Howdy Partners from Santa Fe

Trip Start Sep 14, 2009
Trip End Aug 16, 2010

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Where I stayed
Bonnie and Dave's

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Saturday, August 14, 2010

We had arranged to go and stay in Santa Fe with Bonnie and Dave whom we had first met back in Borneo in March and took a plane to Albuquerque with the great Southwest cheap airline. Santa Fe is in New Mexico and the town is heavily influenced by its Spanish heritage and the town itself emanates from a central plaza. The majority of the fabulous buildings are made in the adobe style of bricks made from mud and straw with a rendering in a shade of brown to finish. No building can be taller than the Cathedral and so it is unlike any other city in the US in that there are no tall skyscrapers. The feel is very laid back, native Indian and Mexican and it is lovely just to wander around. It is the third most important art and culture centres in the States following New York and Los Angeles and there are hundreds of galleries and studios where artists have come from around the world to settl e. Issy and Liz went to see the Georgia O'Keefe exhibition, she is famous for her beautiful flower and colourful abstract paintings. There are also over 200 restaurants in the small centre so we were never short for a bite to eat. At around 7000 feet the temperature was perfect at approximately 82F and in the winter there is heavy snow which makes the surrounding area a popular ski destination.

It was wonderful to see Bonnie and Dave again and we were so grateful for them having invited us and put us up in their beautiful home. The house is located close to the centre and is a traditional adobe. In the grounds Dave literally built a Casita in the adobe style which they rent out and is stunning. Mind you he is quick to say never again about the building game!

We took a tour on a small bus around Santa Fe and were driven by a real life cowboy who came all the way from – London! He has been there for eight years and loves the lifestyle. It was a great way to get around and have some great little snippets of info about the town and its people.

The next day we all went up to Los Alamos which is the secret town that was created for the development of the atomic bomb during the second world war. We went to the museum there and learnt how scientists from all over the world came there in 1943 to develop the technology to end the war. The learning is interactive and we all found it quite fascinating but at the same time unnerving.

We went for a short walk through the forest to see Valle Grande which is a lovely open valley that was in fact a very violent volcano a few thousand years ago. A real highlight was going to Bandalier National Monument where we walked up to the cliffs to see where the native Indians made their homes some 700 years ago. You have to climb a series of wooden ladders to get up there as they would use natural caves as shelter and then build out small covered areas from wood. It was supremely peaceful and whilst walking there we were lucky enough to see Mummy Bear and her two baby bears. Fortunately Daddy Bear was not around but they came pretty close and it was very exciting to see such magnificent animals in the wild. Dave and Bonnie must be our lucky wildlife charms as we saw rare pygmy elephants, a wild orang-utan and other great wildlife with them in Borneo.

It was great to see, experience and feel the relaxed life of Santa Fe as it is such a unique place in the States without the hustle and bustle of normal cities there. We all said that it would be a lovely place to live although Issy was less convinced as there are no swimming pools due to the fact it is a desert with a fairly serious lack of water.

Thank you Dave and Bonnie for inviting us to your special home and letting us share Santa Fe. We wish you both lots of strength in your journey in the following months. We will be thinking of you.
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Sherry Steiner on

Hey all!

I have enjoyed your entries, but this one is special. Joe and I hope to retire in Santa Fe. It is our favorite American city! So glad you had a chance to go! The pix are great. Miss you at school!

Kylie and Spencer on

Love looking at your pics and reading your news feeds. So so jealous about you guys seeing the bears!!! I really wana see them. Hope you all are well and still enjoying your travels xxx

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