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Hey Loves! I’m Caitlyn the girl behind ChemGradBoom. A blog about taking life with a little salt, a slice of lime and shot of tequila or life of a graduate student, whichever version you prefer!

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North Coast 500 Edinburgh to Big Sand

So for day one we picked up the rental car from the Edinburgh Airport at approximately 10am and started our journey.

I knew the first day would be a long one, the most intense day of driving and also one with some fantastic views.

Again I am pissed that I lost (accidentally deleted) the footage from Day One of the NC 500 including possibly the best bit of our drive along the Bealach na Bà (aka Wester Ross in Scotland)!

Overall Day One took about 8 solid hours of driving, mainly due to my fear of the small roads or my amazement of the awe with the views along the route, either way, Day One included some beautiful stops, some unforgettable moments, and a drive which I can not wait to do again!



The Dunmore Pineapple

Built-in 1761 by the Earl of Dunmore as a summerhouse! At the time Pineapples were considered an exotic fruit in Scotland and needless to say this place is breathtakingly unique!!! 


The Pineapple now has grounds surrounded by woodlands and filled with wildlife. A quick pitstop here was a nice way to visit a must-see on my Scottish list all while still being on our NC500 adventure!


For more information on the Pineapple House, check out the National Trust site

Fort William

With our drive almost halfway done, we needed a break, a lunch stop and a chance to stretch our legs - so we headed to Fort William. A beautiful town right on the water, with a charming town centre to explore. 

We headed into town to explore and see what there was to offer, unfortunately as you can imagine the Scottish weather got the best of us and it started to rain. 

We headed to the nearest pub for lunch and lucky for us, the skies cleared up and we had a beautiful table out on the back deck overlooking the water! A traditional fish and chips for food, and we were back on the road! 

TIP: Stock up on snacks whenever you go through towns with 'proper' grocery stores! We grabbed some essentials food and of course some beer as well! 



Bealach ‘na Ba, Wester Ross

The one thing I am sad that I lost the day one photo/video mishap - the drive through Bealach 'na Ba, also one of the most iconic drives in the WORLD! 

A single lane road that winds through the Applecross peninsula leading to some breathtaking and terrifying views! This part of the trip was one of my favourite portions, as we managed to drive through this bit as the rain stopped and the sun came out! 

TIP: Take this portion of the drive extra slow and enjoy the views! Also will say that this portion is why I would suggest doing the entire trip clockwise from Inverness (or Edinbugh like we did)



With the prettiest and also most terrifying portion of the drive done we were on our last stretch of the trip for the day. Unfortunately, the rain started back up, and I realised my hatred for small roads and terrible weather!

Big Sand 

The end of our road trip led us to Big Sand on the west coast of Scotland. Again since this trip was a bit of a last minute get-away, this happened to be where we stayed (due to availability on Air-BnB), and we have no complaints at all! We stayed in a cabin overlooking the village and well, it remained a perfect end to the first day. 

If you want to see the cabin we stayed in, check it out here http://bit.ly/2teaAvn and I highly recommend it if you ever need a place on the road trip. 


The town (or maybe more appropriate village) only had one place to eat, located on the local campground - and served up a fantastic breakfast which we enjoyed before heading out for Day 2!



 So there it is a quick synopsis of the drive we did for the first day! In the end, the day seemed insanely long, probably due to my road trip partner being asleep for the majority of the drive! Stick around for Day 2, 3, and 4 and also some video footage of the trip!



Has anyone done the NC500 before?!? If so share your favourite places, I want to make the trip again (maybe this summer!)




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