The trip that turned out to be life changing

See previous posting for the story behind.

Photo’s in this follow up are scanned and digitalized; the original prints, although kept dry, were detoriated.

Good memories

21 Years ago, to be more precise March/April 1996, I was for some weeks in Colorado and New Mexico. I was there for several features for a range of magazines; from farming to catering and travel. I stayed one week in Denver where I interviewed amongst others representatives of the meat industry and the best delicatesse maker in the USA in Aurora (suburb of Denver). On my way to New Mexico I stayed on night in Colorado Springs where I interviewed one of the four most forestanding pig breeders in the world – seemed I was the first (photo-)journo who got access in their premises; most probably they read my article about a competitor in Australia 😉 – and at the end I reached Bernalillio, a town between Santa Fe and Alburquerque. I stayed there in the best accommodation ever; a restored and refurbished adobe house of a few hundred years old with courtyard. Stayed there for a couple of weeks (USD 84.00 per night including breakfast).

Why am I writing this?

I come to that; be patient.

I did a lot from there; visited Santa Fe, canoed on the Rio Grande, interviewed several cattle and crop farmers and I visited the hospital for a feature about their restaurant for a catering magazine. That was funny in a way; Saw a 30 ton tank trailer filling up one of the silos with ketchup; “happens every week”, they told me. What I also experienced (as in other places in the USA) that the best restaurants are found in unexpected places like in an industrial area or off the beaten track in some rural part in the country side. Good honest food I ate in New Mexico.

And now to the point: During one of my trips I was in Los Alamos and I remember standing there on a mountain and seeing other mountain tips and I imaged; “I stand here in the West of The Netherlands and I see there the far South/East and to my left the far North/East and somewhere in between is where I live”. It was for me, at the time living in an overpopulated part of the world, an overwhelming experience of space and sound. Only the sound of nature and no one to see .. At that moment I made the decision that sooner or later I would emigrate from The Netherlands to where ever. Four years later we moved to South Africa but I still have fond memories of New Mexico. In the picture: wind chime I bought locally in Bernalillio 21 years ago. BTW I also still have a sweater with ‘Colorado’ printed on it and occasionally I wear it although the colors have faded quite a bit.

La Hacienda Grande ….

… in the town of Bernalillo between Alburquerque and Santa Fe in New Mexico, USA. Shot in 1996 (reworked this from negative film). 18 Years after it has changed of management but I can assure you that it was the best accommodation I ever stayed in during all my travels in the USA in the eighties and nineties. Been in virtually every state except Montana, Washington and Oregon. Before we decided to move from Holland to South Africa the ‘Four Corners’ (Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah) was high on the list …


Cactus with hug factor and Sweet Blogger Award

If I mention the word ‘cactus’ people have the association with prickly plants with nasty spines. Personally I rather work with cacti than with roses (pruned many roses bare handed) I can taken them in my hands and I rarely get pricked but than I know these magnificent plants or is it when you really love plants, plants will love you?

Anyway; there are also spineless cacti. One of these is the Lophocereus scotti monstrose; it’s one with a huge hug factor and it grows naturally in Mexico, New Mexico and in Texas.

Never realized that my sweetness reached the level of being nominated for the Sweet Blogger Award but Heather nominated me. Thank you Heather and also thank you for sharing your pictures with the world.

Important note: I’m not in favor of all kinds of blogger awards for whatever (silly?) reasons but I’ve been nominated so many times now and didn’t do anything with it. So for the first and LAST time I’ll play this ‘game’ with you.

Now I first have to answer 5 sweet questions and secondly nominate 13 co-bloggers:

Cookies or Cake? Both? Cookies with preference for Dutch ‘pepernoten’ and ‘speculaas’. Cake only with raisins

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate but than only the real thing (from Belgium, Finland or Switzerland)

3. Favorite Sweet Treat? creamy puffs

4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? Together with coffee

5. Sweet Nick Name?  Puffy maybe… 🙂

And now the 13 nominees. This is very difficult for there are many nice people/good photographers to chose from so don’t be angry with me if you’re not listed.

1) First of all Brigid Taylor Jackson of Ariston Organic for her honey-cinnamon recipes are so ‘super sweet’.

2) Andrew Harvard is the Super Sweet Chef of Durban. During his recent trip to Turkey he went into virtually every restaurant on his way. He’s now on a diet; probably eating his own superb bahklava.

3) Kenneth McMillan of Hardtocomebylifestyle ‘loves’ raccoons. Didn’t know that these are sweet Kenneth.

4) Shiarika Pienaar of AmberAfrica with her sweet dog. She is also an intellectual (the dog I mean).

5) Ray Fausel  who shows us the ‘sweet’ side of Maine, USA; a state I only know to be freezing cold (but that was in Winter).

6) Even if you don’t intend to go to Barcelona (personally I’d rather choose for Madrid) it’s still very worthwhile to follow The Xavi’s Photoblog. Don’t know if Xavi Geiss likes sweets but it’s not impossible that as an historian/archaeologist he’s digging for it.

7) Heather, who nominated me, has her home-sweet-home in the Ozarks and she loves plants like I do so she must be super sweet as well.

8) Nigel Borrington is from county Kilkenny in Ireland and his pictures resemble, metaphorically,  the taste of sweet potatoes (my favorite potato) and as Irish know everything about potatoes including the sweet ones I know that he really deserves this award. His landscape pictures are awesome!

9) From county Kildare in Ireland is Ed Mooney. One of his specialities is weddings. Bet he’s doing that to get his piece of a sweet wedding cake… 🙂 Love his pictures.  Ireland is indeed a destination for (landscape) photographers.

10) Leanne Cole from Melbourne in Australia doesn’t need much of an introduction for she’s probably known to most of us and has developed her own style. Can’t stop liking her posts. Okay; I’m a bit jealous of her but that does not stop me from mentioning her where- and whenever I can.

11) Toemailers Angela and Quinlan are making the world a better place ‘one foot at the time’. Sweet feet from all over the globe (including mine!!!) in their posts!

12) Odile d’Harnois lectures from the heart about literature and movies in French and English. Her photographs are … well … don’t have words for it…. See for yourself!

14) At last but not at least number 13 (not the best number for a nomination… that’s the reason I skipped it and went over to nr 14). This is for quite a somebody from Kaipara in New Zealand. And I bet Maureen loves her sweets. Well her pictures and photographs are!

A hug for all of you and that includes all the bloggers I haven’t mentioned! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