Saturday 4 June 2011

Our Next Adventure...Scotland!

After Finland we said we had a few things planned for this year. Next up is the ITEX Walk challenge, but this is a challenge not particularly an adventure!

In July I (Sarah) turns 30 and while I’m looking forward to a party I wanted to do something different as well. Our initial plans were Kilimanjaro, but a few issues mean that is no longer happening (just yet anyway… but watch this space!) So, still keen to get out walking we’re heading north to Scotland for a few days on West Highland Trail, a trek up Ben Nevis and some Ice Climbing (plus whatever else we can squeeze into our time there!)

The trip will start with 2 days indoor climbing at The Leeds Wall. Having done a taster session here last year we were really hooked on climbing and have been looking forward to doing more since (it’s just really expensive in Jersey!) so we’ll learn so more techniques and get a step closer to being able to climb by ourselves!

After a party on the Saturday afternoon, it’s going to be an early-ish start on the Sunday to catch the coach from Manchester to Glasgow. We got a great deal through Megabus- £6.60 one way (compared to £80+ with other coach and train operators!) and a night in a Premier Inn.

Monday morning is another early start- the 7am coach to the Bridge of Orchy, where we have chosen to start our walk from. We would have loved to do the entire West Highland Way, but with limited holiday time we decided that we’d do the last section and have a few days in Fort William. We both saw the trail last year when Ben was doing the Ride Across Britain (Ben from his bike and me from the car) I instantly decided it was something I wanted to do, and with more time permitting another time, I’m sure we’ll go back to complete the entire Way.

So day one is Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse, where we are going to spend the night at the Kingshouse Hotel. We’re looking forward to hopefully seeing the deer early the next morning that come for breakfast at the hotel. It seems to be a fairly flat part of the walk and should be easy going, although we are crossing the wild and remote Rannoch Moor, so we’re hoping for some ok weather for the first day!

Day two, will start with a (hopefully!) good breakfast at the hotel, then we will be out of the door as early as possible for the next part to Kinlochleven. Again, it looks fairly easy going apart from the Devils Staircase at Glencoe. The scenery around Glencoe left us absolutely speechless last year when we visited and we can’t wait to get among the mountains again!

Beautiful Loch Linnhe

We’re spending the night in the cabins at the Macdonald Hotel. They are basically garden sheds or adult sized play houses with bunks to sleep 4, a heater and a veranda ideal for cooking dinner! Set in the valley at the end of Loch Leven, it is a fabulous setting but with stagnant water also a haven for the famous Scottish Midges- this time we’re going to be prepared!!!

Day three of the walk is a steep ascent out of the valley and along the forest paths to the end of the walk and Glen Nevis where we are staying at the Achintee Farm Hostel and looking forward to a pint across the road at the Ben Nevis Inn!

We’ve elected a rest day (although we may be tempted by rock climbing or possibly a train trip to the beautiful West Coast) before tackling Ben Nevis. We’ve opted for a guide, even though we are taking the tourist route, as although we have spent plenty of time snowboarding in the mountains, we have been warned the summit can be fairly dangerous in bad weather. Also, it will be great to hear local knowledge and information, so hopefully we will confirm details of our guide soon.

Our last day in Fort William we have booked an ice climbing session in the morning at the Ice Factor. We both loved the experience in Finland and are hoping to refine our climbing skills with a private session!

The last two days are going to be camping just north of Stirling at Comrie Croft with my parents. The place looks beautiful and I’m looking forward to heading out on mountain bikes along the trails.

Our flight home has been made fantastically easier (and cheaper) by a new route from Glasgow to Jersey with Easyjet. We’ll even be back in time to do half a day at work, giving more time for the next holiday!

We will be blogging as much as possible, every evening time and Wi-fi/ 3G permitting as well as Tweeting as we go. We’re also hoping to have a GPS tracker so you can

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