I am back in my home town after another hot day at Loch Ness. In fact, when I woke that final Sunday morning, the inside of the test was quite sweltering. Looking back, when I walked along the Foyers beach on Thursday evening, I was alone. Come Saturday night, the camp site was full and the same walk at the same time encountered various groups involved in various activities.
Some were burning driftwood at beach fires, one was tying up his canoe for the night while another was teaching his young son to fish. The school holidays are still a month away, but the tourist season seems to be well into its swing. One wonders if some people have exchanged the beaches of Tunisia and Egypt for those at Loch Ness? Those around the loch who do and do not believe in the Loch Ness Monster will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of a good season.
One such person may be Marcus Atkinson, who I caught up with at Fort Augustus. Business was doing well and they are commissioning a new boat for the season. They run a big cruiser boat as well as some faster rib boats out to the loch. You may recall Marcus recorded a strange sonar reading a while back which hit the headlines. To this day, he says he does not know what it was and despite repeated visits to the same spot, it has never appeared again. However, he had no new Nessie news for me and things seem pretty quiet just now on the monster front.
One other thing that happened on the final day was the heat haze I saw on the road between Foyers and Dores. Going back to land based sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, a sceptical theory suggests the Spicers saw otters in a heat haze. Now I had the opportunity to assess one. It was visible about one hundred metres ahead of me. I was higher that the heat haze but my dashcam was not on to record it. I reversed and turned the cam on, but the sun had gone behind a cloud and the effect was gone. I will mention that particular phenomenon in a later article.
Meantime, the game camera I had strapped to a tree on early April had taken over 10,000 pictures! This is a new model I am trying, so clearly the configuration needs some tweaking. I decided against leaving a camera at the loch over the tourist months. After all, it will take me that long to get through those images! I will be planning on deploying a lot more cameras around the loch come September.
Finally, I was asked about camping around Loch Ness. I know of at least three camping sites by the loch. There is the one I use at Foyers run by the Forbes. You can read about it here. I like it because it is right beside the loch (you can heat up beans whilst watching the loch), is new and clean and is on the quieter side of the loch (which I prefer).
I have also used the Cumberland's Campsite which is just outside Fort Augustus. The River Tarff runs past it and it is a short walk to Borlum Bay from there. It's a bit further from the loch for me and not on the south side of the loch. I am not sure what else is available in terms of pitching a tent, others may wish to "pitch" in.
In terms of wild camping, I have seen various tents dotted around the lochside. One place I invariably see tents is alongside the River Foyers a couple of miles away from the loch. I have also seen them along the beach at Port Clair and along the Dores-Foyers road. To be frank, a lot of tents could be there, but you just won't see them from the road. My own tent is a six person tent that would not even fit onto the tight shorelines. Wild camping may be a better option for smaller tents.
That's it, back to normal blogging!
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