NC500 Part 4 Continued: Afternoon Tea in Drumbeg

So, technically, this is still the fourth leg of our NC500 trip, but it was quite a long drive so there was a lot to do. In this post you will see the things that we did in the afternoon on our way down to Polbain. Be prepared for some more beautiful beaches and unexpected stop offs as we veered a little bit off the beaten track to the village of Drumbeg.


After fortifying ourselves with a hot chocolate from Cocoa Mountain, we hopped back in the car for some more exploring along the road to Polbain where we would be stopping for the night. We had (all too soon) reached the west coast and started our descent back south. How lucky we were then to have some more spectacular views, blue skies and generally clement weather to comfort us! Again, I am not quite sure which beach this is that we stopped by, but as you can see, there was clear water and white sand. It was a little nippier than it looks in the picture but we had a lovely time stretching our legs with a short walk along the beach.


We noticed that, on the West coast, there were a lot more people selling home made food from their houses. This was the first sign we saw for fresh, home style seafood and I couldn’t resist the siren call of oak smoked salmon. Especially as it was four pounds, which is a pretty good deal in anyone’s book. We found the house in question and – I kid you not – a little old lady answered the door, super puzzled until we explained that we wanted to buy some salmon.


Forgive the weird angle, I took the picture while I was sitting in the car! Look how fresh that salmon is! We also bought a little cup of hot smoked salmon pate which we ate with some crackers that we had been carting around in the car. It was nice to have a little car picnic (it was a bit windy to sit outside) and eat something that was fresh and local. Although, having said that, the majority of the food that we had eaten so far was fresh and local! Expect to see a lot more seafood as we travel down the West coast.


Even though we had quite a long way to drive that day, we decided to veer a little off course after our seafood stop and took a detour to the village of Drumbeg. Drumbeg is only a tiny tiny little town but it has a magnificent view out to sea. There were plenty of sheep munching on the grass and again, it was quite idyllic. This is probably the time to mention that these photos are all unedited and I haven’t amped up the colour saturation – this really is how it looked. If you haven’t booked your ticket to Scotland yet, i’m not quite sure what you’re thinking.


Drumbeg has a general store and a beautiful little shop called Assynt Aromas that sold home made soaps and did cream teas in their garden. We were super lucky because 1. It was a sunny day and 2. we had the entire garden to ourselves.


We had a delicious cream tea with a huge scone and a dollop of that fabulous clotted cream that only seems to happen properly in the UK. We were also visited by a giant bumblebee that are native to the area. Unfortunately he moved too quickly for me to photograph, so you will just have to imagine an enormous bee, buzzing from flower to flower and generally bumping into things. Although, if you have a phobia of bees, maybe don’t imagine that…


Instead, you can think about this little guy that I met in a field opposite the Drumbeg general store. He has a little bit shy at first, but then he seemed to enjoy having his nose patted.

IMG_8218We made one more unplanned stop on the way to Polbain, and really, can you blame us?

We saw this ruined castle from the road and decided to take a short walk across to it. Again, we were the only people around and the sun was shining and really, why not?

IMG_8221You can just make out my husband in the mid ground here, most likely taking a better photo than I did!

This leg was really filled with unexpected adventures and the kind of spontaneous stumbling upon beauty and history that came to characterise our whole trip. I’m sorry that I haven’t got exact names and addresses for many of the locations that i’m sharing but, in a way, I don’t think you would want to do exactly what we did. Not because it was sub par in any way, but because I think that a road trip like the NC500 is a really personal one. You don’t feel like you’re one of a million people like you do in tourist locations like the Lakes District in England or on the way to Stone Henge. Instead, this road trip is about personal discoveries, it’s intimate, it’s special. Maybe i’m just a huge sap, but I really felt like we were the only two people on earth for most of this trip.

So, we ended up in Polbain for the night, which was probably our most spartan stop over so it doesn’t rate a huge mention and didn’t really take any photos of that one! Don’t worry, i’ve made up for it on the next leg, travelling to the beauty that is Sheildaig via Ullapool where I had some of the most delicious food i’ve ever had from a food truck. As always, if you have any questions or want to share some of your memories or tips, leave me a comment in the section below!

What Katie Did in Berlin – Flohmarkt Mauerpark

Sometimes the only thing that makes things bearable is knowing that you have an escape route. Hubs and I planned this trip to Europe knowing that we would soon both be needing a change of scenery. I love this city and I love my job but I was getting some seriously itchy feet. So no sooner had I finished teaching my last class for Term 2 then we were off to the airport jetting to Europe. Hooray! While my first love is English, I was also a keen History student at school and uni so deeply historical Berlin was the first stop on our trip. And of course, a trip to Germany means two things:

IMG_9791Kinder Surprise
Which you may remember I raved about here

Cranky Fins Holidae Inn – Palm Beach

A True Love of Mine: Cranky Fins Holidae Inn Review

For me, this summer has been the Summer of Seafood. I think it actually started last summer when I got quite ill on a road trip and, against all logical thought, all I craved was fat juicy prawns. I dreamed of cracking their thin shell and peeling out the soft white flesh, dipping it in a tangy sauce and gobbling them up. All year, I have been thinking about summer and prawns. Somehow I made it all the way through Christmas and new year without indulging. My family has never done a seafood christmas (a tradition i’m keen to adopt in the future though!) so it wasn’t until the first few weeks of January that I was able to start thinking about when I would be able to get my hands on these little suckers.

A True Love of Mine: Cranky Fins Holidae Inn Review

I had already planned to go up to Palm Beach for a swim sometime and serendipitously hubs saw a photo on facebook that showed a huge bucket of prawns at a restaurant at Palm Beach. The website and facebook page were sufficiently fun and quirky to warrant a lunch trip to Cranky Fins Holidae Inn. I always plan to go to the beach in the morning as the afternoon summer sun in Australia is so damn strong that I always get burnt no matter how much sunscreen I put on. There is also the added bonus that the beaches always seem less crowded before lunch so its easy to park and there are fewer people in the water which makes frolicking so much more fun! Hubs and I arrived around 11 which gave us enough time for a relaxing swim and a little bit of sunbaking before lunch. Crankys opens at noon so after our swim and sun we sauntered over around and snagged a booth inside.