The day following our big walk up Arran’s Cir Mhor was largely spent touring Arran in the van. Ordinarily the pups travel in their fabric crates for maximum comfort and safety, but since we were doing lots of short, low speed journeys on quiet roads we figured a different arrangement would be in order. While one of us handled the driving, the other sat in the back of the van to keep the pups out of mischief as they lounged on the floor and rear seat.
Yes Biggles, you get to be chauferred around Arran and you don’t have to be in your travel crate!
But you will still have to vacate the driver’s seat!
Beanie absolutely loved this! While Biggles simply snored through the tour, she insisted on having the window seat and watched intently as Arran’s scenery passed by. Much of the time we had the window open slightly, and I’d often see her little black nose twitching away as each new scent reached it. She was so taken with the view that we even managed a few soppy cuddles without provoking a yawn and lip-licking.
We had one activity planned for the third and final day of our stay: a walk from Whiting Bay to the ferry terminal at Brodick along part of the Arran Coastal Path. The walk started on regular footpaths before dipping down onto the rocky beach across from the lighthouse on neighboring island Holy Isle.
It then swung briefly inland before returning to the coast for a throughly enjoyable stage that kept us right by the water’s edge. Much of this section involved alternating stretches of boardwalk and algae-covered rocks. The rocky bits were both slippery and smelly (not that the furry types complained about this) but the boarded stretches were great fun for all of us. There must have been several kilometers of boardwalk in total, constantly winding and undulating, all the while lined with bluebells and other wild flowers.
The final section took us from Lamlash to Brodick, and the first bit of this was intensely boring. It gave us a closer view of Holy Isle, but the route followed a dry and largely featureless road. Even Beanie and Biggles couldn’t find anything worth sniffing on that surface, so we upped our pace in the hope of getting to somemthing more interesting. Before long I spotted a family taking lots phone selfies out by the water. I couldn’t figure out why they seemed so keen to keep taking shots, and then beyond them – just twenty metres from the shore – I saw a seal sunbathing on a rock. I had a long lens with me so headed out towards the seal, wondering how the pups would react to him. Predictably he returned to the water before I could take a shot, but I decided to hang around for a bit to see if he’d return. He teased us a few times – bobbing his head up out of the water – and when Beanie spotted him she began to growl, but it didn’t seem to put him off. We had plenty of time before the ferry sailed from Brodick, so we hung on a bit longer, and a bit longer still. Eventually, our patience paid off!
Beanie was just as enthralled by the seal as I was
Biggles wasn’t quite so impressed.
Satisfied with the little show the seal had put on for us, we got back on the trail to Brodick and arrived with ample time to pillage the local chippie before boarding the ferry. The ship was absolutely packed with holiday makers returning to the mainland and we counted ourselves lucky to get seats. Though breezy it was sunny, and we were all set for a relaxing journey back home when Beanie spotted a handful of crisps that a kid had dropped on the deck. Beanie was sitting on Susan’s lap at the time, and now she laid down, with her head angled directly towards the crisps. Any non-Beagle owner observing her would have thought she was well on the way to a snooze, but we knew better; she was ready to pounce instantly if she sensed the slightest lessening of the grip on her lead. All that was required was a lapse in concentration from Susan, and those crisps would be in the Beanster’s stomach. Then without any warning, her plans for those little dropped savories went straight down the toilet; a terrier trotted into view and hoovered up the lot of them. I’m willing to bet that no dog anywhere in the world at any time has suffered the torrent of verbal abuse that Beanie hurled at that poor little mutt. Beagles! Can’t take them anywhere. Especially if there are crisps on the floor.