Loch Ness, Caledonian Canal Trail, Great Glen Way and Eilean Donan Castle
Moving on down the length of Loch Ness, with a side-trip to Eilean Donan Castle. Absolutely spectacular scenery. Eilean Donan has a very impressive appearance but unlike the others seemed kind of stuffy… no photos, no backpacks, no entry into most of the rooms.
The roads here are pretty awful and it was a hair-raising ride down the entire length of Loch Ness…. Less than 10-ft lanes, often no center line, nonstop hairpin turns, step stone curbs, sometimes stone walls on both sides, drop offs and rock cliffs, all combined with nonstop huge trucks and buses. White knuckles and no taking eyes off road, while repeating constantly “Drive on the left, don’t hit the curb, don’t hit the bus, don’t go over the ledge”. A two hour side trip to Eilean Donan Castle with even worse road and a lot of narrow one-lane bridges made for very long driving day. Jim deserves some kind of medal for keeping his cool under fire and stress, and I deserve a “participant” sticker for not screaming too often. So far so good – fingers crossed. No major scratches.
Two days in Fort Augustus nice little town with plenty of exploring by bike. Met up several more time with the family on Vagabond headed for New Zealand. We’ve still been blessed with pretty good weather… cold and occasional rain but not nonstop rain. But one night in Ft Augustus it came in an all-night deluge. The canals were overflowing the banks and the locks, and the overflow weirs were raging. We encountered one weir that even late in the day that still had 4-6 inches of fast moving water overflowing the trail. I had a hard time convincing Jim not to “go for it” but it was a very steep drop into the river which was also raging, so he finally agreed.