Day 94 – Drumnadrochit to Inverness

I managed an early start, and was feeling much less stiff after the short day yesterday and all those hours with my feet up. It was a lovely day – more sunshine – and I was looking forward to the walk. This section of the Great Glen is probably my favourite – it’s more varied and interesting, and there are some amazing views.
There’s a steep climb up from Deumnadrochit through the woods, and as I strode purposefully up the track I realised again how much fitter I had got. I wasn’t really thinking about the walk though; today was Rowan’s first day of school and I was thinking about her and feeling very sad that I wasn’t there to see her off. Just then, my phone rang – when I answered, it was Arran and a very tearful Rowan, feeling a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of her first day. I tried as hard as I could to comfort her, but all I could think was ”I should be there”. After the call, I trudged on up the hill feeling very emotional myself, and intensely missing both my children. (Rowan, on the other hand, was apparently fine once she got to school!)
However, things improved as I got to the top of the hill; the route goes past the Abriachan forest centre and I stopped for a break. Then it was a short walk and another break, this time for an excellent pot of tea (proper leaf tea, with a strainer), at the eco campsite just before Tomchoin.
Then it was a lengthy bit of road walking, but with amazing views over pasture and moorland to the big hills in the west (the hills I would be walking through if I hadn’t chickened out of the wild camping route). I felt a bit wistful that I hadn’t been more adventurous, but resolved to complete that route another time (Cape Wrath, anyone?).
There was a grouse shoot going on as I came over the last of the moor – rather worryingly, a sign by the side of the road stated that nearby was “one of the last remaining leks of the rare black grouse” and I hoped that the location of the shoot wasn’t it!
A little further on, I stopped at another information board, and was overtaken by Ian, a guy from Manchester who I’d last seen just past Laggan. We walked the rest of the way into Inverness, chatting, and made good time. I was pleased to find that my hotel room (the Premier Inn, no less!) faced out onto the river, and opted for an early night before a much-needed rest day tomorrow.

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