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Go BackLoch Ness - An account by Stuart Hamilton
From 2nd April 2007 to 6th April 2007, eight of our Explorer Scouts travelled and hiked along a stretch of the Great Glen Way from Fort Augustus to Inverness.

Here is my diary by Stuart Hamilton...

Monday 2nd April 2007

The day started with an early morning Megabus journey from Ferry-Toll (Rosyth) to Inverness. Once in Inverness we enjoyed a quick lunch break before boarding City Link 919 bound for Fort Augustus.

After four hours onboard coaches it was nice to be able to finally begin hiking in Fort Augustus. At 14:15 we began our ten mile hike to Invermorriston Youth Hostel. After a fairly warm, hilly walk we finally arrived at the youth hostel, at 20:50.

Tuesday 3rd April 2007

The plan for today was to hike from our first youth hostel into Drumnadrochit. We decided that 09:00 would be an appropriate starting time. After the steep inclines of day one, the first gentle hills seemed relatively small in comparison!

The day carried on with us hiking past some amazing scenery, not least the hoards of fighter jets that belted along the Great Glen. One such jet even appeared to tilt his wings to us when we waved!

The terrain today was much easier as it was less gravely and more tarmac. Today we covered our 13 miles in little over six and a half hours. The hostel we were staying at that night was to be our home for the next two night as.

While there, we met several people from all over the globe, ranging from fellow Scots to a Japanese couple. As well as such a variety of people; one of the hostel staff was from the Interlaken area of Switzerland, right next to the falls that we will be visiting in July.

The group start their hike towards the first youth hostel

Wednesday 4th April 2007

Today was spent exploring the legend of Nessie in Drumnadrochit or “Drum” as the locals knew it.

The first part of the morning was filled with gift shopping. The latter part of the morning was spent in the Nessie visitor centre. Here we learned many facts about the mythical beast herself, including that Nessie even has a spell protecting her!

In the afternoon it was time to finally get on to the loch that we had been admiring amazing views of for the 3 days. We went for a “Castle Cruise” ran by George Menzies. On the boats sonar we were soon able to realise why there were no padlers in the loch even though it was such a warm day; the base of the loch is virtually a vertical gradient!

On the boat we also had the chance to see Urquart castle.

Ally and Tom are on the right path

Thursday 5th April 2007

Today was our final and longest day of walking. The day didn’t start so well as a member of our party had injured her ankle. However we trudged on down through the forest!

Most of today was spent walking through moor land, which had continual warnings about the extreme risk of fire. On this moor we also reached the highest point of the entire Great Glen Way.

As we neared Inverness we are positive that one of the endangered Black Grouse, which inhabit the area, came very close by us, although, didn’t grant us a proper view of itself.

As the hours went on, the thought of the four star Inverness Youth Hostel kept us all going. Eventually our patience was rewarded and we arrived at the hostel.

Friday 6th April 2007

Today was spent either exploring the shops of Inverness or spending the day relaxing in the Hostel.

At around 4pm we boarded a Megabus and made our journey back to Rosyth.

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