Brad got up early and caught a beautiful sunrise over Loch Oich. We had options to canoe, walk or bike the first part of the day, and some folks chose each option. Brad and I set off with Nan and Dave for a bike ride along a cycle path on an old rail line.
We tendered over with Robby, the best boat boy in the Great Glen. The bike path was very nicely done, but unfortunately, we ran into a downed tree. Nan and Dave chose to go through it, while Brad and I went around, but we all made it to the other side and carried on.
We met the barge at the bridge over Loch Oich. There was a swing bridge for cars, pedestrians and boats, and there was also an interesting pedestrian only double cantilever bridge. We watched as Ros Crana made her way through, preceded by a family of swans.
Shortly past the bridge, we came to Cullochy Lock, which is the first lock where we were going down in elevation rather than up, having past the mid-point of the canal system. Ros Crana is the largest size that could go through the locks on the Great Glen, and you can see, as Nan said, one more coat of paint and Ros Crana wouldn’t have made it through! Robby, the fabulous bosun, made sure all was well, though.
Lunch was once again very delicious … Fresh pea soup with homemade pesto bread, an egg dish that was kind of like crustless quiche, sun dried tomatoes and peppers, and a lovely tomato, onion and mozzarella salad. Simon also made some marmalade muffins, which were nice and hot just out of the oven when we came back from our bike ride.
For the afternoon, we opted to ride the bikes again along the very nicely paved path. Nan and Dave continued the journey half-way with us. At the mid-point, some folks decided to walk up the “wee hill” to get a better view of the scenery, but we carried on with the bikes. This stretch of the path is between the canal and the River Oich and at different points along the way you can see both bodies of water.
We biked into Fort Augustus and had a chance to walk around the town a bit before the Ros Crana arrived. Brad found the Internet and checked in on his email while I worked on the blog. Then he disappeared … I suspect to the Bothy.
The international canal association meeting started today in Inverness, and some of the participants made a field trip here to watch our barge go through the lock staircase. Martin and Robby washed the boat and everything.
Here’s your first view of Loch Ness … We are searching for Nessie now.