179. Corran Ferry to Lochielside

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.

The A82 – at one of its quieter moments
Approaching Fort William

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:

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=23780

Locheilside Station
The large wood processing yard at Corpach – the destination of many of the logging trucks
The basin of the Caledonian Canal at Corpach
The Soldiers Bridge crossing the River Lochy at Caol
The Jacobite on it’s return journey from Mallaig

Distance today =  20 miles
Total distance =  3039.5 miles

 

 

 

 

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