Solo Travel Destinations, American Southwest, From Relaxing Spas to Hiking National Parks

One of the great features of the US Southwest is that it really has something for everyone. One late November, I booked an elegant spa / 5 star hotel in the Scottsdale, Arizona area. There was a wide array of options available from lounging to hikes. Coming from the East Coast, one surprise for me was that the desert that time of year was not always warm. The outside patios had heat lamps making it comfortable even after sundown to sit outside for dinner.

Apparently, I was not the only one thinking of blazing sunshine and cowboys riding off on the horizon. I booked a full day's excursion to the Grand Canyon. When my mini-van arrived there, snow had begun to fall. One of our small group, a woman from Europe, dressed in “desert” gear, lightweight clothing and street shoes, dashed to the gift shop. She returned to admire the Canyon view decked out in layers of sweatshirts, a baseball cap providing only a marginal improvement from the chilly temperature!

Another surprise: As a child, I had joined my fellow schoolmates crooning “Home on the Range … where buffalo roam”. This was more legend than reality since apparently there are no “American buffaloes” only “bison”.

Additional day trip options from the Scottsdale area include a major artist colony, Sedona, which ranges from 20th century Frank Lloyd Wright architecture to its memorable red-rock natural landscapes. A hiking option is the Apache Trail with nearby Goldfield Ghost Town, ultimately ending at Roosevelt Dam.
In any case, it was an enjoyable trip which I would recommend. The only drawback? When traveling, I prefer being within walking distance from a variety of sights.

A very different but equally good trip followed with Christmas in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There was lots of snow which was very seasonable but better still was the historic town itself. There were multiple restaurants, shops and local landmarks, such as the St. Francis Cathedral Basilica. The latter was built rather recently in the late 1800's but serves a 400 year old parish. Native Americans offered jewelry and other goods, most popular of which were turquoise and silver necklaces, earrings and even belt buckles. (Earlier in November Santa Fe hosts the SWAIA Winter Indian Market.)

Santa Fe day trips include:
• Taos
• Abiquiú
• Turquoise Trail
• Bandelier National Monument with 70 miles of trails for hiking
• Georgia O'Keefe's Home
• Pecos National Park
• For a change of pace, Las Vegas is within range as well.

Taos besides its views en route is famous for somewhat challenging ski slopes. Although a remedial Intermediate Skier, I dutifully carried my skis to Santa Fe anticipating a day's ski trip at Taos. Unfortunately although having arrived in time for virtually daily snowfalls, my trip coincided with Christmas week. As a result, the minivan commuter services I contacted were all unavailable. Local residents discouraged me from renting a car to make the unfamiliar mountain drive alone during potentially heavy snowfall. One creative solution was to get a ride to the mountain and hope to find one on return. I rejected the possibility of being stuck overnight looking for lodging with a day enjoying the region around Santa Fe.

I found year-round both Arizona and New Mexico good choices for solo travelers. However, for side trips to national parks check ahead for winter closings.

City of Rocks – An Eerie and Thought Provoking Place – Middle of Nowhere, New Mexico

Way out in the middle of nowhere New Mexico is a very interesting little State Park called “City of Rocks”. This State Park is basically a group of impressive stone extrusions that were created 35 million years ago when volcanic ash or “tuff” was fused together. Over the eons these towers and buttresses have been eroded by wind and rain into the interesting shapes and groups of stone that you see there today.

I have explored this place on several occasions but one visit in particular I drove out there from El Paso late at night in order to just get away from the city. To get there, head west out of Las Cruces, New Mexico on Interstate 10 to the town of Demming. Exit at Demming and head north on US Highway 180 for 24 miles until you come to the junction with NM Highway 61. Turn right and east and follow this road for about 4 miles and you will see the turn off for “City of Rocks” State Park.

Turn left and follow this road to the park entrance. Make sure that you get whatever supplies you may need in Demming before heading north because this State Park is a very lonely place with no supplies available per se. It was a mild night when I visited the park and it was perfectly clear. There were billions of stars on display out there on the New Mexico prairie.

