The next day we were back on the ferry – this time as foot passengers. This was a much more satisfactory arrangement for the furry types. Finally they were able to sniff the air and poke their noses under, over and through everything in reach.
Beanie samples the air like a true connoisseur
Spying on the vehicles as they park up on the lower deck
Why do Beagles so love to stick their heads through things? Probably just because they can..
Still fatigued from the previous day’s exertions, we just had a gentle stroll around Ardgour – the little village by the ferry port. It has its own miniature lighthouse, a pub, an abandoned rowing boat, and a short stretch of two-lane road – both lanes of which are for use by the local sheep. Biggles stayed surprisingly calm as the sheep passed us; perhaps he was afraid that if he badmouthed them, they’d all come over and beat him up.
Then it was back to the caravan to rest in preparation for another night-time climb: a section of The Devil’s Staircase just outside of Glencoe. Or at least that was the plan, but Beanie had other ideas. Time and again she leaped up onto the worktop to investigate the cooking equipment, and time and again I grabbed her in mid-leap, locked her in the naughty room, and asked for a paw on her release. She was really trying my patience. Why wasn’t she learning this simple lesson? Regardless, eventually she just gave up and settled down for a nap, allowing me to do the same.
When we eventually got up to pack for the walk, Beanie was instantly back up on the worktop. As I moved to grab her she nabbed a quick lick of the grill, jumped back to the floor and ran into the naughty room, where she sat neatly ready to give me her paw. So there you go – it seemed she had learned the lesson after all!
The walk itself was a pleasant departure from our other adventures; it was a short and easy drive away, with no hassle from monstrous cows or stroppy sheep, and minimal bog. It was admittedly still a bit chilly, but not overly so, and we had plenty of time to enjoy the pre-sunrise colors on the way up to the final cairn.
The colorful glow before sunrise can often be prettier than the sunrise itself..
Beautiful scenery or not, when there’s a big pile of stones to clamber over you can always count on Biggles to do his duty!
One of the great things about this short section of The Devil’s Staircase is that after all the colors have faded, you still have the majesty of Glencoe ahead of you as you retrace your steps back to the car. Even Beanie and Biggles seemed happy to hang out for a while and soak in the views.
While getting some of those shots I had to crouch and even lie down in the heather. I didn’t give this a thought, until later that day when I went for a shower. As I soaped myself up, I spotted what looked like a tiny piece of gravel in the skin of right hip, and went to brush it off, but it seemed really stuck in there. I aimed a bit of water at it, and to my horror, saw tiny little legs unfold from it and wriggle. Then I remembered the heather, and everything clicked: I’d picked up a tick! Obviously I’m no stranger to removing ticks from Beanie and Biggles, but I never expected I’d be rushing out of the shower only half-dried to use the doggy tick extractor tool on myself. I must confess to being a bit squeamish about this kind of thing; I can never watch those “monsters inside me” programs on the telly. Nevertheless, I took a deep breath, grabbed the little bugger in the tool’s plastic jaws, twisted and pulled. It took a surprising amount of force to pull it free, and I had a little involuntary shiver as I consigned it to a slow death in the toxic fluids of our chemical toilet. I had hopes that Biggles might show some sympathy toward me after my distressing experience; after all he’s had loads of ticks on previous highland trips and I’ve always been there to get them off him and give him a biccie for being such a brave boy. But no.. all I got was this:
So you had a tick Dad? Too bad. Gimme a tummy tickle!
Part 1: http://www.fourleggedpal.com/2015/04/23/a-tale-of-ice-and-fire-and-bogs-part1/
Part 2: http://www.fourleggedpal.com/2015/04/24/a-tale-of-ice-and-fire-and-bogs-part2/
Part 3: http://www.fourleggedpal.com/2015/04/25/a-tale-of-ice-and-fire-and-bogs-part3/
Part 5: http://www.fourleggedpal.com/2015/04/26/a-tale-of-ice-and-fire-and-bogs-part5/