After doing Mount Snowdon in Wales. The next on the list was Ben Nevis in Scotland. As we live on the south coast of England it would of been a shame to simply drive up to Ben Nevis tick it off the list and come back. So we decided to stay a few days up in Scotland at the same time. We decided that our first stop should be Loch Lomond. It took us 7 and a half hours to drive up to the shores of Loch Lomond from our home near Dungeness in Kent.
We spent the day travelling around the shores of Loch Lomond and then headed up to Fort William to find somewhere to park the van for the night. As the weather the next day looked perfect for a trek up Ben Nevis. We ended upo finding a car park right near the base of Ben Nevis and the perfect place to stay for the night. We found out it was a car park built for the film crew of the film Braveheart that starred Mel Gibson. we checked out the start point for our trek up Ben Nevis and got a good nights sleep in the van.
We set off about 7am in the morning so that we had the whole day to go up and down and would never feel pressured to push on if we got tired. The path near the bottom is quite easy going and lulls you in to a false sense of security as it soon becomes very uneven for quite a while before it smooths out again up to the half way point.
Once you get past the waterfall which is roughly the half way point you have a little way left of easy going. Then you zigg zagg backwards and forwards over quite rough going for quite a while before you make your final ascent towards the summit of Ben Nevis.
It took us about 4 hours to get to the summit of Ben Nevis. We took our time and by leaving quite early in the morning we were on the summit well in time for lunch.
many a time you get to the summit and think there we go the hard work is done. Only to find going down turns out to be just as arduous as going up. Ben Nevis is no different you start descending and you are working your leg muscles in the opposite direction and they let you know they are not enjoying it. Going down was well over an hour quicker than going up. A good tip that was given to us by someone the day before was to put a 10 pound note in your pocket for when you arrive back at the bottom after your descent. As there is a pub only a short detour away from the car park and start point. This was the best advise we were given. As you get near the bottom and you can see the Ben Nevis inn you can taste that pint of beer well before any of it gets near your lips. And yes it probably was the best tasting pint i have ever tasted. It is a great way of toasting your achievement.
The weather forecast was for fair weather the next day so Tracey and myself decided a trip to Stirling and a look at the William Wallace monument should not be missed why we were so close. We all know the legend of William Wallace. O f which since our trip to Scotland i have found out is more fantasy than fact. There again isnt that what legends are supposed to be. Stirling and the William Wallace monument are a well worth while side trip when in the area.