The park itself is comprised of 1,230 acres and is at an elevation of 5,250 feet. It receives only 16 inches of rain per year but due to the nature of the rock formations, the way they channel and pool water and the shade they provide, there is an interesting assortment of plant life found among the rocks. Back in ancient times the Mimbres Indians frequented the area and later the Chiricahua Apache did as well. I like to imagine that outlaws and fugitives sought refuge in the rocks but I’m not sure if they did or not.

I am sure that cowboys while working the range utilized the rocks as a camp spot and they must have enjoyed beautiful, moonlit desert nights such as the one I did with nothing but the sound of the crackling camp fire and nothing but numberless stars overhead with an occasional streak of a shooting star across the sky.

The moon was very bright this night and it was quite warm even though there was still a bit of snow on the far off high peaks of the Mogollon. The setting of the rocks is pretty amazing. It is all treeless prairie with cactus and lonely yucca here and there. Then, all of a sudden, this compact group of extruded rocks juts up out of the prairie in a very unexpected manner.

What is more unexpected is what you will find in between the rocks. There is a remnant forest of Alligator Juniper living in between the rocks in the crevasses and shadowy places. These trees are interesting because there are no trees for miles and miles across the prairie, the rocks are the only reason they can survive here.

These trees provide habitat for different birds, squirrels and rabbits. In the fall they change colors with the season and they are very pretty contrasted against the rocks. One of the most amazing things about this place has to be they sky though. Due to the fact that it is so far from Demming, Silver City and Las Cruces, there is no light pollution of the sky from civilization making for quite the mural across the heavens.

The State Park recognized this fact and installed a tiny Astronomical Observatory with a 14″ Meade LX 200 Telescope and there is a 20 inch monitor in the visitor’s center that allows you to see images produced on the telescope. I arrived at the park quite late and I just slept in the back of my truck at one of the available camp spots.

I got up early before the sun while the ¾ moon still hung high in the pre dawn sky. It was an enjoyable thing to listen to the morning sounds, breathe the cool air and walk among and on the rocks of the park. I noticed cotton tail rabbits running about and heard the chirps of different birds singing and then the sky grew orange on the eastern horizon and the sun finally came up as I topped out on the ridge to the east of the park at the end of a 1.5 mile trail to a prominence where there are panels describing points distant on the horizon.

City of Rocks State Park is a great place to take children as they can have fun exploring in the rocks, camping, hiking and marveling at the night sky. There are 62 camp sites and 10 with electric hookups. There are restrooms and showers at the visitor’s center. Gate hours are from 7am to 9pm but since this place is quite remote, enquire on the web at http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/PRD/cityrocks.htm

Or call them at 575.536.2800 to make sure that you will be able to gain access to the park. This is a really interesting location from a geologic and astronomical standpoint so if you are ever in Silver City or Demming, make some time for City of Rocks.

World Destination Travel Tips – All About Touring Morocco

It is always a good thing to travel to new places. If you have time, money and passion for travel and fun, you could go away every year to some of the world's best tourist destinations. A great place you could explore any time soon is Morocco. Generally a Muslim nation, Morocco is extremely diverse in terms of landscape. Besides its coastlines, the country has dry, barren deserts, mountains and forested regions.

In addition, it has a very rich cultural heritage with European and Arabic influences. Morocco is occupied mainly Berbers and Arabs. The former are believed to be the descendants of Portuguese and Spaniards who escaped from the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula in 1400s. Being home to one of the most reputable and desirable long sandy beaches along the Atlantic coast, (Casablanca) Morocco is a great place to go with your family.

As you can already speculate, water sports and wind sports are common things to do for tourists. The most renowned of all sports is surfing. In case you will come to surf, just go straight to coastal towns with surfing spots. So you want to go to the Mediterranean shores, North Atlantic Coast or South Atlantic Coast. To see the famous Casablanca beach you will have to go to Rabat, the country capital, in the North Atlantic Coast. There is a lot of things to see and do here, particularly for couples who want to have the most memorable honeymoons.

