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Fort William (Thursday)

I woke thismorning not feeling great. I assumed it was just the excesses from the night before but decided later (in a day or so) that it was probably actually from drinking bad water somewhere on the trail. This was the start of almost a week of “not feeling great” (a bit of an understatement sometimes!) which generally consisted of pretty painful stomach cramps (particularly during/after eating) a general feeling of nausea and a fairly upset digestive system (I’ll leave that to your imagination). This pretty much killed my appetite but luckily didn’t hinder my ability to walk too much.

I started the day with a lovely full cooked breakfast (not fully appreciated due to the aforementioned “not feeling great”). My host at the Aldourie B&B, Norma, was kind enough to offer to wash my clothes for me (it was only two sets of pants and shirts, plus socks and underwear). She was absolutely lovely to me the whole time and a great source of conversation in the mornings. Actually, during breakfast tomorrow she introduced me to some other guests (American), one of whom was into rogaining! She also told me a lovely story about how two of her other guests, who were huge Harry Potter fans, had taken the steam train to Mallaig the day before (over the Harry Potter viaduct) and he had asked her to marry him! He had cleared it all with her parents already, she said yes and they were off to Gretna Green to get married that day! (google Gretna Green – it is a place just south of Glasgow that is popular for getting married in)

After breakfast I walked into town, went glove shopping (wanted waterproofs as drying off a wet tent gets quite cold in the mornings) then took a boat tour (Crannog Cruises) down the loch to seal rock. I saw lots of salmon jumping in the salmon farms, a mussel farm, heaps of birds, a lot of seals and a black swan which arrived a couple of weeks ago and has been making itself at home, and beating up the mute (white) swans! For those who don’t know, black swans are very common at home in Western Australia, but very uncommon everywhere else in the world. Like the Canberra pipers in Glasgow, funny to come all the way across the world to see one!

I also looked through the museum which was quite interesting (especially some of the Commando stuff), but I wasn’t really in the mood for absorbing huge amounts of information so probably didn’t get the most out of it. I did some food shopping for the next trip, had some dinner and retired early.

It was a pretty dreary day, overcast and drizzling for most of it, plus some particularly heavy showers . . one when I was on the boat trip! As my “non walking gear” consisted of skirt, light sleeveless top and sandals I was a bit cold for much of the day! That aside, it was a reasonable day, mainly hampered by the aforementioned “not feeling great”.

Crannog Cruises boat . . . very wet!

Crannog Cruises boat . . . very wet!

Salmon farm. The splashes are fish jumping.

Salmon farm. The splashes are fish jumping. It’s also still raining.

Mussel farm (with a lovely view behind it)

Mussel farm (with a lovely view behind it, and some sunshine!)

Seals and tourists

Seals and tourists

Fort William and Ben Nevis (again hidden by cloud!)

Fort William and Ben Nevis (again hidden by cloud!)

Black Swan with 2 Mute Swans in Fort William

Black Swan with 2 Mute Swans in Fort William

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