February 14-15 , 2016
I never had been to NM and I really wanted to go. There was not a better chance for us as we were already in Arizona and we had time to visit . Weather was good, so it was perfect for us.
The nickname of New Mexico is The Land of Enchantment. It describes NM’s scenic beauty and its rich history.
After we left Arizona ( Bisbee), we drove to Las Cruces , a town in southern New Mexico. We visited the old town, La Mesilla. It was Sunday and it was quite busy. Interesting architecture. On the first photo, you’ll notice the chile pepper hanging by the wooden door. This is called a ristra, a string of dried chiles, garlic or other foodstuffs. But in New Mexico, when someone talks about a ristra, they’re referring to the string of red chile pods that can be found hanging as decoration on many New Mexican homes, especially those made of adobe. You can see ristras along fences, on patios and on portals all over New Mexico. In the Fall, you can buy ristras at farmer’s markets and roadside stands. Ristras are sometimes used for decoration, and are said to bring good health and good luck. More often, they are hung up to dry for later cooking and eating. New Mexicans consume more Chile per capita than any other group in the United States. It is an essential ingredient of “Mexican or Southwestern food,” the fastest growing food sector in the United States.
We had a quiet evening. I must say it was Valentine Day and we didn’t really try to find a fancy restaurant. We decided to walk to a fast food close by our hotel. Lota Burger is a chain and you mostly find them in NM.
The next day, we drove toward Santa Fe. We had many stops along the way. We enjoyed the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge where we saw snow geese, sand-hill cranes, ducks, turtles, birds, deer and also an eagle. We could not get very close to the geese and the cranes but it was still great to see them. As many of 50,000 snow geese and 15,000 sand-hill cranes spend the winter in this Refuge.
Thank you for reading my traveling story. More on New Mexico on my next post.