When I was in my taxi heading to Kinolochleven, the conversation somehow turned to be about the Great Glen Way route. The driver wasn’t a big fan of this walk, calling it akin to taking your dog on a Sunday stroll through a park.

I smiled politely, not telling him that I planned on walking this route after my West Highland Way and Ben Nevis climb. A leisurely week long stroll through a park sounded nice after what I had just put my body through.

The beginning of the walk was nothing spectacular. I pass by a McDonalds and cut through a parking lot of a grocery store to find myself at the start of the trail. The weather is perfect today, nothing but high clouds, a light breeze and warm temperatures.

A steam train passes by me, one straight out of a Harry Potter film. A gentleman is fly fishing in the river, the sheep give me friendly, curious looks as I move through the fields. Abandoned ships occasionally line the shore.

I find that I pass right by the launderet I used a couple days earlier, then I come to my first loch. I watch with intense fascination as they raise the water to let boats continue their journey. I learn that the waterway connects Inverness to Fort William, in similar fashion to the Panama Canal. The trail follows this waterway for most of day one.

The reflections of the clouds in the water remind me of my time in the Amazon ten years ago. This day one walk is long, but certainly not boring, at least not to me. I’m enjoying the simple path, and the unexpected quiet. Hardly any others walkers are to be seen, only the rare bike rider or group of runners training.

I come to the point where I need to leave the loch and head towards my night’s accommodation in the village of Spean Bridge. I did have the option of calling ahead and my host would come pick me up, but the map shows it is only another 2-3 miles so I decide to walk it.

I hadn’t gotten lost yet on my walking journey’s, but that kind of confidence can easily knock one down a peg or two. I tried and tried to find the path through the woods, but failed. The weeds covered the path entirely, and I found myself getting stuck repeatedly in bogs that would cover my boots in mud.

I decided to leave the woods and head back up onto the lone road and try and find Spean Bridge that way. As I reach the tarmac, I check myself out thoroughly to make sure I didn’t get any ticks.

The road lets me appreciate this area fully, from the highlands in the distance to the rolling fields and farms dotting the landscape. I see a memorial marker, and then find a more well marked trail sign leading one to Spean Bridge. I must be on the right track now, right?

I come to the remains of Spean Bridge, and eventually the village itself. I grab a lovely meal at the Old Train Station, enjoy a sunset walk back with a double rainbow in the evening sky, then watch the night fill with twinkling stars as I fall asleep with the bedroom window open.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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