Toss the Beer in the Hill

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It’s been ages since I arrived and started volunteering in Banavie.

I had a great time and pretty much enjoying all the works. During the first three days, I had not many tasks to do as there were only 3 to 5 people staying at the hostel. Works usually start at 10 a.m. (sometimes an hour early during peak time) until midday. Jo or Daniel will give me a list on paper of which room needs to have a full clean and which room is occupied. That’s where I’m gonna begin the whole work: Laundering all the bedding, turning off the radiator in each room, clean the mirror and basin, taken out trash bin, hoovering every room, and finally putting new bedding sets, while the four shower and one toilet cleaned by Pablo. I mostly manage to finish the work on 1 p.m. or so then I got plenty of time to do anything else: Writing my essay (which is very very rarely!), walking along the canal, biking to the hill, playing with Misty the dog, or just chilling in the living room.

I would say that Chase the Wild Goose Hostel is so warm and friendly. The view in the neighbourhood is awesome. I have met so many different people every day from so many different places, from Alaska to New Zealand, from Canada to Venice. I make so many new friends and some of them are gonna be long-time friends, I suppose. It was such a fantastic experience! I spent most of my time exploring the town and coming back to the hostel in the night. Guest are usually check-in at 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day.

It was the busiest hours after breakfast time, especially on Easter holiday season like when I was there. People are hanging out in the living room, having beers and planning their trip for the next day, cooking dinner in the kitchen and enjoying their meals in the dining room. The house is super crowded! Yet, I found peace in the afternoon to do my personal things because during this time, some of the guests already checking out in the morning and the rest are still on the road.

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The work list every morning

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Bike with the Lads

It was one sunny day after I finished with all the work, the boys asked me to join them cycled along the Main Road A830 which leads to Mallaig. I definitely said yes although the bike was quite high, but I manage to ride it properly as Brad helped me to lower down the saddle. I warned them to not ride too fast, I wouldn’t be able to catch them up anyway.

Cycling along the Main Road A830 was such thrill. The road is super smooth sometimes cars and lorries drove so fast. We had to be extra careful and keep our way on the cycling path. However, when we cycled passed Corpach, we need to get on the road because of no more cycling path available. We saw a walking track on the right-hand side and we decided to stop for a while to power charge and the guys had a beer. After an hour, we carried on for couple miles and stopped at Loch Eil.

We dropped our bike in the entrance of pinewood forest and walked up to the hill where we could see Loch Eil and Ben Nevis. The weather was sunny that day! We were so excited and stayed there for the next two hours talking and doing nonsense. It was almost sunset when we decided to go down and cycled back home. Brad had a little accident with his bike and he decided to take the train back to Banavie (which then turned out that he get off at Fort William and went straight to hospital because his collar bones just broke). Pablo and I cycled for 4 miles back to Banavie and we stopped for seconds to the sunset behind the hill. It was such a beauty!

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Tiny Town Fort William

Days before I went back home to Glasgow, I spent a day in Fort William. It was early in the afternoon when the wheater seems pleasant, I decided to walk for an hour away from Banavie. It was quite busy that day as people spent their holiday by going to the town centre for coffee or nice foods. I saw so many backpackers who just finished hiking with muddy boots and walking poles. I had nice fish and chips for my lunch and sat down in the small park at High Street.

Fort William is a major destination for tourists who likes outdoor sports: Hill walking, climbing, hiking, skiing (on winter), mountain bike. Beautiful attractions are just minutes to hours away by car and also they are convenient to reach by public transportations. You name it: Glencoe, Ben Nevis (highest peak in Britain!), Glenfinnan, Morar Beach, before crossing the sea to the Isles from Mallaig.

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No Good at Say Bye

Here it goes the last day of me staying in Banavie. The bus was leaving Fort William at 2.30 p.m so I needed to leave the hostel at least an hour and a half earlier. Oh, and I am so terrible at saying goodbye. Seriously, no good at it. I said goodbye to Pablo with a big warm hug. To Jo and Daniel, and to Misty the dog which happened to be also leaving the hostel hours after me. I picked the right time to leave. So many good memories and meeting so many great people. I’ll come back someday soon.

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