Walk completed August 28, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 77 – South Laggen to Invermoriston – 19 miles

Multiple choice question of the day: Which of the following went away today?

a. My sore throat.
b. The rain.
c. My sniffles.
d. My spirit for adventure.
e. None of the above.

If you guessed rain, you are wrong. But as I walked back to my B&B tonight after dinner, there were large patches of blue sky above, so maybe tomorrow will be dry. Or maybe only tonight will be dry. If you guessed any of the others, well… I’ll let you know tomorrow. We’re still working on the songs from yesterday, and I want to give everybody a fair chance to participate before implementing another contest.

Loch Oich
I will say that today’s walk was far superior to yesterday’s because there were a lot of interesting things to see, despite the rain. The trail started out along a rails-to-trails route through a nicely wooded area alongside Loch Oich. It then joined the Caledonian Canal where there was some activity in the locks. Then it took me to Loch Ness, where I will commence my search for Nessie.

Where's Nessie?
Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness lie along a geological fracture that runs straight as an arrow. Linking the lochs with a canal enabled the Scottish fishing fleet to travel north and south in inland waters and away from the treacherous waters on Scotland’s north coast. Of course, Scotland’s fishing fleet has largely been replaced by Asian factory ships so the Caledonian Canal is now used mostly for recreational transportation.

The three lochs are of different elevations, and are separated by hills, so locks are necessary for boats to navigate the lochs. On the narrow canals in England, the boaters manually operate the locks. In Scotland, the locks are operated by lock keepers. That means that the boaters don’t have to lock up their boats when using the locks to pass between the lochs.

I chatted for some time with a lock keeper, who shall remain anonymous. I teasingly commented that it seems like a cushy job, because there is nothing to do until a boat comes along. Then the lock keeper presses some buttons, and the gates open and close as necessary. The locks operate during the 6-month season, March to November. In addition to tending to the locks, the lock keeper must maintain the grounds around the lock, because untidy grounds might discourage boaters, who are the reason for the lock keeper’s cushy job. The lock keeper did confess to being fortunate to have the job, but disagreed that it was cushy.

LEJOGers Anne and Andy
 Along the way I met two LEJOG cyclists who are coming close to their finish.

Telford Bridge, Invermoriston
Diversity along the trail can make up for bad weather, but I’m beginning to wonder how much more diversity Scotland can have in store for me.

© 2011 Ken Klug


  1. Since the rain is still there, hopefully your sore throat left with some Scotch! Great pics, thanks!

  2. You didn't mention the large wooden bear (carved using a chain saw) on the left in Invermmoriston beside the corner shop. Hope you enjoy tea surrounded by chickens at the curious camp site tommorow.
    Cheers J.P.

  3. Did you happen to notice if the GGW rangers locked-up that stone cottage just to the right of the trail along that section of disused railway?