DAY 7 Thursday 25 Sept

Kinlochleven to Fort William 14 miles

Edencoille breakfast was the most voluptuous we had in Scotland. First, porriage all around, then I had smoked salmon w/scrambled eggs while everyone else had the local fresh trout (10 in. long). We could only eat half our fish. There was also fruit, melon, cheeses, sliced meats, biscuits and jam. A sign sternly said “no food to leave this room” and they meant it. We had an early breakfast at 7:30 with the idea of getting an early start on the 14 miles to Fort William, but we couldn’t get out until 9:20.

Is this all for me?

Chris still has a problem with his knees, so he has decided to take the bus to Fort William. Peter and Naomi and I get lunch food at the co-op grocer and we start up into the hills. Its a long ascent to 1000 ft through a sunlit birchwood. Then, above the valley, the path is fairly flat giving nice views of Loch Leven. We pass quite a few walkers going up over the pass including our friend Pete. We won’t see him again.

Glen of Lairigmor

Anybody home?

On and on through the glen

Allt na Lairigmor

After the summit, the glen stretches ahead with mountains on both sides, quite impressive in a bleak sort of way. We descend gently to the ruined house of Tigh-na-sleubhaich where we stop for Bray’s feeding and playtime. Today, Chris has taken Peter’s backpack. Peter and Naomi are alternating carrying Bray and the daypack.

After passing the second ruined house, Lairigmor, I was looking forward to walking through forests as shown on the map, but we were very disappointed to find only tree stumps on a desolate land. It had all been clearcut. Eventually, we did find a beautiful, green forest and found a lovely spot to stop on the edge of a stream and do the baby routine again. Here we met a New Yorker who had just finished school in Edinburgh and was seeing the country before going back to the states. From here, it was mostly downhill for two hours to Fort William. Traversing around a mountain with Ben Nevis directly across, we could see the paths that we will be on tomorrow, but the top is covered in clouds.

Ben Nevis first view

See path up Ben Nevis

Finally, in town, we stop at the “End of West Highland Way” sign for photos. Sorry Chris, no photo for you. You didn’t finish. On to Guischan House where we find Chris asleep in the room. He had enjoyed shopping and eating and just spending time in the “big city.”

Four of us made it

Peter and Chris have to go to another hotel to pick up the baggage. Travel-lite delivers only to their depot/hotel in Fort William. Strange! They are the only baggage carrier that does not pick up bags at your b&b in Milngavie or deliver to your b&b in Fort William. Needless to say, I would not use them again or recommend them. After coffee, cleanup and all those little things you do after a day’s walk, we all go into the town center, lots of shops and restaurants. Everyone wants to go Indian, and we do. Its good but the food needs more spice and flavor, obviously catering to Scottish palates. I had a vegie biryani (getting my rice fix) and Tennents ale. Stopped at a Spar grocery for some energy food for tomorrow’s climb up Ben Nevis plus a Rioja wine for a celebration afterwards.

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