Continued from New Mexico Road Trip from Dallas – Day 3
Because of the Christmas day, we did not get to visit a lot of places on Day 3. In order to compensate, we had to stretch ourselves and ended up having an full action packed 4th day of the trip.
Trip Date: 26th December 2016
Taos is a town which is close to Santa Fe and known for its skiing resort. Also, it is famous for the Taos Pueblo which is situated there. Since we were planning to visit only one Pueblo during our trip, we chose it to be the one in Taos. Due to the time constraints, we chose to do a day trip to Taos from Santa Fe. Taos is such a beautiful town though. I wish that I only had more time with me to have explored it a little more.
‘Santa Fe <-> Taos’ High Road vs Low Road
There are actually 2 scenic routes to get to Taos from Santa Fe. Called as the High Road (Highway 76) and Low Road (Highway 68), both are equally beautiful with nature at its best. It is surely worth taking one of the routes to Taos and then using the other one to get back. We chose to use the Low Road for going from Santa Fe to Taos and used the High road to return back.
The low road had beautiful views of Rio Grande along the side, deep gorges etc. There were a lot of pull outs for you to get a closer look. Since the pull outs were all snow covered during our visit, we chose not to stop anywhere and just enjoyed all the beauty from the comfort of our car. We stopped only after reaching the Taos Pueblo parking. However, weather permitting, the Low Road is certainly worth a drive and a couple of stops.
If there is one thing you must do while in Santa Fe area or New Mexico in general, it is surely a visit to one of the Pueblo villages. Pueblos are Native American communities housed in building made with stone, mud and has its unique architecture style. The people are generally friendly and a pueblo visit lets you appreciate more about the sense of community and simple living.
Taos Pueblo is one of the ancient pueblos in New Mexico, belonging to the Tiwa speaking people. It is located in an ideal setting with the mountains in the background and a creek running through the community. The Pueblo is characterized by the multi-story buildings made with mud and stone. People still live in the Pueblo, and hence it becomes important for us to be mindful about what we do once inside.
After parking the car, we went straight ahead to the office to pay the entrance fee. And then soon we got entry into their community. They offer guided tours through their community at specific times. Since the next tour was not starting in the next 1 hour, we instead chose to walk leisurely around the community. We got a nice view of their church, houses and many of the residents who were busy cleaning up the snow from their roofs.
They did have a couple of gift shops as well, which gives you the opportunity to have an inside view of the building. They had amazing native american hand crafted items, gems including turquoise, tees, etc.
After finishing up with the Pueblo, we then decided to head straight back to Santa Fe. While returning, we took the other scenic route, ‘High Road’. It was miles after miles of gorgeous mountain side, cute little villages and I will have to agree that this route was slightly more scenic than the Low road. While we did not stop at most places, we had a planned stop en-route in the town of Chimayo.
Santuario de Chimayo
Santuario de Chimayo is a small cathedral in the town of Chimayo, which is on the route from Taos to Santa Fe. Unlike other churches we had seen, this one has a very unique architectural style. It is built with adobe, similar to the pueblos around the area. It is also famous for the ‘Holy Dirt’ present there, which is believe to miraculously cure ailments. Irrespective of your faith, it is certainly a beautiful and relaxing place to stop by.
Sticking with the theme, we then decided to move on to the pueblo style restaurant ‘Rancho De Chimayo’ for lunch. It was just a couple of mins drive from the church. Apart from the beautiful ancient style of the restaurant, what was interesting is that they were still using firewood to warm the whole restaurant. The food they served was mostly Mexican or South western. We ordered 1 each of the 2 vegetarian plates they had. An assortment of meatless dishes like enchilada, burrito, tamale, chile rellano, taco came out fresh from the kitchen with the famous green and red chile sauces. The food was good and filling. They also provided a complimentary fry bread and honey to dip into. The fry bread was actually more delicious than the ordered food 🙂
After fully loading out tummy, we then went to Ortego’s Weaving Shop. It was very close to were we had lunch. They did all the weaving right behind at the store and had a store full of colorful fabric. It was all so beautiful done. My personal opinion was that they were little on the pricier side. After browsing through the stuff for a while, we decided to make a move.
Canyon Road Art Galleries
As I had mentioned earlier, Santa Fe is famous for all the art galleries and houses famous works from over 200 artists. One area of town which is famous for the art galleries is the Canyon Road. A road which is lined up both side with art, art and more art. We decided to make a brief stop on Canyon road.
If you have to spend time in each of the art gallery, that in itself would take a couple of days of your time. We barely had an hour to spend there. We so parked our car on a side street and started to quickly browse through few of the galleries from outside. For the ones which we found interesting, we stepped in and browsed through. They had everything from paintings, native american weaving, metal art, wind chimes, etc. It was certainly time well spent to satisfy from creative side. This was again one of the places I wished, I had more time to spend.
Since most of the gift shops around the plaza area were shown to close by sunset, I decided to head there quickly. We again park on a side road around the Santa Fe plaza. We then again walked around the plaza. But this time all the fabric and gift shops were open and we decided to step into atleast a few of them. I was looking for nice collectibles, which I can take along with. Finally after a little time shopping, we decided to wrap up the long day and head back to our hotel for some well deserved sleep.
– To be continued (New Mexico Road Trip from Dallas – Day 5) –