Hurray! I managed to find some durians in Puerto Viejo!!! What an adventure.
A week before I was scheduled to leave Costa Rica for several months, I found one of my favourite fruits of all time-the infamous durian, and it was organic, almost wild grown. How did this happen?
Last time I wrote, I had been in contact with another 30bad member who posted pictures of himself eating a bunch of durians in February 2012 in Costa Rica. This is unheard of because the season doesn't usually begin until June at the earliest. Apparently, the funny weather patterns have caused this strange occurrence, even rambutans are fruiting now and they usually fruit in September. I contacted this person only to be told that he wasn't interested in sharing his source, nor was he available to send me or provide some fruit that he purchased.
I was very discouraged. To top it off my partner and I were at the other end of the country visiting friends so the likelihood of making it to Puerto Viejo was very poor. I had to do a lot of sweet talking to get a trip to Puerto Viejo because neither my partner nor I like to leave our little patch of paradise, the bus rides are horribly long and driving is very stressful on the curvy, trafficked, often potholed roads of Costa Rica. Nor is my love an aficionado of durian-although it is growing on him. This pleases and worries me at the same time because up til now, I haven't needed to share any of my durian with him, but I do relish eating the same food as him!
After a very long day on the road we finally got to Puerto Viejo. I started making inquiries about possible fruiting durian trees. A friend on facebook connected me to someone in the area that might know. I contacted him. He told me of a farm he knew that had some. After much searching, we found the farm-only to find the durians way up their huge trees-impossible to climb!
Happily, another lady at our hotel told us of another possible source. I called up the owner and bingo! He confirms that he has lots of fruit that are tree ripened and falling out of the trees naturally. He collected over 45 fruits for me!!!! I was really impressed with the fact that he had the foresight to plant his trees over 25 years ago. For the first time, he said there was a real interest in his fruit. I asked him if I could write about him on my blog with more detail, but he said he'd rather not. He's a quiet man-the man who planted one of my favourite fruit trees (I love the story 'The Man Who Planted Trees', btw). In my own humble way, I too am planting as many fruit trees as possible on my little patch of land. Plus, I spread and share fruit seeds and saplings to as many people as possible.
There was only one problem with my little pot of gold-the infamous durian smell. I personally love the smell now, although it did take some getting used to. The lady from my hotel truly regretted leading me to a durian source because the smell of 45 of them in our car bothered everyone in the hotel!!! The car will never be the same again...
p.s. the one red durian fruit pictured was the first red fruit to ever produce on this farm. Sadly, it was past by the time I got it. Also, the seed was not properly formed to be viable-but there's hope for the future...