Friday 20 August 2010

Great Glen Canoe Trail

On Tuesday, BT Al, Ian and myself set off in our canoes from the top of Neptunes Staircase at Banavie to begin our 3 day journey to Muirtown in Inverness along the Caledonian Canal. The canal sections are very pleasant, more like a wide river. With a light wind behind us we crossed Loch Lochy easily and spent the first night camped at Laggan Locks. The next days journey included Loch Oich which is narrow compared to the others and very attractive. Fort Augustus was too busy for us and we hurried with the portage to finally make a start on Loch Ness. The waters were quite calm but we did catch a very wet, heavy shower just as we were about to find a suitable site to camp ie about 6 kms north of Fort Augustus on a shingle beach. It was a lovely evening and the last day started fine and calm too. Warm, easy paddling followed to Urquhart Castle where we pulled up for lunch. As we set off across Urquhart Bay the wind got up and a swell developed which kept us on our toes as it were! The bow wash from the big boats had to be watched for too. It added some spice which we all enjoyed thoroughly. Then the final section of canal all the way to the end. It has been a superb trip and one we would do again. All the locks and surrounding areas are well cared for and are an attraction in themselves. There was also lots of wildlife around.