The Great Glen Way (Chapter 5) From Spean Bridge to Drynachan cottage

After breakfast, Colin drives us back to Gairlochy after we buy some sandwiches and drinks in Spean Bridge.

We thank him and begin again. We plan to walk 22km. Our route takes us along the north shore of Loch Lochy. The loch’s water is dark grey, the same colour as the sky.

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Again, beautiful trees are all around. There are even some sequoias. The land here smells fragrant. There is bog myrtle and heather. Again, we stop to make tea. Then a girl with a bike stops and says hello. Behind her, her little dog follows. The girl begs a favour. ‘Could you help me put my dog into my rucksack?’ she asks. I hold her rucksack and she drops the little dog into it. Then she puts the rucksack on her back and happily cycles away. Facing forward, the pug has one paw on each of the girl’s shoulders. Its head nuzzles the girl’s ear…

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We arrive in Laggan. We have accommodation booked at Drynachan cottage in Invergarry. Neville from Drynachan cottage comes to pick us up. The cottage is beautiful. Some say that Bonnie Prince Charlie stopped and rested here in 1776. When we enter Drynachan cottage, Sonia, Neville’s wife, greets us. She shows us the lounge. A large DVD collection fills one wall. ‘There’s a DVD player in the room,’ she tells us. I choose Hitchcock’s North By North West, one of my favourite films. After dinner, I open the window a little and begin to watch the DVD. My eyes start to close…

Suddenly, something wakes me up. A black thing swoops past my face. I jump up. Was I dreaming? No, there’s a bat in the room! But now it has gone. Where did it go? Then I see it next to the kettle. It has landed and crawled behind the biscuit tin. As carefully as I can, I put a plastic bag over it, open the window more, and gently drop the bat out.

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