Wednesday 5th July
We slept last night in the car park of a local maritime museum (with permission from the kind old owners), perched on the edge of a lovely beach and surrounded by beautiful gardens.
The downside was, that as we were cooking breakfast this morning, not one but two German tour buses pulled up next to our car. The tourists were all, for some reason, extremely interested in our fried eggs (and Lex of course), and we ended up eating quickly, keen to move on. Trying to brush your teeth in front of an entire tour group is awkward, to say the least, but that seems to be how we live now.
We spent most of today hiking through a bog, again. They just really love bogs in Finland and Estonia! So much so, that they seem to turn all bogs into national parks. This is a direct quote from the official Estonian national park website:
“The raw, ancient power of the bog landscapes in their natural beauty feed the imagination.”
They even put special boardwalks through the bogs, to make the swampy landscape more accessible. Lex’s natural aversion towards walkways seems to be fading through exposure therapy, and he was racing across the boards today, with only slight detours into the bog.
Once we began hiking in the Pohja-Korvemaa national park, Morgan once again began hunting for edible mushrooms in earnest. Ever since yesterday when he discovered a guide to edible mushrooms in Estonia, Morgan’s new mission in life was to find food through foraging.
After identifying several poisonous mushrooms in his examination of the forest floor, Morgan came across what initially appeared to be a big black mushroom, but turned out to be a snake (also probably poisonous.) What a day.
Eventually, Morgan’s long hours of searching paid off, and he found one nice mushroom he identified as a “Velvet Bolete”.
“It’s not poisonous!” Morgan declared excitedly after some quick Google cross referencing.
“We can definitely eat this!”
I grabbed Morgan’s phone off him and read the description myself. Scrolling down the page, I saw this:
“Culinary notes: although considered edible, this is not one of the finest boletes because when cooked it is reported to have a metallic taste and unpleasant smell. Therefore it has a limited culinary interest. Some people also find that this fungus causes them stomach upsets.”
“Unpleasant taste, smell AND stomach upsets!?” I read aloud. “How could you resist?”
Morgan was not listening. Instead, he was lovingly placing the mushroom into a sandwich bag.
As Morgan carried the mushroom around the park as if it were his first born son, I amused myself by walking on felled tree trunks, narrowly avoiding Death By Bog, despite there being a perfectly good bridge across this inky black bog.
The route back from the bogs featured some very colourful heathland, and some butterflies and bees fighting amongst themselves to claim the best flowers.
After our hike we opted to sleep in the national park for the night. As I started to get tonight’s dinner ingredients out the car, Morgan stopped me.
“Don’t forget about the mushroom! I mean, you don’t have to eat it… but I’m going to!”
Morgan very carefully washed and halved the mushroom, which revealed alarmingly yellow flesh on the inside of the mushroom – Morgan assured me this was the correct colour for a Velvet Bolete, and proceeded to fry it in a bit of olive oil.
“If you go down, I go down to,” I declared, whilst getting our whisky supply out the car boot. After taking a large swig, I speared my half of the mushroom on the end of a fork and ate it in one.
“It’s… kind of spicy?” I said to Morgan, noticing he hadn’t actually tried his half yet.
“That’ll be the acidic taste they were talking about on the internet!” came his enthusiastic response.
I swallowed another mouthful of whisky straight from the bottle.
“Well, we’ve had a good few years, right? I enjoyed all our adventures together…”
“Don’t be silly” laughed Morgan, as he chewed his mouthful of metallic mushroom. “We won’t die! Worse case scenario, we get really sick and Lex has to look after us.”
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