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Thread: Loch Eil to Inverness

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    peterborough uk

    Default Loch Eil to Inverness

    What a trip. Great Glen Canoe Trail with Ben Nevis thrown in for good measure. April 28th to May 3rd. Me and a Proteus Canoe Club mate. A dream trip really.
    Drove up on the Saturday, to Linnhe Lochside campsite, great weather.

    Did Ben Nevis on the Sunday
    My mate drove the car to Inverness on the Monday and got the bus back, I gazed at Ben Nevis from the shore of Loch Eil
    We set off when he got back, around lunchtime, straight from the slipway next to our tents! The tide was going out, or we would've struggled to get through the narrows where this beautiful loch approaches Loch Linnhe.
    Got to Corpach sea lock in no time, with the tide shifting us along.
    Here's Neptune's Staircase.
    Our first camping option, Moy swing bridge. Beautiful, but we cracked on.
    And camped at Gairlochy, stunning.
    A walk to Gairlochy Lighthouse, as dusk fell.
    The next morning. As you can see, we got very lucky with the weather.
    Loch Lochy
    Laggan Locks.
    Back on the Caledonian Canal.

    Onto Loch Oich past this wreck and Invergarry castle.
    To camp at Leiterfearn, which was wonderful and that night, we had the only serious rain.

    That evening, we took a walk to the end of Loch Oich, to see how much water was in the River Oich.
    We were in luck, it was rivers and Lochs from here on in. We made an early start.
    We loved the River Oich, rapids and rocks but only playful.
    This cracking river was in a hurry, and we were at Fort Augustus before we knew it.

    Which, as most of you know, is at the mouth to the magnificent Loch Ness.
    We cracked on, having used the excellent facilities(excellent throughout the trip, well worth shelling out for the key)
    We stayed near the south shore, quieter and the wind was behind us but slightly pushing us to this shore should anything go wrong.
    We wild camped near Foyers, the campsite there no longer taking Great Glen canoeists thanks to the usual few spoiling it for the many. We hadn't seen any paddlers til this night when some arrived and camped across a channel from us. They went on to prove the campsite correct by shouting and playing loud music. We hiked to the Fall of Foyers that evening.
    Set off early to put some distance between us and the pitifully mentally challenged.
    We set off across Loch Ness(interesting even in good conditions). We wanted to see Urquhart Castle, we knew the wind was forecast to increase later so we got the crossing done at a slight diagonal, no messing about. This loch makes you focus, I felt.
    Made it to the castle, the wind now behind us still, but pushing us towards this northern shore. Was about 10-15 mph, with the odd gust.
    Next stop took some seeing to believe. Perhaps some of you are aware, but past the castle and past, I think, the harbour, when the wind was getting up and we needed a break, we found this heaven sent place.
    That we enjoyed for a good half hour or so, thanking St Christopher for 'sorting us out'.
    Possibly the most exciting part of the trip next, but no photos due to us paddling and focusing hard. The wind was up a bit now, and we were heading for that headland with Bona Lighthouse but to get round the headland, we were having to get sideways on to some big waves and swell. Didn't quite make it round so we headed out into the wind and waves to do a slight zigzag which did the job. Was fantastic fun, surfing the waves and reading what's coming. I learnt a lot. Must make quite a sight from the shore, this tiny boat dealing with waves much bigger. We were flying along whilst dealing with this. Made it to Loch Dochfour, exhilerated. Explored the wrecks.

    Shot the first of a few weirs onto and along the River Ness, realising now that we may as well finish today. A miscommunication led to us hitting a rock full on, pretty hard over this first weir. Could've done with a little more water, frankly. Slight deformation of the bow, but nothing too serious(in fact, back at Proteus, in Peterborough for club night the following week, the dent had popped back out!)
    And there we were, Inverness. Three and a half days, hadn't hurried at all, savoured every moment.
    Great trip, unforgettable really, just the right amount of danger, perfect weather, fantastic paddling partner. Had a butchers at the Kelpies and the Wheel on the way home, got back to Peterborough at about 2am.

    Hope you enjoy the video too -

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Nice one chaps! Looks like you mostly lucked out on the weather.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Wantage, United Kingdom


    Looks brilliant- must do it some time.Thanks for sharing.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Shefford, Central Bedfordshire


    Nice blogg, brings back memories and looks like the weather was the same as well.
    Simms ..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Journal Entries


    Great blogg. Looks like you really were pretty lucky with the weather too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Nr Rochester in Kent


    Good blog. Looks like you had a great trip. Love the photos.

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Kettering Northamptonshire


    Enjoyed that....some nice photos too.
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

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