Monday, May 28

Coming Down: The Day After

It's funny how even the mankiest public-use shower feels like heaven after you've hiking for ten hours. But such was the case after the climb; most of the ten on our group had decided to spend the night at the hostel again. We were all still buzzing from the climb and it was that strange limbo period where we could do nothing but be excited and happy. After all, work was still a whole day away.

The excitement hadn't quite ended for all of us though. The friend who had missed her train was a bit stuck for somewhere to stay - the hostel was full by that point, and the management refused to allow them to squeeze in with someone else. Still, after a good three hours of toing and froing, the issue was finally resolved, and although it must have been a nightmare for everyone concerned, I just saw it as another extreme point of an already extreme break.

Another example of this was the problem we had with food. Apparently, Fort William is not London. Crazy, no? Us being in a self catered hostel meant that we had to pretty much fend for ourselves; it now being around 11pm on a Sunday night meant that this was a nigh on impossible thing to do.

But even that was fun trying (although perhaps just for me). I was alone in my conviction of being able to find something, anything provided we had the right mindset, and barely convinced a car-full of people to come with me on this mission to feed the team.

After twenty or so minutes of driving, we had no luck. We tried everything, from asking some revellers of kebab shops in the area (there were none) to literally begging McDonald's staff (who were closing up at the time) to spare us some scraps. Eventually we managed to find a 24 hour petrol station (which was a novelty in itself) from which we bought Pot Noodles and microwavable pizza-sandwich things. I suspect that I was alone in seeing this as a result.

Another late night then, with another early start to look forward to. Again, I slept like a baby, but managed to drag myself out of bed in order to pack up for the journey home. We had booked the latest flight back to Heathrow in order to spend the day chilling in Glasgow. In hindsight I reckon all of us wanted to just go home, but we implicitly decided to make the most of our time there anyway. At least we weren't too achy - my calves were a bit stiff, and other people had their own minor issues, but on the whole I was quite impressed at the lack of physical effect on our bodies.

And we did. The drive back to Glasgow took quite a while; there was lots of traffic presumably made up of people wanting to get back before the Bank Holiday ended. I had looked up a restaurant beforehand, and we headed straight there in order to grab some lunch. After that, we visited Glasgow Central Mosque (nice) in order to pray, which then left us an hour or so in which to take in Glasgow itself. The mosque was close to the city centre so we spent our remaining time there, eating ice cream and cookies in an attempt to recover some of the calories we had lost on climb yesterday, while the local youth entertained us with their impressive breakdancing and clowning about.

But then it was time to start heading back to London. Apart from having to pick up only to check in the lost luggage that had eventually made it to Glasgow, the flight back was uneventful. Thankfully: I at least was too knackered for any further excitement. I got home by 1130pm, perfect timing to get enough sleep for work the next day. Bah.

What an awesome, awesome way to spend a Bank Holiday weekend. So yes, August: you had better deliver at least half as much as this one did...

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