Following the sun

Trip Start Mar 13, 2013
Trip End Apr 13, 2013

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Where I stayed
Sandia Peak Inn Motel Albuquerque
Read my review - 3/5 stars
What I did
Santa Fe Plaza
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Sunday, March 31, 2013

Actually had a reasonable night's sleep last night; my crocodile skin has subsided a little and I was delighted to open my eyes and remember I was in Santa Fe. I love our room and wish we could stay here a bit longer - like almost every other place on this trip. 

We shared a very companiable breakfast, which was assembled right in the office area. so folk were coming in and out and all were chatting as they ate or said their farewells.

Dawn on the desk is super friendly and has an awesome sense of humour; she gave us directions for the 2 hour tour of Santa Fe and reminded us that as it is Easter Sunday most shops or places of interest will be closed. She then gave Shell a Route 66 New Mexico shield, which we put on the back dash on the other side of our California or Bust number plate.

First up we parked in the Railyard and went for a walk - Sissel's, where I bought my rings last time - was closed, but the boot shop Kowboyz was open and just as fascinating as last time but with more antiques and classic items for sale along with boots, hats, shirts and other western gear. Then we walked down Guadalupe Rd for half an hour, then back. It was a beautiful day, perfect for walking. I met a Crow or Raven who followed me  whilst we talked, via several trees that he hopped and flew along.

Getting back in the car we drove to the Visitor's Centre to park and walk down to the Oldest House and Church, and to check out the historic plaza. As I'd explored Santa Fe before I opted to sit in the Plaza and watch the world of Santa Fe go by for a while.

Next to me was sitting a man who had some sort of animal skins attached to his hat and draped around his shoulders; we began talking and he introduced himself as Doc. Doc said that he'd been out of hospital a week after a stroke but assured me that he couldn't easily be killed off and would turn 75 on the 4th of June. He lived up in the mountains behind Santa Fe and told me about the birds and animals - especially coyotes (some of whom he was wearing?) - who visited him regularly. Doc took his hat off momentarily to show me that although his beard might be shot with grey his hair was still a rich brown, no dye, no fear.  He had been born in Kenya and had lived in Santa Fe since arriving as a young man of 24. Doc had come to town in the hope that he could get some work, but of course everything was closed for the holiday. I asked him what he did and he replied that at his age he could do most anything he turned his hand to. 
I of course gave him some money and we just sat there for a while, occasionally commenting on a particularly hot car or motorbike and Doc waving at people he knew before I let him off the hook and allowed him to move on to his next tourist by going and sitting on the grass to pat a gorgeous five month old pitbull pup. I would gladly have patted her owner too but alas! Too young for this old now I am glowing like a lobster, having paid no mind to the sun with such grand entertainment to distract me; Shell and Rich wandered up and we settled in for lunch on a balcony overlooking the Plaza at The Thunderbird Bar and Grill.

Over my green chile pork stew and two prickly pear margarita's - they were bright pink! - we chatted about our morning and continued to watch people, cycles and cars cruising the block.

After lunch we drove for a little while around Santa Fe before heading off to Albuquerque, stopping at Macca's for the WiFi and booking The Sandia Peak Inn on Route 66 in Albuquerque near Old Town. By the way, I know how to spell Albuquerque without checking.....just sayin'.....once we added the tax it cost us $80, the most expensive night so far on the road.

  Once we arrived and dumped our stuff we took off to see Old Town before the sun went down; being Easter Sunday evening all - or nearly all - the shops were closed but Shell and Rich got to see the San Felipe de Neri church that was built in 1706 and the Town Square. Shell really wanted to buy some pottery and just as we thought we had left our run too late we came upon a man lifting his shop sign off the footpath to put it away and close shop. We begged him for some time and he was happy to oblige. Inside were some gorgeous pieces amongst many other souvenirs and works of art and crafts. Shell bought a beautiful Navajo vase complete with Kokopelli and I bought six woven place mats. 

Happily we returned to the hotel where Rich offered to do washing while Shell and I went on a food mission to - you guessed it - Walmart!  All in all a great day, although my new nickname is Rudolph.  

By the time I make Albuquerque, she'll be workin'.....
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