Guru's Garden - Traveling the World in Search of Peppers

Just starting this glog now so it's one less thing to do in a few months when I'm knee deep in compost and getting things in the ground.
 
Not much to report at the moment. Strains yet to be determined, but I'll probably end up growing too many like always...lol
 
 
Only thing that's going on right now is a clean back patio and the chickens doing their part turning over my compost pile on the daily. Intersted in seeing how the soil microbes appreciate the added chicken poop!
 
12160459874_edc8a4473f_b.jpg

 
12160725676_2031da1016_b.jpg

 
Hope everyone has had a decent winter so far and here's to happy germination!
 
12161422126_10d10e2e41_z.jpg

 
 
 
EDIT UPDATE: This glog has turned into an ongoing overwintering, greenhouse and soil building how-to!
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Mouth watering  :drooling:
 
And some ripe pods for icing on the cake.
I'm diggin' the story of your trip, Rich!
 
PaulG said:
Mouth watering  :drooling:
 
And some ripe pods for icing on the cake.
I'm diggin' the story of your trip, Rich!
 
It was a good one! Despite the horrible traveler's diarrhea I acquired within the first two days of being there. hahaha
 
Mildfruit said:
Wow! Im really jealous of you traveling and finding these rare pepper plants. Really glad you're sharing your experiences with us all. 
Are you keeping seeds to grow in your home country? Or are the rules about plant importation limiting this? 
 
 
Thanks! From my limited understanding, there are some laws in place regarding the export of native species and materials, but I'm no expert on that. From what I gather, It's fine to eat them and transport the seeds inside your body, technically...but you don't wanna know how you get them back. hahahahah! 
 
Also, I've heard any produce sold in markets is fair game too. So....hypothetically, one COULD possibly know a market vendor lady, have her sell them and all is kosher. Alas, like many things that are "required" or "prohibited" at the border and through customs, generally take a back seat to cash USD entry fees and or bribes. South American police LOVE to ask for bribes for all sorts of stuff. I could imagine just how easy it would be for that to be an avenue for hush hush import and export of stuff, especially something like little old pepper seeds. Again, this is all speculation and I'm no expert in the legal realm. 
 
 
 
 
After leaving my river's edge walk in Agua Blanca, I continued North West along route 7 towards Comarapa. Chose Hotel Cochabamba for the best view of the town and to get a good night's rest for the next day of adventure. 
 
 
Comarapa at sunrise, just as all the market vendor ladies are bustling through the dusty streets below with their wooden carts full of goods and their station setup materials:
 
 
 
51195305421_f18b1dd77a_b.jpg

 
 
 
 
 
After grabbing breakfast and charging up batteries, I leave the town of Comarapa and head further north west towards La Serbia to climb high into the clouds forest areas. A view from the climb, looking back at Comarapa:
 
51194595682_ca2e99a4f6_b.jpg

 
 
 
 
 
Looking the other direction:
 
 
 
51195305471_b733708921_b.jpg

 
 
 
 
 
Has anyone been able to guess which species we are after now, and making our way towards?
 
 
 
 
Probably the most mixed emotion find of the trip. A first for me, so great in the regard I was even able to identify it at all (especially in this plant's state), but slightly disappointing as well due to only being able to find one, and the state of the plant. (no good flowers or fruit for that beauty shot moment). All in all, still pleased I was able to identify it at all.
 
C. caballeroi  !!!!!!
 
Growing out of the base of another tree that had been felled and burned, seemingly.
 
50990899247_b33defeb45_b.jpg

 
 
 
50990787781_c2b2441668_b.jpg

 
 
 
50990898837_4b2efd787f_b.jpg

 
 
 
 
50990787326_8fb1022119_b.jpg

 
 
 
 
50990087838_61c659556b_b.jpg

 
 
 
 
50990087623_625f9670ce_b.jpg

 
 
 
 
50990785611_c23e646589_b.jpg

 
 
 
50990897582_aa2cbc055b_b.jpg

 
 
 
50990086918_edca8036ff_b.jpg

 
 
 
50990897762_8e50512ac8_b.jpg
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
What were the identifying markers that
aided your settling on the species?
 
PaulG said:
What were the identifying markers that
aided your settling on the species?
I had been studying quite intensively over Claudio's reports on pepperfriends as well as reading just about every botanical report and finding by major capsicum botanists throughout the years.
 
There are a few websites like gbif that are a lot of help, as well as a really cool capsicum database and map, made with those gbif findings. Peter Floricole has created that website.
 
Between all of the studying, google earthing, morphology traits listed in most descriptions,
and dreaming about all the photos I had been looking at for many months prior,
I knew exactly what I was looking at as soon as I laid eyes on it.
 
