National Geographic : 1926 Feb
ROUND ABOUT BOGOTA 143 Photograph by Wilson Popenoe BERRIES TOO LARGE TO BE TAKEN AT A SINGLE MOUTHFUL This giant blackberry, from the mountains near Fusagasuga, has been named the Colombian berry in honor of its native country. Its botanic name, Rubus macrocarpus, seems unusually appropriate, for it is one of the largest berries in the world. Single specimens sometimes measure more than two inches in length by an inch and a half in thickness. Plant breeders may find this berry valuable for hybridizing with North American forms, in order to produce new varieties of unusually large size. It was nearly sundown when we en tered that town. We found comfortable quarters at the small hotel, and a hot san cocho, together with fried plantains, rice, and potatoes. I was tired and stiff and turned in as soon as we had finished the meal. HIernando, even less accustomed to long tramps than myself, sat up another hour or more, applying native remedies to his feet, which were galled by the steep descent of the afternoon. A NIGHT OF DISTRESS We turned out early and looked about for a man to carry the baggage and assist us in our hunt for plants. Marcos seemed to meet the requirements and was added to our party. We braced him for the journey with a good meal and took the road back toward El Pefion, the region we had passed on the previous day. The small tavern of this name stands beside the rocky trail and offers none but the most meager supplies. The place makes no pretense of furnishing quarters overnight, so that we were forced to put up with two wooden benches which had not even been designed to serve as beds. There were no blankets available, and the building was already enveloped in a cold Andean fog when we arrived, in the late afternoon. I had a thin cotton blanket, Hernando a muffler, and as for Marcos I don't think he had anything at all, which was probably his customary bedding. Stretched upon the bench, wrapped in my inadequate blanket, I attempted to pass the night with the minimum of suf fering. It was one of the longest and hardest vigils I have ever experienced. The room was not boarded up securely, and the chill, damp wind off the mountain tops came through on all sides. My bones ached incessantly, and when I finally arose, at dawn, it was to find Hernando and Marcos shivering in the lean-to kitchen, where a small fire was being kindled by our hostess.