North Coast 500 (day 1), Scotland 2018 ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ

Date: 20th June 2018

Travelled:  125 kilometres from Ullapool to Rhiconich, Scotland.

Visited:  Driving the North Coast 500

Stayed:  Layby adjacent an old wharf on Loch Inchard, free.  N58.38214, W05.03385

Our ferry departs Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides on schedule at 7am.  Itโ€™s a very smooth 2.5 hour passage to Ullapool in mainland Scotland.


Leaving the quay at Stornoway. The reflection on the water indicates the wind has dropped and yesterdayโ€™s sea has calmed. Pam is ๐Ÿ˜ƒ.
We roll onto our ferry. The Hymer is not happy about being between two trucks, but the deck hands chain all the heavy vehicles down.

Our plan is to follow the coast roads.  The North and West Highland Tourist Route is now marketed as the North Coast 500 (miles).  You see one sign or the other, or most commonly, both on everyturn. Commencing in Inverness it crosses the northern highlands to Ullapool, it then follows the coastline around northern Scotland back to the starting point at Inverness.  As we come off our ferry from the western isles at Ullapool, our drive will be more like the North Coast 350 by the time we arrive at Inverness.  But then again we shall try for Orkney in a couple of days so we may get back to 500 miles



Ullapool is a pretty little port village, lines of white house skirt the shoreline.


Looking back on Ullapool and Loch Broom.  As our ferry taking on its next cargo.
My lovely wife Pam poses next to the village clock in Ullapool. Note the Gaelic street sign.
We fill with water and fuel at the servo, the attendant directs us to the local LPG depot and we refill the pump-in LPG system before saying goodbye to Ullapool and making our way north on the A835.
The coastal views and scattered villages, as we make our way north.


Coming around a sweeping bend Ardvreck Castle comes into view. Standing on a small peninsula surrounded by Loch Assynt.
Manage to coax Pam into risking life and limb for this picture.  Ardvreck was the 15th century seat of the MacLeods.  Apparently a blood thirsty and murderous bunch by all accounts.
Told to put a picture of myself in this blog\\\\\\. The MacLeods finally lost the castle to the MacKenzies, but had the last laugh when the castle was struck by lighting in a violent storm in 1795. Much of the castle collapsed and most of its residents killed.
A mile past Ardvreck Castle we come to the A894, A837 junction.  A local lady we met in Ullapool recommended the A837-B869.  The road is steep and narrow she says, but the views amazing.  So we do our Captain Risky thing.
Your never know whatโ€™s around the corner.
Some surprising beaches…
Thereโ€™s always 4 seasons a day in Scotland, so a couple of showers in the afternoon add to the beauty of the place.


Finally back on the NC500 itโ€™s getting late.  Feeling a little jaded from wrestling the Hymer along narrow roads and dealing with the oncoming traffic, we start looking for a wildcamping spot. As we cross Loch Inchard near Rhiconich we spot a parking area adjacent to an old wharf.  Itโ€™s about 50 metres off the road with a pretty aspect.

Thirty minutes later we are joined by two other motorhomes and a couple in a car who pitch a tent.


Michael and Pam


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