Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sair feet

More photos are here. A map of the walk is here (terrain setting is useful to view it in).

Well, Wednesday I packed some of my stuff into my backpack and headed to Fort William on the bus, from where I walked the couple of miles to Glen Nevis Youth Hostel. On Thursday morning, I set off on foot from there to walk through Glen Nevis on ward to Corrour, a 20 mile or so trip over all, where I would stay at Loch Ossian Youth Hostel.

Glen Nevis is the glen at the base of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the country. Then a river or big stream called the Water Nevis according to my map, extends south and then eastward toward Loch Treig, and from there it's only a few miles to Loch Ossian. There's a path that runs along the river that I followed (using follow in a loose sense here).

It was a long day's walk. It started out in an area busy enough with other people walking out to see the gorge and Steall Falls. The midges weren't too bad as there was a bit of a breeze, but I did gradually accumulate some bites.

Then as I got farther into the glen, the number of people dwindled. I accidentally got away from my riverside path by following a path up a hill. I should have clued in much earlier that I was going along the wrong path, since I was climbing up the base of a Munro, but I was also quite hungry at the time and not thinking straight. I wanted to figure out where I was on my map before stopping to eat, but not being on the right path sort of interfered with that. Eventually I figured it out and headed back down to the valley, although having gotten a nice view while up the hill.
By the time I descended again, there was no one else around. There wasn't even any midges, it's like they only stayed where the people were. For a few hours, it was completely silent save the occassional trickling noise of water and the sounds of my own footsteps - I didn't even hear any birds for a while.

Just some interesting trees near a ruined house in the middle of the glen.
As I neared Loch Treig, I started to see people again, and then I neared the rail line and trains were going past. The last stretch coming up to Corrour was the absolute hardest - being tired from walking all day, I found I nice, long hill to climb, and not only that the sun came out and the breeze died down meaning that there were swarms of midges biting me as I sweated up the hill.
Finally, Loch Ossian and the hostel came into sight and I arrived to rest, hungry and with sore feet (hence the title), but after a good night's sleep I was brand new again.

View from the youth hostel of Loch Ossian.

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