Distance 17 kms, finishing mid-afternoon.
After another great breakfast the walking begins starting at the Old Fort which is little more than the footprint of the base and a few walls. Across the River Nevis and along the River Lochy we come to the ruins of Inverlochy Castle, which are quite substantial. Despite a bright start to the day it is drizzling by the time we get to Caol and showering by Corpach and we are all in wet weather gear with covered packs.
We stop for a morning tea break at the Moorings at Banavie, an impressive complex given its location. After our break we walk up Neptune’s Staircase (a close packed series of 8 canal locks). In the photo of Neptune's Staircase you'll see the ascending 'stairs' forming a gradual climb for vessels, taking them on average 90 minutes to progress through to the canal above. Also in that photo look for the two masts at the top lock, being two yachts slowly working their way down to Fort William.
We leave the trail to look at Sheangain Aqueduct – 2 arched tunnels carrying water and a third paved tunnel for people and animals.
The weather deteriorates so we ignore other diversions until we get to the Moy Swing Bridge. The bridge is the only original bridge remaining, is manually operated, and serves only 1 farmer. Moy Bridge keeper is now Bob’s chosen career in his next life(!). We continue along the River Lochy to Gairlochy.
Our host Ian was waiting for us, and given the weather, drives Ron, Lyn, Kevin and Pam to our accommodation in Spean Bridge while David and Judith phone their hosts from the “red box”. Tony, Annie and Bob elect to walk the extra 4 miles uphill past the Commando Monument into Spean Bridge. Refreshments are taken at the Spean Bridge Hotel before we check into our accommodation – Coire Glas Guest House.
Ian's wife Gill take our wet weather gear to the boiler room to dry, and washes and dries all our clothes, a generous gesture. The rooms are good, breakfast is filling and Gill provides a pack lunch for those who want it.
Dinner is a wonderful experience down the road at Russell’s Restaurant, where we are taken care of by Robert, one of the owners, and his friendly team of Elsie and Rio (Riohna). The dram and link are taken back at the hotel with Ron.