Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Hidden gems of the NC500

We started day 2 of our mini moho getaway by having breakfast overlooking Applecross bay and across to the stunning Cuilins on Skye. This spot would have also made a great park up spot, but the closeness to the road would have made it not as peaceful as the spot we had on Toscaig pier.... especially as we were the only ones there!



After a walk along the beach and a full Scottish breakfast we headed north for about 5 miles and stopped at the next beach.
This beach also had stunning views and also huge sand dunes which a family was having great fun sliding up and down in old fish boxes. They came prepared, so must have done this before.




TJ was delighted with his 2 walks before lunchtime and was ready for a nap so we carried on driving north around the peninsula till we came to Sheildaig and then Torridon. We have been this way probably about 5 times before, but it has been about 3 years since the last time. Maybe it was cloudy or raining on our previous visits but I cant remember being as stunned by the beauty of this area before.



We took a detour away from the main road and drove through Torridon along the C1083. What an amazing road! The hairpin bends and steep inclines certainly gave the famous Bealach na Ba road a run for it's money! We followed the road to the end, to the village of Diabaig, situated right by the sea with a very steep road down to it!

It was such an amazing drive, probably because it was so unexpected....a real hidden jewel in the nc500 crown! There are 2 viewpoints along the route. This one looks down over Loch Torridon and is called the Bealach na Gaoithe viewpoint.



On the way back down we stopped at a car park which is used by walkers who are walking the 8 mile route through the Torridon mountains. The car park was emptying as all the walkers returned to their cars.

We decided to park up here for the night. It wasn't like our usual seaview spots that we usually enjoy, but it did have a waterfall nearby, which we could hear from the van. It was also really sheltered and surrounded by trees. We woke up the following morning to nothing but the noises of running water and the birds singing! Beautiful!


At 8.30 am the car park started filling up with groups of people heading off into the mountains, so we headed back into Torridon village. There we done a short walk to an ancient open air church.....truly amazing!



We then drove on through Beinn Eighe NNR with more stunning mountains. We had a quick stop at Loch Maree where it was really blowy and the loch was looking really choppy!



From there we drove to Gairloch....we drove out on the road past the well known Sands campsite. The views along this road are amazing, with steep cliffs and turquoise seas along narrow roads. The road carries on to the Rubha Reidh lighthouse. There is a point in the road, just after Melvaig, where it tells you the maximum width of vehicles suitable for the last 3 miles to the lighthouse.....we were 40cms too wide, so decided not to proceed. We have done it before in a car and remember it being stunning, so its well worth doing it, if you're brave enough!



We then drove out to where we spent the very first night in our motorhome...... Firemore beach.

We first drove out to the end of the road, where there is a car park and a wartime Arctic Convoy Memorial. The car park here would be suitable for parking up in with lovely sea views. We decided to drive back the Firemore carpark, as TJ loves running on the beach.



It’s the drive back along this road that you see all the stunning views of the mountains that you thought you had left behind!

Sadly we have to return back home, but these few days away have been amazing as always....and I think has proven that there is far more to see on the NC500, if you just turn off it and explore!



Saturday, 13 April 2019

On top of the world....or maybe Scotland

I can't believe its been a month since I last wrote a blog post! I guess its been a busy month!

We did have one cheeky night away at the end of march...we went to a favourite spot of ours at Portsoy.

This spot is quite a small one, its right down by the sea and next to an old outdoor swimming pool that was used by locals right up until the 1980s! Its such a lovely spot and only a short walk along the clifftop path to get back to the main village, where you will find a quaint harbour and a very popular ice cream shop!



There are no services in this spot, but you do get tv reception and limited 4g signal. Its a popular spot for locals to come fishing so a few people come and go, but perfect for an overnight.

Also at the end of march we had to get the dreaded annual habitation check on our motorhome. We drove back to our dealer in Perth, The Motorhome Company, where we received not only the usual excellent customer service, but were delighted to also have a clean bill of health for the van! Bring on the next year of adventures!

Over the last 12 months we have driven 7095 miles, we have enjoyed 42 nights away.....had 39 ‘wild camps' and 3 nights on a campsite. What an amazing first year and we love our van even more now than when we chose it!

So onto our next adventure..... we are currently parked up in a stunning spot 5 miles south of Applecross and looking out towards Breakish on the Isle of Skye. We are staying at Toscaig Pier. There used to be a ferry that sailed between here and Kyle of Lochalsh up until 1978. This was the only way that you could get to Applecross when the hair raising Bealach na Ba road was closed!

Our spot tonight is quiet and secluded, just how we like it! We even have 4g reception....no tv though so it will have to be cards or scrabble....not that Saturday night tv has anything to offer anyway!


On our way here today, we stopped at the Bealach na Ba viewpoint and decided to walk up to the top of the hill above the car park. The walk was a challenge for me and my unfit body, but it was so worth the effort when we got to the top and saw the amazing views. Simply stunning and we felt like we were on top of the world.....or maybe scotland ❤