Beanie & Biggles’ morning lie-in was cut short on Friday when we dragged them out of bed for a return visit to Ben A’an. The last time we were there it was sunny, with blue sky and great views all around. This time it was grey and windy with poor visibility, but we still had a fun time.
The first part of the trail winds through a very pretty forest, packed with interesting smells to entertain Beagle noses. It’s only when you emerge from the forest that you get a proper look at Ben A’an.
It looks a lot taller and steeper than it really is. The rocky path up is in great condition and after all the scrambly walks we’ve done this year it was nice to do something short and relatively easy. It would have been even easier had it not been for the wind. We’d been sheltered as we’d walked through the forest, but but it was blowing really hard at the top. Happily for us, you can’t live with the Biggly Boy without getting well-used to dealing with powerful wind, and the occasional odorless 30mph gust wasn’t going stop Susan & the pups from scaling the last few rocks for their summit photo.
Getting back down from there proved to be more of a challenge however; Biggles pulled off a world-class lead tangle as he tried to find the optimum sniffing position, while Beanie made the most of her special talent for getting under one’s feet.
We’d had to resort to the “bum method” to descend the Cobbler recently, but this was the first time I’d seen anybody using the “belly method”..
Does this remind you of the rock climbing scene in Mission Impossible II? No, me neither, but then Tom Cruise didn’t have a pair of naughty Beagles tied to him!
Fortunately this unplanned rock climbing stunt concluded without any casualties, save for my trousers and abdominal muscles (I peed my pants a little bit and had sore sides from laughing). I took a couple more shots from the summit, then we headed back down to the shelter of the forest.
On our previous visit the walk back to the car had been dominated by Biggles’ woofing and baying frenzy, but this time he was a model of self control. His silence allowed us to hear all the ambient noises in the woods, and it was pretty spooky..
The forest was very densely populated with tall trees – so much so that they would rub against each other in the wind, generating all manner of scary sounds. We heard creaky doors, rusty gates, ghostly whistles and tapping coming from all directions. Biggles seemed oblivious to it all, but Beanie frequently paused and looked round trying to identify the source of the noises. Very Blair Witch.
In due course we made it back to the car without any disappearances, and without anybody standing in front of the camera with an excessively runny nose (Beanie & Biggles’ noses are moist, but not runny).