Her anxiety melted away and she visibly brightened to the idea. We had plenty of time to lay in the tent that night and go over the FWA and where it was and what it meant to our plans and what to expect from the new route, in this case a considerable amount of road and hard surface walking. The good news however was that we were literally camped at the FWA split point. Turn up to Kinbreak bothy was the point that I was to decide to make the climb or turn down and along Loch Arkaig, the route being just a hundred feet below us on the road that passes the Glendessarry Lodge. The rainbow from last night was pointing us in our new direction. I further recognized that from this point on I would include Vicky in the map reading and decision making. It wasn't that I specifically keep her away from it, but she was concentrating on preparing physically and mentally for the trip, it seemed like an unnecessary extra burden, but having an idea of where you are going and how long it should take can have a calming effect and relieve additional anxiety.
So today we just walked! We packed up early and dropped back down to the road in front of Glendessarry Lodge and turned east. Our job today was just to walk as far as we could. there was no elevation or bogs or rocky roads. Our path would take us along Loch Arkaig then Loch Lochy and the Great Glen Way north east toward Ft Augustus and Loch Ness tomorrow.
With the pressure lifted we were able to walk and talk and enjoy the scenery for the day. We stopped at the old Garrison ruins on Loch Arkaig for some pictures
This yellow flowering plant was everywhere in Scotland. It looks beautiful but don't get too close it has very long and pointy thorns.
A song bird perched on a fence post refused to fly away until I took its picture
We counted stone walls (above) and lovely Scottish cottages (below) along the Lochs all day.
I was surprised at how many Challengers we encountered today. It seems we were not alone in taking our FWA as many Challengers reported it to be just too wet underfoot or too windy up high for safe travel.
I was secretly glad we chose this route today, mostly for Vicky, but I was enjoying just mindlessly walking today as well.
Several of the cottages had lovely gardens and we stopped to smell the flowers and admire the colors.
While we didn't see many hooved animals today, this could be the reason. In Scotland they take their cattle guards very seriously. No bovine or any other hooved animal would be crossing this gate and we had to take care not to twist an ankle as well.
Eas Chia-aig WaterfallsWalking close to Clunes we encountered an enchanted land of green with parks and waterfalls and more old stone walls clingy with moss. It is also the moment when the overriding smell of spring hit me for the first time and I would look, and smell for it, the remainder of the trip- Honeysuckle!
We had hoped there would be a B&B in Clunes and if so we planned to take advantage of it. At the very least we hoped to find a convenience store or grocery store to buy good food for dinner tonight. It had been a long day on the road down the Lochs and I estimated we had done about 15 miles to this point.
I probably didn't mention I didn't have maps of my FWA route except on my phone and that had died yesterday because I had dropped it into a cold stream and drained the battery..... so I was also looking for a place to charge my phone as well.
(Above) View of some Munros (peaks higher than 3000') as we started the Great Glen Way
There was nothing in Clunes but a sign post and maybe 7 or 8 houses. We spoke to a local that told us that there was a campsite about 3.5 miles down the Great Glen Way. We sat down to have a late lunch at a picnic table and discuss our next move.
We really didn't want to go any further but felt like we needed to press on a bit farther and if there was an established campsite it might provide the most comfortable nights sleep. So we pressed onto the Great Glen Way, northeast, which was our direction anyway.
about 3 miles into the walk up the G.G.W we encountered 3 bicyclists. We ask them how much further to the campsite and they replied the only campsite they had seen was 5 or 6 miles up the Way.
(remember this as it will be important tomorrow!)
Sore feet, but a great rebound day from yesterday.
Do we look at bit "knackered" :-)
20 miles in 9 hours
Elevation profile for Day 3