Take time to look...
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
The beauty of travelling alone is the sense of freedom one gets from driving along the open road. There are certain advantages of travelling alone, such as not having to explain why you have to stop to take a photo of ... a rock, or a tree, or a cloud. You don't have to agree on accommodation or restaurants or which attractions or museums to visit. On the other hand, travelling solo can be expensive because there's nobody with whom to share costs. All this aside, I've collected a Ford Edge from Albuquerque airport and I'm on the way to Santa Fe. I settle into the middle lane and drive north on the freeway. I want to arrive in Santa Fe by mid-afternoon so I can put together an itinerary of sorts for tomorrow's sightseeing. I have a list of things I must see, so I need a map to plot my route.
Geographically, Albuquerque is situated in the high-altitude semi-arid Chihuahuan Desert region. The elevation of the airport I've just left behind me is 1,631 metres (5,352 feet) above sea level. The land is flat, and the vegetation is sparse.
I pass a turnoff for Camel Rock and make a mental note to check it out on my way back next week. A short way up the road, a huge camel's head looms on the left side and already I regret not taking the exit, as this is right on the side of the road, but not my side of the freeway. It does look very much like a camel lying in the sand.
The land is flat, the soil reddish, and the vegetation is made up of sage bush, all of which contrasts with the azure sky. As I approach Santa Fe, I notice that the architecture is low-rise adobe-style. It is unique and so very beautiful as homes and public buildings blend in with the landscape. Of course, as I reach the outskirts of the town, the buildings revert back to the normal-everyday architectural style of typical Americana. But, as I approach the city centre, I'm delighted to see it is unlike all other American cities I have visited so far, and is centred around the public plaza.
I can't wait to return tomorrow to explore this fascinating and beautiful city.
TITLE QUOTE: Georgia O'Keefe
ACCOMMODATION: Sage Inn, 725 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM.