Autumn in Orkney by Isla
Hello from a very autumnal feeling Orkney. I mentioned last time I was close to finishing my Nuuk Sweater! Well I did finish it a few days later. I had a funny feeling I was not going to win at yarn chicken so I decided to add in a second which I think has worked well. I am thrilled with how it has turned out and it will be perfect for the cool summers we get here in Orkney.
I spent an amazing seven nights away in Tam the Van last week in Glen Nevis, near Fort William. Glen Nevis is the valley in which Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Great Britain at 1345 meters, is located. Unlike my previous trips in Tam, this time I decided to stay in one place with the idea of enjoying plenty of walking, knitting and reading time. I packed two new projects to cast on (a jumper and a pair of socks) and Nan Shepherds Living Mountain to read. The weather was absolutely perfect - sunny and warm with clear blue skies which meant lots of time sitting outside with a cup of tea. The view from Tam was beautiful so I spent probably more time just gazing up the mountain rather than actually knitting or reading. Despite my book and project bags both being outside with me. But there is nothing wrong in just enjoying the moment is there.
The campsite where I was staying was just a few minutes walk to the start of the ‘straightforward’ route up Ben Nevis, following the Mountain Path. So after a relaxing Sunday exploring the town of Fort William, the following day saw me packing up my rucksack with lots of food and drink and pull on my walking boots and join the many others in the long and steep walk to the summit. For just over half the distance the path, while steep in places, was mostly made from large rocks turned into steps making it fairly even under foot. However, after Red Burn the path turned into scree and the going got even tougher. When I eventually spotted the summit a huge smile broke out on my face and I am sure I gave a little whoop of delight and satisfaction. At the top there was a Trig Point where I took a selfie before enjoying a well earned bar of chocolate and a can of diet coke.
Retracing my steps back down seemed a lot harder then going up but the amazing views and the promise to myself of an ice cream and a cold beer kept me motivated. I made it back down safe and sound seven hours after starting out on the walk still not quite believing that I had just climbed the highest mountain in Great Britain. Apart from feeling hot and tired I really did feel on top of the world!
Until next time
If you would like to see more of Orkney and what Isla is up to, you can find her on Instagram as @islap1k1.