Nina samples the West Highland Way

Posted on Posted in The Adventures of Nina the Nerpa

Yesterday, Nina the Nerpa had the pleasure of touring part of the West Highland Way (WHW). She was very excited about going on part of the WHW as she had heard lots of great things about this  route. The long distance footpath runs from Milngavie to Fort William and covers 96 miles (about 155 kilometres). The path weaves its way through some of Scotland’s finest scenery and is very popular with people from all over the world.

Nina met up with Joann and Yvonne who have been fundraising for the Stroke Association charity by way of their WHW mission. The Stroke Association charity perform very important work helping many people who have been affected by stroke. Nina is happy to share awareness of  the great work that the Stroke Association undertake and the fundraising and physical efforts of Joann and Yvonne.

The section of the route that Nina had the joy of touring was from Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven. This was a section of the WHW that takes in the Devil’s Staircase and the highest point on the way up in the mountains. Since Nina loves adventure so much she was super keen to see the amazing scenery that this part of the WHW affords trekkers.


What a start to the day! Beautiful Loch Tulla and its environs


There was a great view of Loch Tulla to savour early in the day. Nina admires trees and is a big fan of Scots Pine trees. She was captivated by the beauty and elegance of these grand trees which adorned the landscape during the way.


Being a Baikal seal, Nina loves to bask, particularly in natural beauty


What delights await Nina around the corner?

The weather yielded blue skies, sun, cirrus, and contrails that underlined, no doubt, contented aerial spectators. The plane passengers would have had glorious views of the landscape unfolding beneath them.  The delightful weather kept the spirits of walkers on the way buoyed. Accents were heard from around the globe including North America, France and Germany. One of the great things about long distance trekking routes is the opportunity to meet people from many different places. Nina enjoys meeting people from all over the world and learning about them whilst sharing awareness of her special Siberian homeland.

The next section of the trail was over one of the last remaining wildernesses in Europe: Rannoch Moor. This vast stretch of land  offers WHW trekkers an opportunity to savour a sense of remoteness and reflect in a wilderness way. In wilderness, we are able to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and get new perspectives on that which occupies our minds. Mother Nature is a master of enabling mindfulness.


Nina’s heart is captured by Buachaille Etive Mor


Walkers revelling in such a grand vista


As Ranoch Moor peels away the great sentinel of Glencoe will surely  leave an indelible imprint  on the minds of those who have not sampled her grandieur before. Buachaille Etive Mor is a stunning mountain  to see. Nina was captivated by this beautiful mountain and vowed to return to explore this mountain more.


Nina is loving this amazing day out


A cloud tuning fork delivers the perfect pitch in the form of Buachaille Etive Mor


Just how good can it get for a travelling nerpa?


Cloud Fireworks adorn the pitch perfect landscape


Glorious Glen Etive: a feast for the eyes


Mother Nature mixes colours on her palette for yet another masterpiece


The next part of the journey involved going up the Devil’s Staircase to reach the highest point on the WHW. Nina was very curious about what the Devil’s Staircase would lead to. As she sauntered up this staircase she marvelled at the exquisite, exposed rock on Buachaille Etive Mor. To Nina, this looked like a playground for climbing adventures. On reaching the end of the Devil’s Staircase Nina discovered that what lay at the end of it were heavenly views.


Exquisite colour contrasts in the evening sky


The high point of the West Highland Way basked in exquisite evening hues and was a perfect place for Nina to observe the Mamores mountain range on the horizon. This fine natural canvas also included the hulk of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain. Nina’s head had been spinning around all day looking at breathtaking views of such rich natural beauty. The dizzy delights of the day were quite overwhelming for Nina to take on board and offered her much to muse over.


Nina makes it to the high point of the West Highland Way 🙂


Ben Nevis and the Mamores amidst orchestral skies


The day’s journey included views of the colossal Blackwater Reservoir and hydroelectric infrastructure. Nina was humbled to learn of the titan task of how so much of this was constructed by the use of hand tools. The epic day’s route was concluded by a descent into Kinlochleven. Although weary by the physical rigours of the route so far Nina’s  lethargy was lifted by the last dose of landscape. Beguiling birch and the soothing sights and soundtrack of waterfalls  were a fitting finale to an epic day out.


The awesome Blackwater Reservoir looms large


Nina would like to thank Joann and Yvonne for letting her experience a very beautiful part of our world and wishes them all the best with their charity fundraising.

By following Nina on Facebook you can see videos of Nina’s adventures. She can be seen on Instagram, and Twitter too.

Have you been affected by stroke? Please share any thoughts and experiences in the comments.