Day 93 – Caledonian Canal to Lagan Locks – 15.93 miles

Saturday 23rd April 2016 – 994.39 miles
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Last night’s camp was the quietest yet – no sound and so peaceful.

Lovely still morning with the mist rising from the canal. Yellow gorse coming into bloom gave flashes of yellow all along the way – and yes we are still seeing daffodils; primroses and violets too.
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Easy underfoot and level walking today so we were able to enjoy the scenery as we walked along.
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A high embankment runs along the elevated section of the Caledonian Canal for about 3 miles up above the River Lochy. We reached Gairlochy Lock just in time for a break.
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As we sat at a picnic bench, a Scotland Canals vehicle arrived and we met Markus. We asked if we could fill our water bottle and he offered us a hot drink too. Thanks Markus and good luck with your mountaineering adventures.
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We crossed over and followed the Great Glen Way along the other side of Loch Lochy. We were sitting having a break when we met Alan Brak who was on his way to Spean. He is a writer and poet and also a keen walker and bird watcher – we had an interesting chat for a while – good to meet you Alan. He had just walked on when a couple walked up the path towards us. Their names are Doug and Bev.
They have been walking Land’s End to John o’Groats in six sections over the last three years and now they are on the final section up to John o’Groats. We talked for quite a while about our respective journeys and our proposed routes for finishing our walks. We said our goodbyes and they walked on. It was not long before Dave said “Didn’t we meet them last year at the Falkirk Wheel?” We caught up with them later and, sure enough, they were the couple we met last year – they were walking the fifth leg of their journey from Edinburgh to Fort William and we had talked about their walk and our plans for LEJOG. Now, 12 months later, we meet them again on a path along the Great Glen Way. What are the chances of that?
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The walk took us along forestry tracks for several miles until we reached Laggan.
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Ian and Claire stopped their car to speak to us about our walk. They live locally and were able to tell us where we could camp for the night and they also told us about The Eagle – a bar and restaurant on a Dutch barge moored by the lock. We walked across to the lock and met the lock keeper Scott who showed us where we could camp for the night and took our photo too. As soon as we pitched our tent we walked to The Eagle – just a few minutes walk away.
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What a great place! Warm, cosy and welcoming. Victoria greeted us and we ordered two beers.
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We sat on a huge sofa by the log burner and relaxed. We met another customer Tam who is kayaking on Loch Lochy following the Great Glen Way.
He told us that the headwinds today had made the going quite hard. After a beer we ordered food. Dot had lasagne and Dave chips and sausage. Delicious and all cooked in the barge galley! Doug and Bev, who were staying at the hostel nearby arrived soon after. A pleasant evening.
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We chatted to Victoria about the barge and it’s history and also about our walk so far. When it was time to leave we asked if we could buy a small amount of butter and cheese for our packed lunch tomorrow. She gave us some cheese and butter in a box along with two scones, jam, tea bags and milk too. She would not accept payment so we popped some money in the RNLI and Birds of Prey Rescue boxes. Such a lovely atmosphere at The Eagle and well worth a visit.
Needless to say, we slept well.
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4 thoughts on “Day 93 – Caledonian Canal to Lagan Locks – 15.93 miles

  1. Hello Dave & Dot, since we met you on day 38 we have been addicted to your blog. We admire you greatly and have spoken about you to many of our friends and family. Hope we havent made your ears burn too much.
    We are very interested in the Great Glen Way as this is one of the canals we plan to walk and you have inspired us to get on and do it.
    I think by the time you received this you will have walked 1000 miles CONGRATULATIONS and good luck for the remaining miles.

    1. Hi both. We remember meeting as you walked into Worcester all those weeks ago. We enjoyed chatting and remember saying you were the first real walkers we had met since day one. Good luck to you both in your future adventures.

  2. I remember stopping at the barge last year when I walked through Scotland. Hot food is so welcome when you have not had much for a long time.Keep smiling.

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