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Fireweed - Other Trail Journal - 2011

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Mary "Fireweed" Kwart
City: Ashland
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Begins: May 1, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, May 8th, 2011
Start: Lewiston, Scotland
End: Abriachan, Scotland
Daily Distance: 8.5
Trip Distance: 73.5

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 409
Journal Visits: 5,865
Guestbook Views: 422
Guestbook Entrys: 1

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Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Investigating Ness, Urquhart Castle and a Surprise Camp

We almost stayed for a layover day here--I wanted to see Urqhart Castle and visit the Loch Ness Center in Drumnadrochit. Instead we went to the Castle in the morning and broke camp and continued on our way north with a late start.

It started to rain a bit at the Castle--it was very windy. Appropriate weather for wandering around the old ruins and imagining what it was like in the old days. The castle visitor center had a good display of artifacts and an interpretive film of the long and eventful castle history. Ubiquitous St. Columba was here, stopping to give succor to an old warlord on his deathbed, paving the way for later Christian conversions.The castle changed hands many times and was finally burnt to avoid use by the Jacobite rebels in the 16-1700's. Dramatic placement of the castle on the edge of Loch Ness. The deepest part of Loch Ness is adjacent to the castle. The most sighting of the Loch Ness Monster have been around here, according to the Loch Ness Monster Visitor Center that I popped into in Drumnadrochit.

The major uphill of the trip unfortunately happened right after Drumnadrochit, avoiding some pastures home to ewes giving birth. Kiltman was not a happy camper. To top it off the weather tuned more seriously lousy than we had seen it so far. Luckily, when we topped out on forest roads north of Drumnadrochit the weather turned partly sunny.

We had heard about a camp and cafe at Abriachan, but didn't know where it was. Fortunately, the camp and cafe owners had no qualms about announcing the presence of their business with a multitude of signs along the trail. We turned down the side trail to the establishment and were greeted by Rory--a back to the lander reminiscent of people I knew who were homesteading in the Alaskan Interior. The hospitality couldn't be beat--we had a flat spot to set up our tent and were soon in Sandra's capable hands for acquiring a cup of tea and some hot vittles. The wind precluded the usual setup on a table on a small knoll, so we retreated to a table in the open air woodshed. Tom, a Scottish backpacker from Glasgow who was hiking to raise money for Scottish Hospice, joined us at the table. We had a great meal of roast lamb, tatties and broccoli with plenty of homemade gravy.

Entry 8 of 10
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The Great Glen Way

Fireweed

 

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