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Thursday, 31 May 2012

The 2012 Challenge, Day 4: Off Map and On Road (4)

It didn't take long to get to the road, where I turned right for Gairlochy. Lovely views of Loch Lochy soon opened up, and something I had not noticed before (or perhaps it had not been restored to its present state 12 years ago) - a landing craft training facility. The idea was to train assault troops in landing craft disembarkation by building a mock-up on dry land, with a brick and concrete base and a wood and canvas superstructure. They could then practice disembarkation as much as they liked without ever going to sea; and only when they had got it down to a fine art did they have to risk seasickness and German E-boats. There is a little interpretation board telling you all about it, too. That CERTAINLY wasn't there twelve years ago!

Soon after the landing craft, I came to a good well-made path through the woods down to the loch-side. This, too, was new since I walked this way in 2000, and was way-marked as part of the Great Glen Way. Although I was walking in sandals not boots I decided that this looked well-enough made that I shouldn't fear wet socks, so I turned onto the path. I hadn't gone far, however, when it started to rain, and I came upon another walker busily putting on waterproofs and stretching a weather cover over his rucksack. I decided it might be prudent to do the same, so I stopped and we talked. His name was Andy, and he had been up camping and fishing. Now he needed to get down to Spean Bridge to catch a bus to Inverness, as he had a ticket for a coach departing Inverness at 7 the next morning. He didn't know how long it would take to Spean Bridge - but I assured him we should be there by 6, which gave him plenty of time to catch his bus and me plenty of time to get something to eat before catching the sleeper to London. And so, suitably waterproofed, we continued for a while in company.

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