The most gruelling fruit …
What fruit is the most gruelling, while also the most satisfying and the most gorgeous?
My candidate: wild blueberries. Collecting them from here is a mini-triathlon. First I ride the bike high up in the moor, starting on the road, but later on a rough track, and finally a mile or so of non-track where I carry it much of the way. Then there’s a landmark where I can park the bike (and be confident of finding it again) and continue on foot over rough terrain. At this point I want a backpack, not the cycle pannier I’m carrying.
Finally the precious fruit. But these wild blueberries are tiny compared to the farmed ones you get in the shops. Neither do they come in great dense clumps: rather they tend to be sparse. No doubt being rather late onna Sunday afternoon doesn’t help there. Bottom line: picking them is a great deal of work, for very little result.
But yes, it’s all well worth it. The bike ride is a pleasure. The walk is almost a pleasure, even if it’s challenging keeping ones footing on terrain that varies between rocks and bogs, and when more-than-half-blinded by the sun. But most glorious of all is the swim, in the bigger, deeper pools of the river, high up in the moors. The swim marks the end of collecting the blueberries, and is coupled with a fantastic natural massage in the white water. Wonderful, and a blessed relief on a hot afternoon!
The homeward journey, and each milestone is a blessed relief. Returning to the bike; reaching the point where I can ride it; and best of all now getting back to the surfaced road. The homeward journey is predominantly downhill, to a welcome shower and a glass of deep-chilled hungarian pinot grigio – a wonderful wine for hot summer weather. Mmmm 🙂
Can’t beat it. And I haven’t even collected an excessive crop of insect bites, as might be expected after prolonged exposure to that vegetation.