Trekking NI went on a voyage to Fort William in Scotland to take on the mighty Ben Nevis. Our conquest of Ben Nevis was a relentless yet amazing experience. The luxury of sleep was forfeited for an early rise to sail across the Irish Sea from Belfast to Cairnryan. The lengthy road trip from Cairnryan to Fort William was broken up with stops at Kilmarnock, Loch Lommand and Tyndrum. Afternoon dinner at The Duck Bay by Loch Lommand was especially a treat. We passed through the amazing Glencoe Nature Reserve just before arriving at Fort William. After unpacking we set out for the Ben Nevis Inn where the gang got together for an evening meal and some drinks to relax after a long journey. On returning to the apartment some spent time in the garden gazing into the night sky enjoying the spectacle of the stars. The next morning, we woke up to a wondrous display of nature in Lough Linnhe with an angelic white cloud resting upon the water surface before rising to the heavens leaving behind a blue sky as we set off for Ben Nevis.
Our journey began at the Ben Nevis Inn to follow the popular Mountain Trail. We overcame a tsunami of people as we advanced through a trail surrounded by dense plant life at either side which under the warm sunshine created a jungle like heat. It was great to see a vast variety of people taking the journey up Nevis each having their own experience. The views of the surrounding lush green landscape were inspiring. As we advanced along the zig zag path towards the lough, we began to see into the surrounding mountain valleys which were decorated with waterfalls and rivers flowing through them. We had a break together at Lough Meall taking a moment to enjoy the views and the company. After break, we advanced up the steep zig zag path passing a cool waterfall on the way. Beyond the waterfall, we continued the zig zag path under the glorious sunshine. We formed subgroups as we advanced to the peak each arriving at different times to experience the statistical anomaly that is a clear sky at the summit of Ben Nevis. We enjoyed a pleasant journey to the summit. Together the group sat at the cliff edge to enjoy the spectacular views of the vast array of mountainous landscape surrounding us. The Scottish highlands were beautiful. There was a happy atmosphere at the top of Nevis with people taking in what they had accomplished. Some of the group took photos at the peak cairn and others enjoyed the magical views of impressive waterfalls and rivers in the valley at the far side. The subgroups descended down the mountain trail at different paces and there was time spent chatting, sharing thoughts and giggling along the everlasting mountain trail. At the bottom, we all reunited and spent time together for post hike beverages and chips at The Ben Nevis Inn having the best time. Later in the evening we creatively sourced takeaways before a night out in the town at Ben Nevis Barr.
The next day breakfast was had in Fort William town before we all went our separate ways for different activities; Jacobite Train Tour, Lough Linnhe Boat Tour and Coasteering. Each experience shared in common a taste of Prosecco. The evening progressed with some fine dining at Brown’s Restaurant before a night out in the town which carried on back at the apartment.
Our Ben Nevis trip was a high paced, action packed experience with plenty of laughs, new experiences and the sweetest moments of friendship. The Scottish outdoors are truly beautiful and not to be missed!!