DAY 6 May 30, 2009

Blew out of the homeless shelter, oops I mean hostel, very early this morning. While everyone was friendly and there were some non-hippy types, I got the impression that this is a location where people without means land and stay. Please don't consider me an elitist, hippies are very interesting people on the whole, espousing unique values. However, when I go to a "hostel" I expect to meet other travelers not residents. The town itself is quite quaint.

The pueblo in Taos wasn't open yet when I arrived, so I shot a quick photo and went into town to check out the farmer's market. Fueled up and hit the "high road" (NM 75) to Santa Fe.

I passed a couple of wineries because they weren't open just yet. I stopped at Black Mesa Winery and enjoyed the kitties until the tasting room opened. This was a delightful experience. The lady pouring for me was very knowledgeable about the wines and they provide seating and a piece of paper and pencil for your notes on each tasting. I loved the chocolate flavored "Black Beauty" wine! It is a balanced, not overly sweet, wine that would pair delightfully with cheesecake or just on its own as dessert. I had to have 2 bottles.

Spent the rest of the day at the hot springs/pools at Ojo Caliente. What a delightfully unique experience. The mud bath was incredibly refreshing, followed by a very hot arsenic tub-ooooh yeah! I enjoyed both the sauna and the steam room with plenty of lemon water (gratis). The bath houses were clean and well appointed. Pricing is higher on the weekend ($25.65 with taxes) as opposed to $18 + tax during the week. You may want to consider staying on site as the room price includes admission for two people on two days and really offsets the cost of the room.

My lodging choice for the night was the Santa Fe Hostel-great choice! It is a remodeled old style motel with communal areas and kitchen. I had planned on eating at La Choza (wonderful during my last trip), but the kitchen was so well stocked with fresh and healthy choices that I grabbed a bottle of wine and shared it with Patrick and Tamas at the hostel-excellent experience! The only drawback to the experience were the foam mats they called beds-next time I will blow up the air mattress and delight in the experience.

ROUTE: NM 150 South> US 64 East> NM 75 South>NM 68 South> US 285 North to Ojo Caliente then South to Santa Fe

Lodging: SantaFe Hostel

Meals: Picnic

Attractions: Town of Arryo Seco, Taos Pueblo, Taos Farmer's Market, Scenic High Road, Black Mesa Winery, and Ojo Caliente

$$$: $22 Fuel $26 Spa $40 Wine $18 Hostel =$106

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