Incredible weather today for your walk. Flat as a pancake it will be.”

The girls wave goodbye from their front porch as I walk up the gravelly drive and onto the main highway. The sun is still hiding behind the mountains of South Laggan this morning. I stop and talk in small whispers to a field of sheep and horses before connecting back with the Great Glen Way trail.

Today I walk to Fort Augustus.

I’ve not mentioned it before, but about a week ago I simplified my attire for these daily walking journey’s. Same shorts and protective under shirt with a rotation of a few t-shirts has been all I have needed. I let go of everything else I brought over. Freeing myself of excess baggage, literally and hopefully metaphorically.

I come to an old train station and follow the tracks for a spell. The movie Stand By Me comes to mind and I hum the tune those four boys sing, sans my childhood friends. A tear runs down my cheek at this thought.

The reflections of the clouds in the water takes me back to my time in the Peruvian Amazon. Ten years ago. The same feeling of blurred lines between the earth ending and heaven beginning haunt my mind as I take in the scenery.

I stop for lunch at a bench next to a Loch Master’s house. I watch him as a boat slowly pulls up and he works the rigs and pulleys that open the Loch and let the boat pass on by.

Carrying along the GGW, the flat as a pancake trail starts to hurt my feet, and I’m only halfway to Fort Augustus. Luckily, more idyllic countryside views take my mind off the pain.

As late afternoon rolls around, I see the beginnings of town and the wonderful craic’s surrounding the area. The charming center of Fort Augustus is on the southern shores of the infamous Loch Ness, and I book a quick boat tour for the following morning so that I can venture out to try and spot the Loch Ness Monster myself.

I watch another Loch open, this time separating the main street into two halves as a bevy of boats make their way through the Loch.

I leave the the center of town and head up few blocks to my cottage for the evening, directly on the Great Glen Way route. I set up some time lapses as the sky looks especially interesting before heading back down to town for dinner. I’m feeling a bloody rare Scottish steak is in order.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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