Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 — 19km / 12miles.
After breakfast I said good-bye to Alison – who’d arranged a taxi to take her to Inverness airport – and headed to the Drumnadrochit Hotel’s coffee shop for a latte before starting the actual walk for the day. There was no rush as I had to reach my pick-up point at Blackfold at a certain time that afternoon. As there was no accommodation at my destination for the day, I’d be taken back to the Benleva that afternoon; and then the next day I’d be taken to the same point to continue walking the last section. So no need to arrive early as it would simply mean waiting for my transport. So plenty of time for a latte.
Leaving the ‘outskirts’of Drumnadrochit village behind, the trail went up the hill through some grassy fields before entering a dense forest. There were some glimpses of Loch Ness, looking back to Drumnadrochit and Urquhart Castle. With the way my arrival and start times worked I had no opportunity to visit the Castle this time. I’d been there years ago but only have distant memories of it; hopefully I’ll be back some day. The path climbed gradually through the forest, then undulatedg for a while before climbing further on a clear-felled slope. Here the trail really veered away from the loch. The track meandered on towards another stretch of forest but before I reached that relative shelter I experienced my first real downpour of the walk. It only lasted about 45 minutes and with the sun coming out again after, my clothes dried again quickly. It was fairly level and easy going from there on. At one point the trail went through a kissing gate onto a narrow, well marked path, with numerous signs promising fresh coffee and tea. And lo-and-behold I came upon the delightfully quirky Abriachan Café and Eco-campsite. I enjoyed a pot of freshly brewed coffee and could eat my own sandwiches. It was the perfect place and time to stop as it started raining again, and, I’d scored one of the tables under cover. The rest of the days’ walk was ok, nothing spectacular, rather flat and a tad boring (some stretches of road again), and about 40 minutes out of my pick-up spot I got drenched once again. Luckily the driver was already waiting for me as he’d checked the forecast and didn’t want me to have to wait in the rain. Very thoughtful as there was nowhere to shelter at Blackfold. We left there at 4pm and 30 mins later I was back at the Benleva Hotel.
After freshening up and hanging my wet clothes up to dry, I strolled back to the Fiddlers Highland Restaurant for another serving of their delicious smoked fish and potato chowder.
This was the only significant rain I had on this whole walk, so nothing to complain about. The previous ‘drizzle’ episodes really were neglectable.