Years ago I went on a walking holiday from Cannich, through Glen Affric and into the hills, staying overnight at the remote youth hostel and continuing the walk out to the west coast at Kintail. Glen Affric was beautiful, and I always intended to go back, which was just what I did the other day. We went for a sail down the canal and into Loch Ness as far as Urquhart (URkart )Castle, at the start of our walking holiday, and though I didn’t repeat that experience this time, I drove down to Loch Ness, a bit misty it was too as you can see over the wild broom bushes - and through Drumnadrochit to get a photo of the castle which is on that promontory in the left hand photo.
It has a reasonably new visitor centre now, and a view from the car park is fairly difficult to get thanks to all the wild roses and hawthorn bushes growing up alongside the wall, but eventually I found a little gap that framed the photo quite well!
I had to retrace my steps (in the car) to Drumnadrochit and take the road to Cannich, taking a little detour to Corrimony which was where we had a picnic lunch that first day of the walking holiday. About 4000 years ago a rather important person was buried here in a stone built chamber that was duly piled over with stones, leaving a low passageway into the interior chamber. Round the outside stands a circle of standing stones. Presumably the burial chamber passed through the centuries reverently untouched, but the importance of it eventually forgotten. It wasn’t until the 1950s that it was excavated, and the body discovered to be that of a woman… queen? high priestess? It would be fascinating to know!
The car had to be left along the road a bit, and walking towards the cairn, I stopped to take a photo. What happened next was a bit surreal as a long pole suddenly appeared to be rising out of the top of the cairn! I almost imagined the Teletubbies were about to put in an appearance on top of the cairn, but it was actually a camera on top of the pole and the photographer on the far side of the cairn trying to take a photo into the now roofless chamber!!! He laughed when I told him the tale!
I walked round the outside instead, then made my way back to the car to drive into Cannich and down the Glen Affric road. It is a beautiful glen (narrow valley), the single track road winding through woodlands of birch and Scots pine.
Stopping to take photos I was aware of a river running down in the bottom of the valley way below the road level, and eventually I came to a spot where I could photograph the falls – the Dog Falls. Actually, it wasn’t until I Googled the Dog Falls that I found this website, with beautiful photos of the scenery. It seems I missed the best of the views of the falls.
A little further on, is the dam at the end of Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhain (I think it’s pronounced Ben uh Vane) , beside which I was to drive for its entire length. The hills surrounding us were a little hazy but nonetheless I got some views worth showing.
However there’s this website that has loads of images of the area in all seasons! I really needed to be walking the track from the end of the drivable road to see Loch Affric itself.
There was only one way back to Cannich, so I turned around and drove back the way I had come, and returned to Inverness via Beauly…. a lovely day out.
Talk again soon.