After visiting the shrines & Daimon gate, I started to head up the trail towards the top of Mt. Benton. A short way up there was a sign for bears which is always a little disconcerting. It advised to not go up alone or without a bell; neither of what I had. There was a Spanish couple who had just gone up before me and I thought that would be alright. Half way up I realised I’d bought a snack for the evening meal which may not be the best thing to be carrying though.
It wasn’t too hard a climb although it felt very humid and there were a fair few mosquitoes and bugs trying to get at me. At the top there was a shrine and the views were good although the cloud cover made it harder to see and especially to get a good photo.
After the trek back down again, I had a bit of a chat with the Spanish couple and they mentioned it looked like another route although they had to get back to dinner; as I hadn’t managed to get into a temple to stay, I decided to go see what was down there as the map looked like it would loop around to nearer where I wanted to go and it would likely be a nicer walk.
There was a split in the path and in hind sight I went the wrong way. The trail was narrow and kept looping and going downwards which didn’t feel right. The path was slippy too and as I was out here alone this time, it felt sketchier. I went for about 10 minutes of so and whether it was my mind playing tricks on me or not, it kept sounding like something was moving a little way away and there was a cracking sound like something breaking branches. At this point, my map was showing I wasn’t on the right route and so I decided to turn back and hurried along the same trail to get to the start again.
There was a map at the start which I’d look at before going, although it wasn’t that clear, it looked like the route I was on would have gone to a lake. Un(fortunately) I didn’t see any bears but enjoyed the little hike and explore anyway.