Day 1 of the hike and we were feeling pretty fresh & excited. This first day was 12 miles, starting in Fort William. I knew that a lot of people did the GGW in 7 days, and as it was my first hike of this kind in 5 years, I thought I’d allow myself 8 days, so we could take a day off to wild camp if we wanted to. We also didn’t know what kind of facilities and food supplies would be available (a problem exacerbated by the fact that I needed gluten free camping food – a tall order – check out the ‘On Hiking‘ post!), so we packed enough food for eight days. In hindsight this wasn’t necessary, as there are several good places to stock up (Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit are what I’d call ‘towns’, and even the little villages have pubs serving food – catering for the B&B crowd).
A basic description of the route (mostly canal towpath between the Caledonian Canal and the River Lochy on this day) is in the video diary below. You can get food & water all the way up to Neptune’s Staircase, (a flight of eight locks 3 miles into the walk) and you can fill up on ‘wild’ water (We use MSR Sweetwater purification system) in the woods past Gairlochy. Day 1 is pretty easy, with only 474 feet of elevation climb, so enjoy it while it lasts! Anyway, here’s the video diaries from day 1:
B&B walkers tend to be lodged at Spean Bridge on the first night, and there are no ‘designated’ wild campsites or official campgrounds on this leg, so we just wild camped by Loch Lochy. Amazing to wake up to the sound of gentle waves lapping on the beach.