I think you started to notice now that when I’m traveling I’m profoundly interested in scenic landscapes and routes. When I red about the North Coast 500, a 830km dramatic journey around Scotland, I had to see it with my own eyes.
Launched in 2015, this route is also known as the NC500 and has increased tourists numbers bringing economic benefits to some areas.
I started my journey in Ullapool (you can find it on the map). My goal was to drive all the way to Thurso located on the Easter coast in order to take the ferry I’ve already booked to Orkney Island. And as you know, I still don’t own a driver’s licence, therefore I planned on hitchhiking my way up there during 271km.
Once out of town, a fisherman stopped his truck as soon as I raised my thumb to drive me during 26 miles while a hail storm was pounding against the windows.
Quickly after he left me, a friendly French couple living the van life in Scotland accepted to drive me a little bit closer to the finish line towards the intersection between the NC500 and the road leading to Unapool.
Once there, the sun was shinning, the hitchhike has been quite easy, nothing seemed to be able to go wrong. So I thought!
As soon as I started walking because no car was stopping there, the heavy hail storm came back and slapped my face really hard while twenty cars and vans kept ignoring my raised thumb.
Several hours later I had arrived at Kylesku Bridge, a beautiful viewpoint under the shinning sun. There, several bikers and drivers had stopped to enjoy the view and take pictures. Without a doubt they were driving on the NC500 and could have taken me with them, but when asked preferred not to.
Suddenly I could hear the growl of a truck engine approaching in the distance. For some reasons it felt like it was my last chance as time was ticking and I had to be in Thurso to embark at 18.00.
I stepped on the road, joined my hands in a praying sign and hoped for them to stop their enormous vehicle, which they did. At first the driver wasn’t 100% convinced in letting my friend and I hopped in. They had a limited space in the front of the truck already occupied by their two dogs.
To be honest: I begged. And they opened their doors, rearranged the car and welcomed us in their home. This former utility truck was now the house of this German and Indian couple since December. With it they were driving through Europe and living an unplanned life on the road.
That day, the four of us (and the dogs) joined our journeys in Scotland and got mesmerized by the breath taking landscape expanding in front of our eyes. Moonlike scenery, steep cliffs, angry waves, infinite beaches and colorful plains.
Around 15.30 we stopped the truck for a coffee break inside their living room. They gave us a little tour of their home and wow, it made me dream about how much I wanted the same life! What an inspiration to meet real life people living my dream.
At first they had for a plan to stop theur journey 50km before Scrabster but luckily they decied to keep driving all the way to the ferry terminal and to drop us just in time for us to catch the boat.
I will never be grateful enough for them to help me during this journey, sharing their home and adventure.