Yesterday we had a similar goal as two days ago. Find S pimpinellifolium, S habrochaites and S arcanum. Long story short, we found the first two and kind of failed for the latter. We drove from Chilete up a very nice road towards Contumaza. Absolutely stunning views and nice tomatoes too! At parts the road was single file and of course this is where you find other roadusers, but other than that, all was fine. Well before we reached Contumaza we had enough samples and decided to repeat the trick on the other side of the valley.
So we went back down, crossed Chilete and drove towards San Paolo. The road was nice in a different was. Brand new, 2,5 lanes wide and smooth like uhm, something very smooth. And also on this road both species were present. The discription from the TGRC was very accurate and we collected plenty samples with infection symptoms and one with browning veins, which is a good indicator for the presence of wilt. We drove back down to say goodbye to Chilete once more and went looking for S pimpinellifolium.
The description for the site appeared clear, but quite the opposite. The description mentioned a bridge and the plants could be found just of the bridge on the west on both sides of the road. Unfortunately, the bridge went from north to south. And yes shortly before and after the bdige, the road made a curve, but also past these curves, both east and west there was no sign of the 6 big plants that were described in 1984. We walked up and down a lot and finally, about 500 m away from the bridge, i found three very young plants. Two were clearly from this year, one from last year. So, here the road construction works had destroyed the S pennelli populations quite recently. But, some old seeds were trying their best to restore the whole lot. I didn’t sample from these plants. Maybe in a few years we have some nice things growing again.
Having no need for other species today, we drove back to cajamarca, arrived in our hotel by 16:00, so that gave plenty of time to sort and prep the samples before heading for dinner.
Both Philippe and I were not very hungry. It could have been something we ate the day before or it could have been the fact that we went from 800 m altitute to 3100 exactly three times today. After a bit of wandering around we found a restaurant that promised Italian food with a peruvian twist. The twist was rather disappointing, but the Pisco sour (my first one this trip) calmed my stomach. We went to bed quite early, to be awaken by a street party that started at midnight and lasted until exactly 6 in the morning. Cajamarca was celebrating the end of the carnaval season right next to our hotel. Luckily I had some earplugs with me.
PS. Those of you who wonder why my photo’s are even worse than normal, I managed to drop both my phone and my Canon SLR camera this trip, The phone has a crack in the lens, hence the fancy flare effect. The SLR sometimes doesnt want to focus and sometimes doesnt want to take the picture. There you go. 🙂