My forage jaunts : looking for more chestnuts …

It was an interesting coincidence that I found almost a kilo worth of chestnuts while I was out reconnoitring the local mushrooms … because … before going on my jaunt to the nearby woods, I had already made plans with a good friend of mine to go chestnut gathering at my favourite haunt the very next day!

Oh well … one can never have too much chestnut, can one? 🙂

And the jaunt to the forest le Bouveret looking for chestnuts was a lovely and productive way to meet up with my Brazilian friend, Nadir, whom I have not seen for several months.

We agreed for her to come to Lausanne where we would then take the train together to Bouveret. However, the train departing from Lausanne was delayed and we ended up missing our connecting train at St Maurice.

Interestingly, when we went to check with the staff at the train station for alternative routes to our destination, we were offered CHF 5 each to get for ourselves a cup of hot drinks while we wait for the next connecting train as compensation for the delay! Aww … so sweet of the staff there. 🙂

In order to go via another route, we still had to wait for another train and then had to change twice to a bus. However, we did not have to wait as long as an hour and half as we would have if we were to wait for the train that would have taken us direct to our destination.

Naturally, we would have preferred to reach our destination earlier and with as little a hassle as possible. However, we got free drinks and I also got to check out the small villages that the two buses went through before reaching Bouveret, so I have no reason to complain lah!

And by taking the bus, we also did not have to walk as far as we would have to if we had taken the train … as the bus stopped quite close to where we would have to start our trek into the forest. Nice! 🙂

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It was a chilly autumn day and it was not very sunny, either. But at least it did not rain like when I came with the hubby just a week earlier! The colours of the leaves on the trees were simply gorgeous! (ps: I took fewer photos on this trip since I had already taken and shared several in my earlier entries.)

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Along the way, as usual, I kept my eyes open for other edible plants that I could spot. I collected a few blackberries along the way but not a lot to do anything much with them! And then I spotted these berries … which I had thought were elderberries … but was not 100% sure. A check with my guidebook and a friend who had collected these berries later confirmed that they were indeed elderberries. Awww … if only I had known, I would have gathered some of these berries as well! Next year, definitely! 😉

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My friend, Nadir, hard at work picking the chestnuts. There were a lot more chestnuts on this visit than when I had come with the hubby. Maybe it was because we had tried to make it a point to be there as early as we could. We stopped several times along the way to pick chestnuts at several different places.

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Lots of chestnuts, still in their prickly husks, at our second last stop before we reach my favourite spot. These are a different variety than the ones that we had collected earlier as these chestnuts were much smaller … but in each prickly husk, there were 4 – 5 chestnuts that could be collected.

Our intention by this time was just to get to my favourite spot so that we could wash our hands at the fountain there and to rest a while before making our way back. But … seeing all these chestnuts begging to be picked … and even more of them when we reached my favourite spot … well, how could we have resisted from picking them! Even though by this time … both my friend and I were starting to have backache from having to bend so often to pick the chestnuts! hehehe … 🙂

Finally, after we could not take anymore bending … and as were very sure that we had collected more than enough to pay for our train fare … (as well as for a nice meal and a few other things, we reckoned! :D) … we stopped and then made our trek out of the forest.

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And along the way … despite the weight from the chestnuts that we had picked weighing down my back … I decided to snap a few photos of the beautiful autumn scene in the area.

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If only the evening had been sunnier … the colours of autumn would have been more striking.

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Instead, it became quite misty as we were making our way back!

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The whole of the lake view and part of the mountain view were hidden by the mist.

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Still … it was hard not to admire the beautiful autumn colours on the slopes of the mountains in the distance when the sky cleared up as we were taking the regional train ride through the valley to get back to St Maurice for our connecting train to Lausanne.

It had been the most lovely outing and my friend and I certainly enjoyed ourselves very much. And for all that bending gathering the chestnuts and the backache that resulted from it …

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… I brought home these much chestnuts – more than 8 kilos of them! Hmmm … it was no wonder that my bags were so heavy!! 😀

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And when I added the chestnuts that I had gathered just a day earlier …. I had in total, more than 9 kilos of chestnuts! Well, as I mentioned earlier, I had collected enough to pay for more than just my train fare! hehehe …

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And since they were wild chestnuts collected from several different trees, their sizes and shapes varied greatly in some instances.

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The different shapes of wild chestnuts collected during my forage: flat and oval, semi circle, big and round, small and pointy …

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… with the occasional, almost perfectly triangular ones! 😀

Regardless of their shapes … I liked them all because … they were free! hehehe …

Other entries on chestnuts and foraging: 

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