Today’s agenda, Go to Santa Rosa and see the Blue Hole, then go on to Taos. So far so good.
Arrived in Santa Rosa, we were surprised about the location of the Blue Hole. Usually, natural springs or interest points are some km away from town. This one was somewhere in the ‘suburbs’ of the City.
The next surprise was how unnatural everything looked by now. Walls built, stairs added and railings took away every picturesque feeling. I tried to photograph some rock jumpers but they hesitated too long so I got bored.
Taos was maybe not much, but way better than Roswell. We found a coffee place that felt right, could have a walk and found supermarkets to buy some local beer for a tasting. Then we looked up a restaurant. “Byzantium” was a nice change to the everywhere present Tex-Mex food.
Next day we went to Taos Pueblo. This is the old Native American village. The houses are made from clay and straw. In some parts, people still live, but since it’s sacred ground, no water or electricity can be laid there and thus most people moved to Taos and only reside in the village over the day to sell goods to tourists.
I was split in what I expected. People say, that most native American tribes despise tourists and are rude and will just be after your money with cheap trinkets. I did expect that these stories aren’t entirely true, but I wasn’t sure at all with what mindset I should approach Taos Pueblo.
I shouldn’t have worried. Everybody we met here was open, friendly and interested in telling you about his heritage. Of course, they also try to sell their goods and most of them are also beautiful pieces of art. In one corner of the village, we found a silversmith. He was busy with making jewellery as some tourist before we stepped in. The pieces just talked to us and we had to take a piece along.
In some other house, a jolly Pueblo lady sat and right away chatted with us. She was a well of information and I enjoyed talking to her very much. The Pueblo natives have a special sort of clay. In it is a sparkling substance, called mica. She told me about that and the language and her family and the way the people lived before American fast food. On one table, 3 bears out of clay stood. Our souvenirs have to be very small, coz we have no room to keep it safe otherwise. The smallest of the bears talked to me and I asked her about the significance of the bears. She told me the myth is, the bear comes alive when you leave the house or room and keeps your home safe. Especially mothers validate the powers of the safe keeper. They place the bear with their child and can go and do the washing and know their kid will be kept safe for a few minutes till she returns. It spoke the name of the person it wanted to be given to and I took the bear along.
Throughout the village, we got information or witnessed small rituals, like rebuilding one of the many oval ovens with clay and straw. I got explained that the Natives used to use grass. The Spanish invaders taught the Natives to use a straw.
After we left the village it started to rain and we decided to go to the cinema and continue with the latest “Planets of the Apes” movie.
Now we are on our way to Colorado Springs.