In addition to this, ensure that you visit the Atlantic Coast of Tangier that offers the cleanest and coldest waters. It is best visited in the hot months of July and August. If you cannot travel in summer, your alternative destination is the Mediterranean shores of Tangier. If you love a coastal area that is bordered by mountains, then ensure that you tour Plage Quemada, Al Hoceima. It is in the middle of the Rif Mountains that are found along the north Mediterranean seashore.

Though always crowded and busy, Plage Quemada beach is totally clean, beautiful and scenic. There is also another beach called Asfiha, which is not recommended for swimmers or those who like beach walks because of its shallow water levels and sticky, dirty sand. So this place is probably ideal for sight-seeing, particularly visiting the Spanish Island.

Agadir beaches are on the Atlantic coast in southwest region of the country. It is ideal for lovers of water sports who can either go to private beach areas or long sandy ones meant for public. Tangier beach is obviously perfect for surfing and other water activities and you can receive some basic training if you are new to this. Surrounded by huge mountains, Tangier, is one the most attractive beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.

It is loved by tourists and local people alike, and its white-washed homes are special landmarks as well. As you wide up your trip in Morocco, remember to buy some souvenirs to take home to your friends and family. Good examples include tagines, handmade Berber carpets, Birad, Argan oil, spices and leather accessories among other things.

Safe Mexico Travel Tips For the Super Paranoid, Part 2

Part 2: Traveling Into and Around Mexico

Famous for its immaculate beaches, archeological ruins, and enchanting colonial cities, Mexico has everything from stunning natural scenery to romantic architectural landmarks. A fascinating people and a rich culture add to the irresistible charms of this great nation. Many historical sites in Mexico are maintained at world-class standards but enjoyed at a fraction of the cost of European or American attractions. Unfortunately, many Americans and Canadians fear for their safety while traveling in Mexico, thus preventing them from experiencing this exciting country. This misplaced fear stems from the fact that Mexico is a developing country that is quite different from the United States. But different does not mean unsafe.

Statistically speaking, Mexico is a very safe country for visitors. Most of the crime in Mexico is drug-related and concentrated in a few areas near the border like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. Ninety-five percent of Mexico is as safe as ninety-five percent of the US or Canada. Visitors to Mexico are not targets of public violence. But just like in other travel destinations, every visitor should watch out for petty theft or property crimes. There are pickpockets in Mexico in the same way that that there are pickpockets in Paris, the world's leading travel destination. As Edward Hasbrouck, author of “The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World”, puts it, “the biggest danger for a law-abiding traveler in Mexico is probably the same as the big danger in the US – road crashes. everything else is negligible by comparison. ”

For a safe trip to Mexico, you should begin by choosing a safe yet exciting destination like the quaint Mexican towns located in the center heartland. Unlike the well-known beach destinations, these lesser known destinations offer you an authentic experience of the Mexican way of life. Best of all, these off-the-beaten-path attractions tend to be safer, cheaper, and less crowded.

One fine example of romantic “old Mexico” is the city of Guanajuato. Set in the rolling highlands of Central Mexico, this UNESCO World Heritage site has one of the best-preserved colonial architecture in the country. Guanajuato was built on the enormous wealth derived from huge deposits of silver mined within its area during the mid 16th century. Traces of its opulence are still visible today in the baroque buildings, aristocratic haciendas, a magnificent basilica and churches, impressive plazas, and colorful houses perched on hillsides or along cobblestone streets. These colonial elements blend well with organic urban structures like narrow passageways, underground tunnels, an opera house, museums, art galleries and cafes. With friendly and accommodating residents, Guanajuato is a pleasurable and safe city for visitors.

