AUTUMN COUNTRY WALKS The hinterland nuggets
When sunbeams get mellower, after the summer buzz has turned into languid wistfulness, Nice hills drape themselves in gilt. It is the ideal moment for an either contemplative or sporty ramble according to one’s desire and pace. Mushroom picking is a favourite for oxygenating both body and mind and our area offers plenty of forests to explore and rambles in nearby nested villages.
Nice hinterland abounds with girolle, chanterelle and mushrooms of various species, but no doubt, the grail, the king of the forests is the cep or « Boletus edulis ». We were all motivated in the Petit Immo team to uncover to you the necks of the woods for pleasant walks and lucky founds of ceps. We rummaged through areas, questioned, investigated and checked the information. The truth is that in Nice region no one will tell you in what place those nuggets grow. And, if you come across a kindly person carrying a basket full of fungi (generally carefully hidden under a tea towel) and ask them « are there any mushrooms around here? » the answer will always be: « Well, you know, it isn’t a good year for mushrooms. You won’t find any. However, you may have a breath of fresh air instead » Yes, in our parts, secrets are well kept.
So, what to do? Fortunately enough, our land is rich, so we concentrated on another local autumn gem: the chestnut. It is celebrated in different villages and towns: Collobrières, Isola and Cagnes sur mer. Then, we had the usual biology controversy about the difference between the chestnut and the sweet chestnut. After questioning our sources, we can safely state: the sweet chestnut is a chestnut, which seems obvious. But, there is a difference, a very subtle one. The sweet chestnut is the unique nut of the fruit whereas the chestnut has a fruit divided into 2 or sometimes 3 nuts. Interesting, don’t you think?
Back to mushrooms, we didn’t intend to leave you without unveiling a good place for picking ceps and “sanguins”. The way there is extraordinary, bordered with spruce and beech trees. The undergrowth is softly bathed in light and the variety of mushroom species is surprising. They discreetly hide under the carpet of fallen leaves that splits open under our soles. By now, our shoes are wet but that’s the price to pay if we want to find the hidden mushrooms seemingly as precious as jewels. However, their beauty mustn’t let us forget they may be poisonous like the fly agaric that grows there. So, be careful.
Anyway, if you don’t manage to pick an evening meal of mushrooms, you will surely enjoy the sight of squirrels or hares, or even, with a little bit of luck, deer and hinds. But, keep it to yourself; this spot is only 38 km away from Nice, in the mountain near a village named Peira Cava!