Day 17 - Fort Augustus to Invermoriston

Date:9/23/2016 

Location: From: Fort Augustus To: Invermoriston 

Mileage: 8.9 Mi. 

Weather: Cloudy day and cool 

Temperature: 54°F 

Lodging and Cost: Bracarina House 

GPS Location: 57°1253” N and 4°3660” W 

Highlights: Views of Loch Ness (and no monster), large conifer forest 

Summary of the Day:  

I was up at 7:00 this morning and packing up for a short day of only 8.9 miles. I was really glad to see that the rain passed through in the night. It rained so hard last night that I don't know how there could be any more water in the clouds. I met Hawk and Little Pony in the restaurant at 8:00 for a light breakfast and then grabbed the gear and left. Today I pretty much walked my pace and only met up with them a few times during the day. It was a nice walk on the trail, as there was no road walking after we got out of Fort Augustus. The trail climbed up above Loch Ness and it wasn't too long before I saw outcroppings that looked out over the loch. Loch Ness is the largest loch in Scotland and is also the deepest loch at 755 ft. After a while the trail started to drop in elevation and head down to water level but wasn't visible due to the large conifer forest that I walked through. It was like walking through a Black Forest as even the sun was unable to shine through. The terrain stayed low for the rest of the day and finally I got to the road just outside the village of Invermoriston. It was then that Hawk and Little Pony caught up with me and we turned and walked toward the town.

I refer to this as a town but that is a misnomer because the only thing that would qualify it as a town is the sign that says "Welcome to Invermoriston." They only have one hotel and one B&B. They also have a small newspaper and a shop called the Clog and Craft shop. I went into it to look around, and I can spend 20 to 30 minutes in just about any small shop looking and never buy a thing. This shop was so small that I walked in the door and turned left and walked maybe 15 ft. And turned to come back up the next isle maybe 15 ft. And turned right and walked out the door. They had leather goods, mostly leather hats and belts, but not much else. It was kind of a bust, so we all headed up to the hotel And I had a cup of tea and a bowl of Potato and Leek soup. I nursed that along for about 30 to 40 minutes and by then it was about 2:50. We thought that check in time was 3:00, but now it had started to rain and we walked up to the B&B that we were staying in, and by the way it was right next door to the hotel, only to find out that check in wasn’t until 4:00. So we were off back to the hotel to wait out the clock and hopefully the rain.

I was sitting in the lounge area when a man and his wife were checking in for a few days and he was unloading their car. I saw him bring a guitar in so I ask him what kind of guitar he had and he told me that it was a Gibson J 45 and he stopped right then and opened the case to show it to me. He handed it to me to look at. This would have excited my grandson Ben as he plays and loves to see and play any guitar. Mike told me that he was left handed and I could see that is was a left hand guitar, but it was really a pretty one and in great shape. He told me that he went all the way to New York City on 23rd Street to buy it and paid a $1,000.00 for it. Mike is 72 and we talked about different bands from our time (the 50s and 60s) and when he saw Bela Fleck and Sam Bush with Jerry Douglas play in the UK a few years back. I told him that I used to go to Merlefest in North Carolina and he said that he’s always wanted to go to that. It turned out to be a great afternoon. He did play a little while we were there. He said that if they had an open mike at the hotel that night that he was going to try to play, but I found out they didn't.

Anyway 4:00 finally came around and I headed off to the B&B to check in. The woman said that she had a special room for me, and as it turned out it was on the first floor and in the back part of the place. Actually in was back behind the kitchen. As it turned out this is a great room, it is big with two beds and a big TV and great Wifi. I actually have my own entrance out the back door and I have access to the kitchen. From hearing Little Pony talk, they didn't fare as well. They ended up upstairs and they have three twin beds. I met up with them for dinner at 6:30 and we discussed getting out of here earlier in the morning as we have a 14 miler and it’s supposed to rain all day so it could be a wet nasty day.

The hike is rapidly coming to an end. We will get into Inverness on Sunday afternoon and on the train back to Glasgow on Monday morning to catch a flight back to the U.S. Tuesday. Until then, there is more journey ahead and adventures to have so let the journey continue. 

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