Visiting Guanajuato is guaranteed to be an unforgettable and enriching experience for you. To keep you safe throughout your trip, you need to properly plan before leaving and observe the following safety precautions while traveling into and around Mexico:

  • Travel during daylight. As much as possible, schedule your departures and arrivals during daytime. If you must travel at night, be sure to keep to the main roads and well-lighted places.
  • Keep an eye on your luggage and handbags at all times. If you need help from porters, make sure that they have badges and IDs. If your luggage is checked or stored, remember to get the luggage receipt. Never accept packages from persons you don't know.
  • Use official transport services. In major cities, use official taxis (Taxis Autorizados) and avoid non-authorized cabs (piratas). There are official taxi counters in the airports and bus stations. Within the city, refrain from flagging taxis down the street. Ask your hotel or lodging host to call a cab via phone (radio taxicabs) for you and they may take note of the taxi license number and driver's name. Once inside the taxi, make sure that the driver has his permit on display. For buses, stick to the first-class lines, since these buses take the toll roads (cuota) which are faster and smoother. The second- and third-class buses traverse the free highways (libre) that are slower, bumpier, and more exposed to petty crime.
  • Drive safely. If you are driving your car or renting a vehicle in Mexico, remember that most Mexican roads are not up to US standards with respect to smoothness, hardness, width, curvature, grade, or safety markings. The Mexican driving style may be more spirited, so use extreme caution and strictly observe traffic laws. Do not drive at night if possible. You do not want to get lost in an unfamiliar area at night.
  • Stay in smaller inns, B & Bs, and owner-managed vacation rentals since these establishments give a more personalized service compared to the big hotel chains. In smaller establishments, the hosts or owners will remember your name, your preferences, your schedules, etc. They will typically engage you in friendly conversations, and these are perfect opportunities for you to learn about the place you are visiting. Being locals in the area, they can give you advices on places to avoid, the best possible routes to take, etc. They are the best up-to-date source of tips in the area that guidebooks cannot provide.
  • Inform your hosts about your expected arrival times. In smaller inns, the hotel staff and owners tend to be better at keeping tabs on when you leave the hotel and your expected arrival times. They can easily sound an alert and notify authorities if you are not back when expected.

Throughout your trip in Mexico, you are going to be mobile much of the time. Mobility may expose you to some risks unless safety measures are taken. With a well thought out itinerary, good preparation, alertness, caution, and prudence, you will arrive at your destination and return home safely.

Holiday & Travel Guide For Mexico City

Mexico City is a fabulous city to visit and one of the largest in the world, full of wonderful sights and sounds. In this bustling city you will not be short of places to explore, with the amazing historical sites and famous landmarks. Visit the city's public square that is the second largest in the world next to Moscow Red Square, where many festivals are held throughout the year. The magnificent National Cathedral stands just outside the city, but like many of the historical sites in Mexico it is sinking into the ground. The National Anthropology Museum is a great day out for the family, there is so much to see, from Aztec relics to Mesoamerican artefacts, you will need a full day to see everything. Climb over the Pyramids of The City Of God, then after an exhausting few days exploring the magnificent sites take a relaxing but colorful boat ride down the canals amongst the Hanging Gardens. With their vibrant colors and exotic flowers they are a must see for flower lovers, who can also purchase some along the way.

Eating

Eating is quite an experience in Mexico, the most popular foods being Tacos or Tortillas that are filled with spicy fish, meat or vegetables. The most tasty food is found on the street vendors carts; if you would like something a bit more international though, you will find a variety of dishes being served in larger restaurants. Not forgetting those on a family budget, there are a few places where fast food can be purchased, but do as the locals do and have a Tortilla: experience the taste of Mexico.

Beaches

Mexico City doesn't have any beaches, but you can travel to Acapulco with its wonderful beaches like Condesa beach, set in a bay with white sands and clear water. There are many water sports available, from Deep Sea Diving to Jet Skiing, or you could horse ride along the beach and then relax in the baking sun along a stretch of beach that is close to all amenities and entertainment. Bear in mind that there are no life guards along the beach though and the current can be quite strong, so you need to keep a good eye on your children. You will also find a lot of vendors frequently harassing you, so if you want somewhere quieter try Icacos beach, you can also do some Para-gliding along this stretch of sand. There are loads of activities, like the family fun at the Water Park or swimming with Dolphins, that you can enjoy in the region. If you have the budget, why not fly over the city and beaches in a Hot Air Balloon? If you fancy something more daring they have Bungee Jumping, but it can be quite expensive, for a cheaper thrill you could instead watch the cliff divers. There is plenty do on the sun soaked beaches of Mexico.

