'The Return Home' and other things.

Fort William Travel Blog

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The Climb Survivors.

It’s the final day in Fort William.  I wake later than usual.  Somebody has let elephants practice break-dancing on my bones in the middle of the night… well, that’s what it feels like anyway.  I do not feel human, but attempt to at least look vaguely like one as I limp down to breakfast.

 

I enter the kitchen and am congratulated by some fellow hostellers for the climb.  I’m mostly unconscious of conversation… but I’m not day-dreaming when the beautiful all-alone’n’far-from-home nubile twenty-somethin’ Japanese girl I’d (possibly) prayed for on day one breezes past me, outta the kitchen, outta the front door of the hostel with her friend and a backpack on her slender shoulders and outta my life.  God dammit!  Why couldn’t you have been here two days ago?!! “Somebody gimme a strong coffee!”.

Cable cars for trekkers, seasonal skiiers and mountain bikers alike up the Ben Nevis Range.
  I take my eyes of her rapidly receding and never-to-be-seen again form to focus closer to home and notice that there’s something white and formal looking rammed underneath the windscreen wiper of my car. “I don’t frickin’ believe it! I cannot suuuuurely have gone’n’ gotten slammed with a parking ticket all the way out here?!?”

 

As it turns out… thankfully not.  On closer inspection  it turns out to be a very sweet and considerately penned ‘thank you & goodbye’ note from Jean, my Skye companion whom I’ve not seen since apologising to her at breakfast yesterday for the hostel’s late night drunk’n’rowdy session.  Neither will I see her again. [her kind and inspiring words conclude this Blog].   

 

Once again Jean has saved me from shallow and fruitless considerations of attractive fellow back-packers.

  I thank you Jean for your company and considered, caring view of the world and the people within it.  Very life affirming.  She proved to me 100% how truly great it just to get out there and see what kind of inspiring and brilliant people are to be found ‘on the trail’.  Good fortune I hope to repeat time and again on greater upcoming adventures in my life… possibly, next time accompanied by a young, nubile…”Okay, okay, okay! Enough already….I’m only messin’!”. 

 

On this final day me and the boys are all fairly worn out from the preceding days activities.  I stumble to the nearest super-market and buy a brand new bottle of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum for Jerry the hostel manager in thanks for his hospitality and in recognition of the fact that we completely cleared him out of booze the other night!

 

Today is much more relaxed.

A silver-locked individual admires the view.
  The boys have their return flight to get from Glasgow later in the afternoon, to where I will accompany them but stay another day with friends in Glasgow to catch up for old times sake.

 

As your eyes (if you’re still reading this?) will be almost as tired from reading now as my legs were from climbing during this trip I will keep things brief Reader and let some photos do the majority of what remains to be said of my wonderful trip to the Highlands.  In brief the gang and I quickly visit the Ben Nevis Whiskey Distillery but miss the morning tour of the facilities so sample some whiskey in the shop and then go on to catch a cable car up on to the far side of the Ben Nevis Range (not actually up Ben Nevis itself).  This affords some more stunning views (at approx 2,300 feet) on what is a beautiful day, including in the distance the rather more menacing and dark, craggy north face of ‘The Ben’.  Quite a Jeckyll and Hyde of a mountain!

 

The majority of the boys are too wiped out to even crawl a few yards let alone anything suggestive of more effort on their part so all excepting me and Gurps head straight back down in the cable car, everyone agreeing to meetup later on in Glasgow.

The north face of 'The Ben' the one only undertaken by serious claimbers and trekkers (accounting for about a quarter of the annual ascents).
  Gurps and I stroll and limp to a viewing point and chill out some more with fabulous Highland panoramas, before a very fine lunch in a fish restaurant right on Loch Linnhe and a meandering drive back through the hills to Glasgow… even stopping and catching my first ever sight of a proper antlered deer by the roadside! J

 

Other things in Scotland happened,

And more wonderful sights were seen,

But that my friends is another story,

Instead I leave you with words to me from Jean :

 

I’m off - my rucksack all the heavier for the memories of our sharings on the trip to Skye! […] Wishes for loads of good things in your life to come, that trip… “Adventure is simply physical + emotional discomfort recollected in tranquillity.

"Ahhhh! Sooooo cute! I want one!" ... steve resists the temptation to go stroke the furry antlers suposing it may end up with him being gored on them!
  May you have a lot of both.   Jean.

 

john1112 says:
great blog!
thanks for sharing

:D
Posted on: Jul 10, 2008
rintjez says:
The note is really inspiring! Thanks for sharing!
Posted on: Jul 10, 2008
Stevie_Wes says:
I agree... she really hit the travel philosophy thing right on the nail perfectly. Star lady!
Posted on: Jul 10, 2008
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The Climb Survivors.
The Climb Survivors.
Cable cars for trekkers, seasonal …
Cable cars for trekkers, seasonal…
A silver-locked individual admires…
A silver-locked individual admire…
The north face of The Ben the on…
The north face of 'The Ben' the o…
Ahhhh! Sooooo cute! I want one! …
"Ahhhh! Sooooo cute! I want one!"…
I call this Cable Car Gear-Cog Ab…
I call this 'Cable Car Gear-Cog A…
Avi makes it clear he aint doin …
Avi makes it clear he ain't doin'…
A warning to all stick-men conside…
A warning to all stick-men consid…
Gurps boards our return cable car.
Gurps boards our return cable car.
WOW! my very own personalised cab…
"WOW! my very own personalised ca…
The north face of Ben Nevis, fleck…
The north face of Ben Nevis, flec…
The Ben in the distance.
'The Ben' in the distance.
Emergency! S.O.S! large people sp…
"Emergency! S.O.S! large people s…
Fort William
photo by: genetravelling