The following morning at breakfast in the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel I got chatting to a German my age who’d been climbing all the Munros since the 70s. H'ed dome most of the 280 odd and I wondered he didn’t have enough peaks to amuse himself with in Barvaria.
I also got chatting to a French woman walking the West Highland Way alone, camping here and there in spite of the midges.
As I left (in the rain) I finally saw the North Face of Ben Nevis fleetingly…
My cycle along the A92 was not a pleasant one, with a strong headwind, rain, heavy traffic, a rough road surface and no hard shoulders. All the motorists were polite nevertheless and gave me space.
By the time I recfhed Fort Augustus I’d had enough and decided to follow the Caledonian Canal. Alas it turned out to be pot holed and gritty and as I later discovered caused me brake and gear cable problems.
The locks at Fort Augustus we interesting though, connecting the two Lochs. A large Sydney registered yacht was passing through with a large audience on the canalside. I presume ocean going yachts are able to enter the western firths, pass through the Lochs and exit into the North Sea.
After Fort Augustus I took to the B roads on the eastern side of Loch Ness. I didn’t realise the first 10km was an unrelenting incline. The gearshift started to groan and I was about to turn round back to Fort Augustus (where I had better options if my gear problem proved serious). I was even starting to look back to the A82’s ‘matter-of-factness’ with fondness. Just then I summited to find three End to Enders on bikes heading south who cheerily assured me I was over the top and that they’d had enough of the A82 too.
After that it was hills all the way alongside Loch Ness and all the way into Inverness amidst the rain and gloom.
As I entered Inverness town centre I stopped at a Backpacker Hostel to ask directions to the YHA. The Hostel Manage was really friendly, printed out detailed directions. It seemed the YHA was uphill some way out of town. In spite of my ‘no more backpacker hostels’ rule, my weariness got the better of me and there I stayed, too mentally and physically exhausted to go any further.