Yesterday was a rest day so it was a chance to look around the city of Santa Fe. Most of the places we have stayed in so far on the tour tend to be located on the edge of the town and they all look and feel the same – as if they have been made from kit. A sort of concrete lego set. They’re purely functional serving the needs of overnighters. They’re fine as far as they go but totally lack character and feeling. I’m not criticising here; they are ideal for this sort of tour, easily accessible on the edge of the town or city. Totally predictable in their standardised offer so no nasty surprises. Nothing to be worried about or get in the way of the essential start and end of day routines. What this does mean though is that, with a few exceptions, I’ve probably got a totally skewed view of the places we’ve stayed in. So I was delighted to have the chance to go and feel the pulse and take the temperature of Santa Fe which has lots of history and culture.
click here) an artist who photographs wildlife, particularly horses in the wonderful landscapes of the West. I was captivated by her black and white work where the grain, textures and tones of her images totally capture the sense of place. The landscapes evoked powerful memories of what I had seen and felt over the last few days. Sadly, I don’t have the words to fully express the feelings that Kat’s work evoked in me but I felt privileged to have had an opportunity to see it. As someone who has spent most of my life working in the natural environment I was delighted too to learn that Kat donates a proportion of her income to conserving and supporting wild animal welfare. Sadly, all good things must come to an end so after meeting Dan and Phyllis for a farewell pizza and beer we were back in our hotel for an early night before resuming the tour.
As we passed through the town of Pecos I was reminded of the infamous Judge Roy Bean, a saloon keeper and justice of the peace, who anointed himself as the ‘Law West of the Pecos’. His courtroom was his saloon and he used to dole out his version of justice whilst seated on a whisky barrel. It is probably best to describe his life as “colourful”. Several books have been written and tv series ands films featuring the judge – most with a large helping artistic licence.
We had made such good time that we rolled in very early to Las Vegas. There was only one thing to do. Head for the old part of town and seek out the historic Plaza Hotel. A cold beer, a massive and very tasty meatloaf burger and chips more than replenished the calories that my Garmin told me I’d burnt today. That Garmin is so clever it can probably tell me what I should eat a week on Tuesday! Then it was time to head for another Lego kit hotel – this time of the Best Western breed.
Oh, I nearly forgot a bit of good news. When I logged onto the Interweb at the hotel I discovered that the Froomedog had won the Giro. What a fantastic achievement. I can’t wait to watch the highlights ...