Having thoroughly enjoyed our few days in Oban we set off and headed east, in the direction of The Black Isle.
The 3 hour journey went smoothly and we passed even more beautiful scenery along Loch Lochy and then Loch Ness, with the ever-changing skies casting dramatic shadows that danced across the mountains.
By the time we had reached our next stop, Rosemarkie Camping and Caravanning Club site, a huge rain cloud was passing overhead and it started to pour just as we were unhitching, but even that wasn’t enough to hinder the tranquil atmosphere that greeted us.
The site itself is relatively small and sits right on the beach overlooking the Moray Firth, where it is said that bottlenose dolphins regularly show off their moves. My Scottish wildlife count currently stood at rabbits, sheep, highland cows, an array of birds and plenty of midgies- so I was really hoping to add dolphins to the list!
Typically, just as we’d finished setting up the caravan the sun came out, so we popped just a mile down the road to Chanonry Point. This was somewhere we had visited on our road trip last year and were really looking forward to returning to, and it hadn’t changed a bit! We wandered down the same accessible path around the same lighthouse, that led to the same stoney beach, where we sat and watched the same calm sea which housed the same number of visible dolphins- zero.
The following day we returned at low tide to increase our chances and a large crowd was gathering as we arrived. “Ah”, we thought, “We must be here at a good time!”
We found ourselves a nice spot on the beach where we had a picnic whilst keeping a close eye on the water for any movement. The atmosphere around us was calm, yet buzzing, as everyone sat there poised and ready with binoculars and cameras, hoping to catch a glimpse. Time was ticking by and there hadn’t been a single sighting, then suddenly we saw something dark bobbing above the water! Was it a bird? Was it a dolphin? Nope. It was a seal! And it wasn’t the only one! We kept catching glimpses of their little dog-shaped heads popping up, then see their whole back as they rolled and dived back under. It was quite a sight to see, and although they weren’t dolphins I could now add seals onto my wildlife list- and that gets my seal of approval! (Yes I really did just say that).
After a lovely relaxing day at the beach we travelled the short distance back to the caravan where we drifted off to sleep to the sound of the sea lapping up against the rocks below us, and when we woke in the morning we felt well rested and ready for the adventure to continue! We’d had a great time on the Black Isle but it was time to zig-zag west again to our next stop- Broomfield Holiday Park in Ullapool!
The journey there went smoothly, other than stopping hundreds of times to take photos. How people in Scotland get anywhere I just don’t know! Everywhere you look there’s more stunning scenery and photo opportunities that are just too good to miss.
When we eventually made it to the campsite we decided to put our newly fitted solar panel to good use and have our first night completely off-grid. This was something we’ve wanted to try for a very long time so were really excited about, and not just because we saved a whopping £5 on electrical hook up fees!
Once we’d settled in on the sparkling edge of Loch Broom we dug out our North Coast 500 map to see what’s in the area. We love a good driving tour so when we realised there was one with lots of viewpoints nearby, we just had to go for it.
The minute we left Ullapool we were saying those words again, “Wow, this is incredible” as we twisted and turned down single track lanes.
After a little while we found ourselves in a quaint village called Lochinver, where we stopped at An Cala Café for some dinner, and as expected it had a really relaxed feel and all of the staff were friendly. We even swapped stories with another couple who were also travelling up from England in their motorhome to see the gorgeous Scottish sights.
Tummies now satisfied we parted ways and continued our adventure north, taking the B869 up the west coast. The road was like a rollercoaster as we glided over humps and dips and around hairpin bends, with every corner we turned presenting us with more jaw dropping scenery. Following the signs to “Drumbeg Viewpoint” we parked up and got out, battling the strong winds as we looked down to the waves crashing up against the rugged Scottish coastline.
Taking a small detour over the magnificent Kylesku Bridge we made our way back to our home-on-wheels. By now the clouds were really closing in and engulfing the mountain peaks, making them look like smouldering volcanoes about to erupt. And back at ground level I was thrilled to add another to my wildlife list as there were herds of stag running wild along the gorse. It made a great end to our stay and our time on the mainland. The following day we were heading off on another new adventure!