How quickly we leave one landscape, one country, and enter another. I woke in a hotel near the Vancouver airport this morning and by early afternoon I was walking Albuquerque’s Old Town. And how lovely it is, this city of old adobe buildings, gardens of yucca and cacti, warm air. . . Flying from Denver, I looked out to see a vast area composed as beautifully as a quilt — circles in squares, some of them bisected by thin lines, and nearby, the scribble of oxbows. What crops are planted in circles, I wondered, and later found out that it’s the result of center-pivot irrigation. That’s all I know and I’ll try to find out more but seen from a plane, it’s like looking at the work of a really skillful quilter, working with rich brown velvet, tawny corduroy, deep silvery blue thread, olive green felt.
We ate dinner in Mas, a restaurant in what was the first hotel Conrad Hilton built in his native New Mexico and which is now Hotel Andaluz, walking distance from our B&B. We had the most delicious tapas — grilled eggplant with Manchego and saffron honey, a hummus made with roasted carrots and chickpeas, beet and walnut puree, sesame lavash, slices of Mancheo with membrillo, olives — and a bottle of Spanish wine. This is what we saw when we began the walk back to the Mauger B&B: