Ben Nevis

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
1
99
143
Trip End Sep 30, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fort William is a popular tourist spot, mostly because it is situated right next to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. Ok, its pretty tiny at only 1344m high but remember this is the UK, so you are likely to get cloud, rain, fog and possibly snow, usually all in the space of half an hour.
We were pretty lucky with sunny weather and an easy climb to actual views of actual countryside (as opposed to the standard views - cloud and fog, alternating). It was sunburningly hot for most of the climb and numbingly cold at the top though, so we didn't hang around too long before heading back down. The walk from Fort William to Ben Nevis runs through the gorgeous scenery of the valley of Glen Nevis - a bit of a contrast to the bare rocky slopes of the mountain.

The other occupants of our 'cozy' 8 bed dorm were a group of 6 very large Czech men in short shorts and braces. Despite traveling through Scotland, they spoke no English whatsoever - even a friendly hello had them eyeing me suspiciously and backing away. Or maybe that was just me.

For our second day, we opted for some hiking on flatter ground, possibly due to a complete inability of our legs to function on hills after Ben Nevis. As the town is situated on the side of a loch, we followed this around for a way to the ruins of Inverlochy castle. This took us over to a completely different, and otherwise hidden side of town - the council housing estates. Apparently Fort William is a place where a lot of recovering heroin addicts and single mothers (or possibly both) are moved due to available government housing... lets just say that that side of town looks wildly different and leave it at that. The people are actually a lot friendlier though. Further along the river is Neptunes staircase - a series of 8 locks in the canal as a means of going uphill (or downhill) by 19m, taking the best part of a day to get a boat through. Which has destroyed any desire I might ever have had to cruise a boat around the waterways of Scotland.

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