Friday, April 29, 2011

The Not So Curious Tourist

We pounded across I-40 in a continuation of the wind storm from the day before.  Hub turned on the radio for news as we approached Albuquerque and we heard something about being careful of the walkers and that the police would be out in force.  It was Good Friday so we figured it had something to do with Easter.
As we turned north on the Turquoise Trail we found the people.  Large groups, singles, kids.  Some were carrying full size crosses on their shoulders.  We looked at each other and shrugged.  There were signs for  the Santuario Walk but we hadn't a clue as to what it was.  It went on for miles.

We got ahead of the walkers at Madrid, a small, ram shackled mining town that has been invigorated by a group of artisans reminiscent of the hippies of the 60's.  Our age was telling.  I was another 'been there, done that' moment.

On to Santa Fe and our favorite stopping place, the Inn at the Alameda.  Not only is it comfortable, but they have one of the best breakfasts in town and a wine and cheese hour where the guests often get to know one another.  It has that kind of ambiance.

We had time to walk Canyon Road.  Really do the galleries even though there are fewer and fewer that carry the art we collect. As we were walking I realized much of Santa Fe looks a lot like Madrid only bigger!

 One place in particular caught my attention. There was a  small crystal ball hanging above the door.  I was very warm and thirsty at this point and when the owner offered me some water I gladly accepted and listened to her story. It was a symbol of Feng Shui.  It seems that before they opened the had a Feng Shui Master come in to instruct them as to how to arrange everything in the gallery to have positive qi. She was surprised I knew what she was talking about; we ended up having a great visit.

One thing about traveling in the off season, people do have more time to visit.  Being Easter and spring break things were more hectic than usual, but it was still relatively cool.We chatted here and there about everything from Kachinas to the most exquisite baskets from the women who live deep in the rain forests in Panama.  395 wraps per inch look almost like a painting.  Breathtaking.

The next morning we were no sooner on the highway when we came upon the walkers once again.  All the way to El Santuario de Chimayo!  On the High Road to Taos! Aha!  I had to get home to scope it out.  It's known to be the Lourdes of America where people make a pilgrimage at Easter hoping to be cured of their ills.  Had I know that I'd have encouraged Hub to stop!  The only thing we knew about Chimayo  was their wonderful chilies!

Actually, I had stopped there last fall in search of an Hispanic cemetery.  I had been fascinated by some we had passed and I wanted to take some pictures, but I had missed those easily accessed.  I had better luck this year!

I think how somber ours tend to be.  On occasion you'll see a grave decorated, but not often.  Many have restrictions on the use of flowers, real and artificial except on special occasions.  They are a place of mourning. Not so the Hispanics!  Theirs are a celebration of the life of the departed.  Bright, colorful, chaotic and might I say almost cheerful?

The walkers, of course, left us at Santuario.  The grounds were packed.  The police presence plentiful.   It was an amazing sight.

We were on our way to Bandelier  National Monument.   Hub wanted to climb to the cliff dwellings to photograph the petroglyphs.

There were a few surprises there too.  Plus an interesting side note.  The blown glass objects our new Hopi friend is trying to find a niche for are based on the shapes of those petroglyphs. Primitive depictions of life long past. With some experimentation he is learning how to infuse the essence of the figure's spirit deep within the glass. Curious.  And interesting.

Next I'll move on to ghosts, cowboys and critters.   Lots of critters!


Word Tosser said...

The motorcycles.... part of the cemetery? belong to the ones in the grave? I was thinking if it was the USA someone would have taken them.... I love old cemeteries... so make interesting lives and some stories on the stones.

Dogwalk said...

Yep, motorcycles are part of the grave. I would assume the deceased was killed in a cycle accident or was was an avid biker!

Margie's Musings said...

I am surprised that someone didn't take them too.

What an interesting trip you had!