  5. There are different endings to Hansel and Gretel (like most fairy tales that were originally told rather than written). The good one is that they escaped the witch. You can guess the bad one … stewed up in a big casserole with lots of those fabulous fungi!
    Pleased you escaped with a good portion of cake.

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