New Mexico

Day 1808 Sunday 27th September

Crossing another state line seemed to bring as much as a temperature drop as it increased re-entering Texas!

Needing to wash our riding gear properly and ourselves, we took a camp ground near Tucumcari.

Day 1809 Monday 28th September

Leaving late for once, after a slow breakfast of tea and cereals we headed for Santa Fe.

On the road a semi passed me and and a black lump was blown to the verge side, I thought it was a piece of tyre. I saw it roll to a stop then start moving again, it was a large spider, so big when up on its legs it cast a shadow and I could see underneath it. All of this in a few seconds, I thought was it right?

A few km on and another, the last, walking across the interstate highway.

We gained altitude to the high plains of New Mexico where the pale yellow grass struggled to grow amongst light pink and ash coloured rock. However small rich green coloured trees grew in abundance, giving many a vivid focal point on the barren landscape. The air smelt of pipe tobacco where the grass had been cut. The flat Texan plains had now given way to rising hills and in the far distance mountains surrounded the landscape.

In town I found an affordable camp ground, while Diane talked with a guy who told us of a cheap hostel. Thinking a room would be better for a swift departure we rode there to have a look. All looked good until one of the staff asked me if I thought leaving my roll bags on the bike was a good idea, they often had people walking in and trying to get into the rooms. He said a few had tried that today! Getting our money back we hot wheeled back to the camp ground. Security of our bikes being paramount.

Day 1810 Tuesday 29th September

Spent our day walking Santa Fe looking at very nice but expensive tourist souvenirs.

Day 1811 Wednesday 30th September

Left camp and got en-route only to be halted by a medical problem. We took a room at Espanola due to Diane having continued severe stomach problems

Day 1812 Thursday 1st October

Arriving at Aztec Ruins, in Aztec, they were not Aztec but the invading Europeans though they were, and there still called that today. Built over three hundred years and abandoned in thirteen hundred, maybe due to the river drying up? The settlement was a labyrinth of store rooms, living and sleeping areas and large round communal meeting halls. Within a hundred or so clicks there were other similar villages, so maybe they just moved around a bit. Lot of work to leave behind though.

Camped at an RV park by the river, secluded and away from the regular tourists in their huge fifth wheel trailers

Day 1813 Friday 2nd October

Aimed to spend the day and night at a Navajo fair where we were told we could buy crafts off the locals. Typical fair heaps of food and no sign of a craft market. As the entire sight was a dust bowl we headed onward.

As we got closer to Monument Valley the landscape quickly changed and became very dramatic. Vast ranges of red, grey and pale yellow rock, liberally sprinkled with the familiar dark green scrub and small trees.