Carlsbad CavernsNovember 1 in the United States
Headed east from El Paso for a few hours of driving, then turned north back into New Mexico from Texas. Time for our first World Heritage site on the west coast - Carlsbad Caverns! First on the agenda was lunch from the cafeteria, which was really tasty Mexican food at a good price, so we were quite happy with that.
We opted for the "natural entrance" route into the Caverns - a two hour downhill hike which was very impressive. We arrived at the main chamber which is enormous, though only the fifth-largest in the world or something, but still quite a sight to behold. The whole interior of the cave was covered with stalagtites, stalagmites, jellyfish rocks, and various other things. I've seen decorated caves before, and large caves before, but never quite such an impressive combination. A great stop all up.
Back to the car where we drove north to Roswell, the infamous site of a "UFO" crash in 1947. It was of course actually a weather balloon, but covered up by the government since the weather balloon was observing nuclear tests. Lots of alien kitsch around as you'd expect.
In the evening Shandos realised that our next stop, Taos Pueblo, which we'd planned to visit the day after tomorrow, was actually going to be closed! It's still an active Native American community and they close for feasts, funerals etc. So our only option really was to drive for six hours up there, have a look around, then the two hours drive back to Santa Fe and have the following day off. Yikes. But at least Shandos checked - the alternative would've really sucked!!Read more