Monday 7 August 2017
Day Twelve - Taos to Albuquerque - 139 Miles
The day started in Taos (after my first waffles of the entire trip). Everyone in the B&B recommended I took the 'high road' into Santa Fe - and I'm glad I did.
It starts back in the thick pine woods of the Carson National Forest that I encountered the day before. From here it passes through many little villages with names like Peñasco and Sipapu - the Spanish and Indian influences are strong up here. The Spanish first colonised the area back in the 1750s, often next to existing Indian pueblos, the two blurring together.
There came a point when the landscape started to change - the lush green valleys gave way to shrub covered desert, and I skirted around the edge of Santa Fe. I've been before, and I didn't need any 'native' gifts or scented candles, so I didn't stop this time. Like Taos, I found it too commercial, too busy, when I visited in 2012.
It's attractive, yet more adobe buildings and Spanish colonial architecture - but touristy and sleepy in the evenings.
The nightlife all happens where Route 66 cuts through the University district in an area called Nob Hill. I didn't stay here last time as the few remaining Route 66 motels had a bad reputation, and were well past their prime.
The two very laid back dudes that run it had lost my reservation (which I had a gut feeling they would), but it wasn't full and the room is nice, if simple. I'm right in the middle of it here, and there's a burger-and-beer bar two doors down I'm off to investigate ...