Moving on from Camas nan Geall, we drove to the base of Ben Hiant – Ardnamurchan’s highest point. On our last visit there we climbed up in the dark to catch sunrise from the top. This time we were heading up at the opposite end of the day, but one thing remained the same: it was very cold and windy at the summit.
We didn’t hang around on the summit for long, preferring instead to walk back down to a lower point that was much warmer and gave us a very pleasant view of of the setting sun.
Beautiful though the sunset was, it didn’t hold Beagle attention for long
Soon after that last shot we continued down the hill to the Beaglemobile, arriving just as the light was failing. My first task on getting the van open and the lights on was of course to prepare two bowls of Chappie for the pups. From this point until the bowls were put down on the floor, Biggles became Ardnamurchan’s honorary Town Crier, proudly announcing teatime to any sheep, deer and humans in a 5 mile radius. We humies had our tea also, but not having my own inbuilt megaphone I was unable to broadcast the event as effectively as my little big-gobbed boy.
By now the Corran ferry service had closed for the day, so we had a choice: spend the night on Ardnamuchan, or just accept the somewhat longer drive back to the campsite. The lure of the showers and our extraordinarily comfortable tent won out pretty easily. What’s more although the drive would be longer, we expected it to be much easier at night; there’d be less traffic, and headlights would provide ample warning of any oncoming vehicles. As it turned out we were mostly right, but a few pesky deer still managed to get the adrenaline flowing.
The next morning I took the pups for a final walk round Glencoe while Susan packed up the tent. Whenever I’m responsible for the first morning walk on a campsite I always try to get Beanie and Biggles through the exit gate before they relieve themselves, but I rarely succeed. Perhaps the urgency in my walk translates into urgency in their lower bodies. Regardless, plot number 13 got doused by Biggle pee, and not for the first time on our little holiday; I guess the number 13 really is unlucky.
After a stroll around the nearby Lochan Trails we returned to the campsite, where we encountered another Beagle. He or she burst into howls of outrage as we passed, but my two trotted on calmly without responding. It’s not often I get to play the owner of well behaved dogs, but when it happens I make the most of it. “I don’t know, some Beagles!” I said, shaking my head as we walked by.
The drive back home passed quickly and soon I was leading Beanie & Biggles through the front door. I unclipped their leads and as usual Beanie immediately embarked on a whirlwind tour of the house to make sure that everything was as she’d left it. While she buzzed around, Biggles drained the water bowl, found the comfiest seat in the lounge and plonked his big white bum on it. Once Beanie’s internal checks had been completed she requested access to the back garden. I let her out and stood watching at the door, expecting her to go on her customary mad sprint of freedom. Unusually, it didn’t happen; she just calmly patrolled the garden borders then had a relaxing sniff round our tree.
From my point of view our holiday with the campervan and tent had involved more doggy restrictions than previous breaks in the caravan; after all there’d been no off-lead time in the tent at all (unless you count that brief moment when Beanie unclipped her own lead). Perhaps being tethered but able to go in and out of the tent or van at will actually gave our pups a greater feeling of freedom than being off lead in the confines of the caravan?