Apparently, we are again visiting Canta outside the tourist season. However, this time that did not result in a bigger room, but in an absence of breakfast. Luckily we are close to the village, where we could score some typical hot and glutenous drink of which I forgot the name. More important was that it warmed us and it gave us energy for the day to come. By 6:45 we were on our way.
Today we had planned to get our hands on two species. Solanum corneleomullerii and Solanum habrochaites. The latter we had seen in large amounts on our way to Canta yesterday. The first one not so much, so we decided to go looking for this species first. So we drove further north, up the mountain. At about 3100 m altitude, we found a very nice site with loads of plants to sample.
This made hungy for more, so we drove on. Unfortunately, the landscape changed. I mean, everything look nice and lush and green, but there were no tomatoes to be found. We hoped that the road would make a curve, so that we would end up on the preferred face of the mountain. That didn’t happen, yet after a while we were surrounded by at least 3 different wild potato species and a bunch of other solanum species.
We enjoyed a nice coffee and headed back down to Canta. We passed the village and went on to sample from the locations that we spotted yesterday. S. habrochaites is really a beautiful plant. This might sound weird, but it is very much greener than other tomatoes. It’s also bigger, hairier and it smels a lot stronger. What is also very nice is that, because the plants are so huge, they can be infected on one side with Alternaria and on the other side with Phytophthora (and possibly a lot more in between). Besides that, we noticed that really about 1 in 2 plants did not show any disease symptoms at all.
After so many nice observations, some extensive sampling and an absence of lunch due to geographical circumstances (we were in the middle of nowhere), we decided to head back in time to Canta. Have a snack and a coffee, before going to the hotel. We’d be back relatively early, so that we would have enough time to prepare everything for tomorrow. By 17:00 we were back at the hotel, to find out that there was no power. We managed to get most of the preparations done before sunset, and finished off in the dark, before heading back in town for some Lomo Saltado. A wonderful beef dish, that should provide enough energy for tomorrow.
And for those of you who wondered what the weather was like today. It rained, alright.