This section of the walk is really interesting – a different landscape from the forest track of the day before – the walk is first through some beautiful coniferous woodland along the canal, then (after Invergary) crosses to the south side of Loch Oich, following a disused railway northward. Loch Oich has its own character, with views across to the ruins of Invergarry castle, then islands with shallow water and long grasses growing out of it. We also saw several Red Squirrels in this section! There is another canoe stop here near the path, and at the tip of the Loch there is a beach that makes a fantastic spot for a rest/meal. You’ll go through an old railway tunnel to get there, which has clearly been repaired inside so the walls are smooth, with bat boxes placed at both ends to mitigate the loss of roosting opportunities that the filling of gaps in the tunnel represented. A very cool morning.
I’m really glad we opted to do the ‘old’ route, rather than the ‘Invergarry Link’ which would have kept us on the north side of Loch Oich, as we would have missed the awesome views! Afternoon was more gruelling, as it was on canal towpath again (pounding the feet), but we met some friendly lock keepers at both locks, filled up our water bottles and watched a few steam boats pass by as we made our way to Fort Augustus, which was like walking into heaven. With Guinness. We passed through the town, getting our first glimpse of Loch Ness, before camping in the woods.