Thursday, 4 September 2014

Scotland: Day 7

View Along Glen Nevis Road
Scotland 2014: Day 7, 4th September 2014
Steall Falls, Nevis Gorge and Lower Falls (7 miles approx. to parking)
Click here for information about the walk

Our last active day before the long trip home the next day. Unfortunately we ran out of time to climb Ben Nevis as its estimated by the advice centre to take a good 8 hours. So Emma decided we would walk to the Nevis Gorge, which is also where you will find the Steall Falls. But before that breakfast at the local Wetherspoons was a must - Emma had the vegetarian breakfast whilst I opted for the large Scottish breakfast. Much like the English breakfast, however comes with potato bread and sausage meat rather than the usual tube like sausages. Very filling...

Now as I told you about our wonderful room facilities in the last post I thought I would share a couple of pictures below. As you can see not the greatest hotel room in the world, but nevertheless one of the cheapest in Fort William and right in the centre of town.

To find the parking spots for both Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis mountain paths follow the A82 from the town centre towards Inverness and at a roundabout you will see the Highland Centre on the right hand side, so follow the 2nd exit (one after the A82) along Glen Nevis. The paths for Ben Nevis will be at the visitor centre on the left hand side. We continued further along and parked up at the start of the Lower Falls.

From here it took about an hour to reach the gorge and perhaps another ten minutes or so until we were practically standing in the waterfall. At the gorge we stopped for a drink and saw a rope crossing to continue the path to the waterfall. Many other walkers were sat nearby whilst others debated whether to attempt the crossing or not. After seeing two older Scottish guys getting across we decided that we would give it a go too. Emma went first and I followed not too far behind (not more than 2 people are allowed on it). One of the guys who had crossed helped us up once we got to the other side.

After a few more metres the path kind of disintegrates temporarily until nearer the waterfall. In the flat areas it is quite boggy, I am guessing caused by the waterfall. Our hiking boots are meant to be waterproof however it would appear that Emma's not so much...

Finally we arrived at the waterfall and climbed as far up as we dared. It was really refreshing standing there, the water actually warmer than what we experienced in the Pyrenees. Emma had debated going further up, but that would have meant getting soaked and I think she wanted lunch by this point. On the way back down the 2 Scottish guys had caught up and we had a bit of a natter before heading back.

On the way back I managed to get my right foot caught in a deep boggy puddle and after grabbing Emma almost dragged her down with me. I decided I would just walk across the gorge rather than attempting the rope crossing again to give me a chance to wash my shoes. Emma was going to use the rope due to the rather non-waterproofness of hers. It was OK though as walking across the gorge mine weren't as waterproof as I thought and so we both walked back with lovely wet feet.

Arriving back at the bikes we decided to have lunch along the river and see if there was a cable car to Ben Nevis. It was around 3pm at this point and so there wasn't enough daylight left really to walk it. Unfortunately there isn't a cable car to Ben Nevis, only one to the mountains in the range which overlook Ben Nevis so instead we went to crystal/fossil exhibition that Emma had spotted in some of the tour leaflets.

Although it was not even 4.30pm we decided we would fill up ready for tomorrow and head back to the hotel to get out of our wet shoes and socks, have a shower and head back over to the Wetherspoons to get a drink, write up this blog entry and have dinner. Plus its nice to relax a bit this evening, get an early night so we can leave as soon as possible in the morning.

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