Here are the morphology traits listed on pepperfriends:
 
Capsicum caballeroi Nee
Species with undetermined number of chromosomes widespread in central-southern Bolivia (Cochabamba, Santa Cruz) at altitudes 1880-2600 m.
Locally it is known as Aji del monte or Ulupica de Yunga.
The plants are cepugliose, 1-7 m
The leaves are lanceolate, in opposing pairs of different sizes, but the same shape .:
There are 1-2 flowers and fruits per node.
The flower is pendulous or intermediate, not geniculate at the anthesis, with a long peduncle.
The calyx has 10 teeth, 5 longer alternating with 5 shorter, more evident in the fruit.
The corolla is campanulate, of an intense yellow color without spots; the anthers are yellow.
The fruit is spherical, 9-11 mm in diameter, bright red when ripe, pendulous.
The fruits are spicy, but non-spicy accessions are reported.
The seeds are yellowish.
 
source: https://www.pepperfriends.org/dbpf/capsicum-caballeroi_001.asp
 
 
Where you find these things is some seriously unreal territory. I took that little front wheel drive, Suzuki Alto through shit you wouldn't imagine.
 
I searched those damn cloud forest hill sides, every damn cattle trail, stream side, etc you could imagine, all day, and then as I made my way back to the car, there it was, growing out of the stump of a lager, burned tree.
 
Felt awesome that I actually found one for the first time. That's a feeling you can't describe. Would've been super awesome to get to taste one, a ripe red, 10 calyx toothed, oblong and deformed shaped fruit. But the find alone will suffice. There is always next time ;)
 
So, after this C caballeroi find I made my way back towards Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
 
At this point my traveler's GI issue had gotten pretty bad. Definitely a living bug inside me. Cramps until I ate, then liquid, then a couple hours of relief. Then the cycle starts all over again.
 
I always rough it and travel quite economically, but I was ready for some pampering and wanted good AC, food, and a comfortable room.
 
I never do this but I chose the best hotel in Santa Cruz. Super bougie. But was much needed. I spent the last 4-5 days in Bolivia treating my self to food and drinks, usually pool side, on the 30th floor over looking the city.
 
My view of the city one morning before one of my short lived adventures out into the vastness that is Santa Cruz de la Sierra:
 
51027347726_ce970742b2_b.jpg

 
 
 
 
 
Each morning I begin to feel much better than the day before.
 
 
Each morning while sipping my coffee, this view north into the vastness that is the Amazon Rain Forrest and the knowledge there is still one more place to check out before I go back home, tempts me further and further away from the hotel each day:
 
51026619348_3a1ceb610c_b.jpg

 
 
 
 
 
 
One last thing to try and find and then I think I'll head back to the states...
 
Last and half assed find of the trip was another bac var bac just outside of the city, Santa Cruz de la Sierra. 
 
51027447612_8d242dfcb0_b.jpg

 
 
51027447857_580a4b14a6_b.jpg

 
 
51027447822_eddabd78bf_b.jpg

 
I was ill prepared and ill to begin with on my last jaunt. In search of another wild that I had on the list. The diarrhea and stomach cramps had me doubled over attempting to take macro photos, while running away from the mosquitos through flooded trails in the jungle. I didn't prepare. They were brutal. Total oversight on my part. It wasn't a great day...but the hotel food, pool, and drinks made everything better once I got back in. 
 

ahayastani

Extreme Member
Pepper-Guru said:
I was ill prepared and ill to begin with on my last jaunt. In search of another wild that I had on the list. The diarrhea and stomach cramps had me doubled over attempting to take macro photos, while running away from the mosquitos through flooded trails in the jungle. I didn't prepare. They were brutal. Total oversight on my part. It wasn't a great day...but the hotel food, pool, and drinks made everything better once I got back in. 
 
They tell a joke in MX... What travels faster than light? El chorro (diarrhea), because by the time you've reached the toilet and aim for the light, el chorro has already passed. It has happened to me once and I spent the night in the bathroom. Recuperation took the best of two weeks, but my intestines remained sensitized for over a year (mushrooms caused most issues). Yeah, no joke when it hits you, isn't it? :) Despite the troubles that haunted you, I still think your photos are worth showing :)
 
ahayastani said:
 
They tell a joke in MX... What travels faster than light? El chorro (diarrhea), because by the time you've reached the toilet and aim for the light, el chorro has already passed. It has happened to me once and I spent the night in the bathroom. Recuperation took the best of two weeks, but my intestines remained sensitized for over a year (mushrooms caused most issues). Yeah, no joke when it hits you, isn't it? :) Despite the troubles that haunted you, I still think your photos are worth showing :)
 
You know the deal! Hey! At least it wasn't as violent as salmonella I got in Iquitos, Peru! hahah! I thought I was dying. Hit me just before my flight back into Lima. I passed out in bathroom during landing, they busted in on me, it was a God awful site to behold. 
 
Top