Wednesday, September 27, 2006

In Search of Nessie

Having had a long walk in Glen Nevis in the morning we had decided to push on towards Loch Ness to make camp fo our last two nights before heading South towards Edinburgh and eventually home. We happened upon a Invergarry, on the banks of Loch Oich, and the Faichem camp site perched on a hill (more about this hill later) to the west of the village (Map 1).

With only a rather anonymous hotel in the village as a local option, and with the 'who's driving' debate still unresolved, we once again resorted to our trusty steed in our search for dinner. The first section of the ride was a blast, flying down the hill from the farm towards the road. Our original intention was to pick up the Great Glen cycle route which runs through the forest above the main road. However, a quick recce on foot showed that this was not really suitable terrain for the tandem so we decided to use the main A82 along the banks of the Loch.

After 2-3 miles we found we could pick up the cycle route again at the Bridge of Oich (right), using the tow path on the west bank of the Caledonian Canal (Map 2). This tow path lead the rest of the 4 miles with the canal on the right and the river Ness on the left (Map 3) until it reaches Fort Augustas at the southern end of Loch Ness (Map 4).

This is a pleasant town which has a number of places to eat. We chose the 'Lock Inn & Gilliegorm Restaurant' (above) where we both had venison stew and pints of Caledonian IPA, magic!

Outside though the weather was not 'magic' - it was taking a significant turn for the worse - steady rain and driving wind -proper Scottish weather! This was turning into a proper full-on TCA ride! With 7 miles back to the camp site we both put our heads down and peddled, hard, into the wind. 40 minutes or so later we arrived back at Invergarry, soaking wet, and now we had to climb the mile or so up the steep hill, which we had relished flying down earlier, pushing the tandem. Eventually we got back to the tent, peeled our soggy clothes off in the porch of the tent and climbed into our new, and very warm, down sleeping bags. We made a mug each of hot chocolate in the light of our storm lamp on our new 'pocket rocket' primus stove (Billy-Bob & Da you will love this bit of kit when you see it - a micro-burner with piezoelectric ignition, 96g, Ed.) which we had listening to the sound of rain against canvas. Happy Days - now THAT'S why we love being in the TCA!


Route Maps:

Map 1


Map 2


Map 3


Map 4

(Posted by: Al)

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6 Comments:

At 5:32 am, October 08, 2006, Blogger Maalie said...

Had a scan scan of your Scottish Episode in an Internet cafe in Mildura. Will read properly when I get back to Simon's house on Thursday.
D.

 
At 6:20 am, October 09, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

Venison stew - very nice. Now then, this micro burner looks fantastic!I bet that slips into the saddle bag no worries, what is the burn time on that bad boy?

Bridge of Oich!only in Scotland.

B.B

 
At 12:00 pm, October 09, 2006, Blogger carwynfowler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:37 pm, October 09, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

500mL in a little over 1 minute but haven't timed it... obviously will do now!

Oggy, oggy, oggy - oich, oich oich!

:o)

 
At 9:35 am, October 12, 2006, Blogger Maalie said...

Now read it all - quite an adventure. Glad you saw the eagles.

 
At 5:13 am, October 14, 2006, Blogger simon said...

wow!

 

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