I had two rest days in Fort William after my West Highland Way walk. My first morning starts out with quite a downpour, and so I get some help calling a taxi to take me across town to the local launderet. I desperately needed to do laundry. Just as the taxi arrives the rain lets up.

The launderet was only three or four miles from where I was staying, so I fare my driver good day as I decide to walk back.

I enter and unload my backpack and stuff everything that needed washing into a tub. The ladies working the launderet give me bemused looks, as I’m certainly not the first hiker they’ve encountered. I’m told it will be about 40 minutes in the washer, but I can get a coffee and a pastry at the shop next door. I take a book and head over.

I’m enjoying my morning sipping coffee in front of the store window as my clothes go through the washer and then tumble dry. The book I have holds my interest, and I savor this kind of freedom that I rarely get.

I stuff the clean clothes back into my pack, the smell makes me smile. I start the slow walk back, looking forward to strolling through Fort William.

I take in the beauty of small graveyards that I pass, mixed in with old churches and more modern shops for outdoor enthusiasts. Sheep grazing on small hills, the ships that move along the coastal waterway.

Above it all though is a omnipotent presence that looms over everything. The mighty Ben Nevis. Clouds swirls around this mighty mountain, hiding it’s true height and stature.

I marvel at the great mountain as I walk, preparing myself for my second rest day in Fort William. The day I attempt to summit the great Ben.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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