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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 Day 2

The day we planned to wild camp on a secluded beach for our North Coast 500 Roadtrip.



We started off the morning heading down to the only place for food in the village where we stayed in Big Sand, the local campground. The breakfast was delicious. The weather was even better, as the sun was out and not a cloud in sight. A rare sight in Scotland.

Once we finished our breakfast, we headed down to the beach, enjoyed the view and then hopped in the car and headed onto Day Two of our trip.



Inverewe Garden

Our first destination - a tropical garden in Scotland! With possibly the cutest story of its origins -- a father-daughter team made this paradise in the 19th Century from barren land. Now a site that includes plants from China, Nepal and India, Himalayan poppies, Tasmanian eucalyptus, and California redwoods. 


One of the most enjoyable things during our visit here included leisurely strolls around the gardens, you can spend as little time as you would like by taking one of their shorter paths, or explore all the gardens have to offer as we did.

We strolled the gardens for close to three hours, with the final bit including a succubus garden (hello flat inspiration) with the far end of the gardens having fabulous views overlooking the sea.




Bone Caves

With all the driving (which I had been doing) and the beautiful weather, we wanted to stretch our legs and try out one of the hikes I had found when pre-planning. We decided to go on and explore the Bone Caves or at least try to. We managed to head along the route for close to 40-ish minutes with no caves. Now I am slightly impatient and not the most interested hiker, so we turned around to head back. The cave would have been impressive to see, although if anything you can head to the National Museum of Scotland and check out the collection of bones ranging from wolves, bears, lynxes and arctic foxes  that have been unearthed in the cave.


Fun fact about Bone Caves: a 2000-year-old walrus ivory pin was found in one of the caves indicating that people were here by the Iron Age (~700 BC to AD 500)!!!

Smoo Cave

Partially created by the sea and part freshwater also happens to be one of the largest cave entrances in Britain. We were 'fortunate' that we got here and needless to say we were having typical Scottish weather - rain. That meant that we pretty much had the whole cave to ourselves and it was a nice stop to see along the way. 

Important note: Be aware that crossing over the footpath in the cave leads to where the fresh water enters the cave very forcefully - aka you will get sprayed by the water. 


Bettyhill Beach 

Last but not least our campsite for the night - we finally decided to stop when we drove past the beach. A bit secluded, blue water, and amazingly calm as it was kinda hidden away in its own little cove. 


We pitched our tent and cooked out our meal for the night! We had the beach to ourselves (minus the midgies) and had a fantastic time. It was amazing to wake up to the sound of the ocean just outside of the tent door. Even better is we made it through the night with very little rain (a rare and appreciated treat in Scotland). 



The end of Day 2 and halfway through the NC500 road trip! Possibly one of my favourite days as it ended with a secluded beach campsite all to ourselves, there is nothing like falling asleep and waking up to the sound of the ocean!

Have any of you ever tried wild camping? Camping? or do you only stay in hotels?


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