I was hoping for better weather today, but unfortunately I did not get it. The forecasted showers simply merged into one long one! Besides the weather I was a bit concerned with the lack of any footpath alongside the A82 for the first 4 miles after Corran Ferry. In the end, although it was very very busy I had a reasonable verge for most of the way. However, there were a couple of sections which required great care, especially as there was no verge and little protection from vehicles passing in both directions. I did think of the extravagancies of certain sections of the NCN 78 along which I walked yesterday which had the path width 4m wide for some distance. The A82 really does need a simple footpath for this section of road.
Anyway, I caught the 7:50 #44 bus from Fort William to Corran Ferry, where I got off the bus and started walking back up the A82. The first 4 miles went quite quick as I was totally focused on getting to the start of the footpath further up the road. Through the vegetation i managed to get the occasional glimpses across Loch Linnhe to Ardgour, although the cloud was well down and it continued to rain. Eventually I reached the footpath and made progress into Fort William itself. I regarded reaching Fort William as one of my milestones and I thought I would celebrate by getting some lunch in Morrison’s cafe. While I was eating my lunch I came up with the idea of getting the train to my destination, Locheilside station, and then walking back to Fort William. This meant that I would not have to wait about 1.5hrs at Locheilside for a train back to Fort William. As luck would have it a train was leaving for Mallaig in 30 minutes, plenty of time to finish my lunch. The train was packed with tourists, standing room only.
I informed the guard that I needed to get off at Locheilside, as this is a request stop. The walk back along the busy A830, in the rain was just one long verg-hopping exercise. Although almost as busy as the A82, the traffic on the A830 was far faster because the road had a number of long straights. It was a relief to reach Corpach, which meant a footpath and getting onto quieter roads after crossing the railway tracks and Caledonian Canal. I was looking forward to walking over the recently refurbished Soldiers Bridge, which runs adjacent to the railway bridge as they cross the River Lochy. I finished the walk back in Fort William.
NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:
Distance today = 20 miles
Total distance = 3039.5 miles