Myrtille picking at Terres Rouges from the Col des Annes, Le Grand Bornand
A firm fave, year-on-year from the CURT crew…we went blueberry picking last w/e at Terres Rouges with grandparents. A great outing with young kids and grandparents!
If you park at the Col des Annes, by the little cluster of restaurants & farms, you access an easy “balcony walk” to Terre rouges – a paradise for blueberries “myrtilles” and a spectacular viewpoint in all directions – down the valley towards Le Grand Bornand, up towards the Refuge du Gramusset and the Pointe Percée (which my big girls were proud to point out and see that they had done) and the chain of Aravis mountains and towards Chinaillon.
We opted for a pic nic looking down towards Chinallon – heavenly. You can also eat at the Terres Rouges Restaurant or opt for one of the farm run restaurants at the Col des Annes.
The girls LOVE picking blueberries. So much so it was actually difficult to get them to stop. Even with my youngest dropping hers every two minutes 😉 and my eldest trying to form a system which involved her ordering us around, whilst she collected our pickings – we managed to gather just under a kilo. The expert eye of my mother in law, judged there to be enough for a few jars of homemade jam – yummy! We had no problem finding the blueberries, however according to my Father in law – he’d never seen as few at this time of year (maybe we were a bit late in the prime picking this year) and they weren’t as juicy as usual due to the lack of rain…
Did you know…that Blueberries are classed as a “superfood” , low in calories and extremely good for you. Studies prove not only that they lower blood pressure, perhaps speed up metabolism and lower cholesterol but, that wild blueberry juice enhances memory and learning functions in older adults while reducing blood sugar and decreasing symptoms of depression. Impressive stuff! Little did the grandparents realise but we were looking out for them…
(source : https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-blueberries )
We encountered an abundance of cows, creating some entertainment and excited shrieks from a little boy we met en route “Alerte danger extrême – il y a des vaches” !! Glad to see it’s not just my kids who get carried away. We even saw a calf being born on our way back 😉 It was so weak it couldn’t stand up and kept falling over, unable to latch on. The poor mother seemed a bit at a loss with her audience watching on. My eldest daughter (who loves animals) took it upon herself to let the farmers know. They rescued it and its Mum – bringing them back to the farm to be looked after. We were then treated to the cows being brought in to be milked. The girls loved this and the farmers were super kind, answering a barrage of questions from my girls whilst trying to work… This farm has 50 cows, that produce a minimum of 10 litres of milk twice a day…Impressive stuff – 1000 litres of milk/day which is mainly used to make CHEESE.
After such a spectacle and the kindness of the farmers, we were obliged to buy some local cheese, before having a quick drink & heading back home!
We opted for a full Tomme (girls fave).
Did you know that there are currently approximately 43 farmers making 1,300 tons of cheese a year in the area…That is a lot of cheese!
– Access : 12km after Le Grand Bornand. Traverese le Grand Bornand on the D4E. At “Les Plans”, turn left on to the road to the Col des Annes. In the busy months parking may be more difficult.
– Restaurants : Pre-book if you would like to have lunch in one the restaurants. They are extremely popular on nice sunny days at the w/e.
– Bring WARM clothes & suncream : (Special mention for Danny ;-)). Although August it was quite chilly with a fresh wind. The sun at altitude is stronger than you realise. One member of our group burnt & spent teh following two days hiding from the sun in a cap!