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.