We had our first official group in the bunkhouse for Hogmanay and this is what they had to say:
“A group of friends coming from across the UK headed up to the Black Isle Berries Bunkhouse for a New Year trip to bring in 2014 in style. We were the first people to try out the bunkhouse and Lynn and Torquil made us very welcome. Over the couple of days we were there the weather was stormy with low cloud but folk still managed to get out and enjoy the area. Groups walked up Ben Wyvis, Little Wyvis and some Corbett’s in the north. Snow at Cairngorm on Hogmanay curtailed a day of skiing but we got out later in the week with some amazing off piste powder and clear blue skies, which made it all worthwhile. Catering for 20 people at once isn’t always easy but the kitchen was great and we cooked up the ultimate pot luck meal on the evening of the 31st. We brought in the bells later that night and greeted 2014 with a sedate walk along Rosemarkie beach to blow away the cobwebs. A bit of scrambling on the rock outcrops at the beach and a visit to the caves rounded off the trip. We had a great time staying at the bunkhouse in comfortable accommodation. It was a great base for exploring the amazing hills, beaches, pubs and cafes in the area. If you are planning a trip to the north use this bunkhouse as your base! ☺ ”
Life’s been busy recently and it’s been difficult to get out to do anything – not helped by the some of the awful weather we’ve been having recently. Having said that, Torquil managed to escape for a few hours on Sunday and headed off with his kayak to the Black Water, a favourite paddle. It’s only about a 30 minute drive from the farm.
The get-in is at the picnic site where the A835 crosses the river (NH 402 638) – plenty of parking space and a toilet. The get-out is at Little Garve bridge about 1km downstream. It was 0.5 on the SEPA gauge on Sunday and was a grade 3/4 paddle at that level.
You should check out the drops before getting on the river. Those above the get-in and get-out bridges can be a bit tricky. The top rapid above the get-in bridge really needs 0.6 on the gauge to clean it up, but the rest is a nice grade 3/4.
There’s also a small car park at the get-out, so you could park and carry up to the get-in point and check out the drops on the way. There’s a good path all the way up. In fact, there is a really nice circular walk that along both banks of the river that can be started at either bridge – great if not everyone wants to paddle.
After about 2.5 years of hard work and several setbacks, we are now in the final phase of completing the new Black Isle Berries Bunkhouse! This is really just a case of waiting for some furniture and soft furnishings to arrive and some final cleaning. We are really proud of the build and are looking forward to welcoming our first guests.