Nightlife

You may be too exhausted from the day time activities to experience the vibrant nightlife of Mexico City, but you could relax with a fantastic night of entertainment ranging from the opera to the thrills of the circus. Once you're in relaxing Acapulco though you can hit the amazing nightlife; from all night loud and crazy nightclubs to open air bars and the glitzy Casino that also houses a restaurant and a cinema for you to settle down and watch a movie with the family.

Happy Holidays

100 Day DOT Blitz – New Mexico’s Campaign to Make Highways Safer This Summer

The State of New Mexico is cracking down on drivers- and, this time, it’s not just truckers they’re after! The 100 Days and Nights of Summer campaign is an effort by the State of New Mexico Department of Transportation and New Mexico State Police to reduce auto fatalities by 25 percent in 2008. According to New Mexico DOT, summertime is the deadliest time of the year on New Mexico roads.

The focus of the 100 Day blitz are DWI, seat belt use and reckless driving. The bottom line: slow down, buckle up and don’t drink and drive. This is one DOT blitz truckers ought to be happy about!

Truckers who see signs about “DOT Blitz” or “Check Point Ahead” or “100 Day Blitz” tend to get nervous. Especially when news of the signage comes on the heels of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Roadcheck 2008. Truck drivers, who are already scrutinized on a regular basis, want to know if they should expect extra scrutiny during a 100 Day DOT Blitz. Drivers should always be prepared to encounter an unexpected inspection checkpoint, but, though truck inspections are always a possibility, these checkpoints are more for car drivers than for truckers. DOT is advertising the campaign in an effort to influence people’s driving decisions.

DWI:

Drinking and driving kills. In order to get drunk drivers off the road during the summer campaign, New Mexico law enforcement will set up more than 100 DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) check points. In addition to these check points, officers around the state are focusing on keeping drunk drivers off the road.

Seat Belt Use:

Love ’em or hate ’em, the laws of the State of New Mexico require seat belt use. Statistics show that seat belt use saves lives and keep people alive in accidents. Enforcement officers are on the look out for seat belts. Drivers who do not wear seat belts are subject to a fine and up to two points on their driving record.

Reckless Driving:

Speeding or driving recklessly is always a bad idea, but a driver who does so in New Mexico during the 100 Days and Nights of Summer campaign is really asking for a ticket. Officers will be using radar and will be looking for unsafe or aggressive driving over the summer.

What Can Be Learned During Gay Spiritual Travel

Gay tourists go on vacation for an array of purposes, including the chance to see new things, meet interesting people, learn about different cultures, get away from everyday stressors for a short time, or make new memories with special people in their lives. Every trip has a purpose, even if the reason is just to get away and lounge on the beach without worrying about the everyday cares and worries back home.

Gay spiritual vacations are one example of purposeful travel that goes beyond the common quest to relax and rejuvenate and is undertaken with a specific awareness and intention. Whereas most travelers go on vacation with the goal to get away from it all, voyagers on a gay spirituality vacation embark on their journey with the intention to arrive in their special, chosen destination and to connect with the land, the people and the energy of that region.

Spiritual travel opportunities include solo conscious travel, couple's retreats that allow you to reconnect and grow individually and together, and spiritual journeys taken with a group of like-minded seekers arranged by professional groups that organize travel to many spiritual destinations around the globe, such as Egypt, Thailand, New Zealand, India, Peru, the American Southwest and Mexico.

Individual pilgrimages are one option for spiritual vacations, but there are several benefits that come with choosing professionally organized conscious travel with a group of fellow seekers who can significantly influence the positive experience and spiritual growth you achieve during your joint journey. Professional companies that provide opportunities for spiritual travel have the information and experience needed to create powerful, meaningful personal voyages that will result in remarkable experiences that stay with the participants for the remainder of their lives.

Gay group vacations that are organized around conscious travel provide amazing group activities, travel to sacred sites and have the benefit of professionals taking care of the trip's logistics, allowing participants to focus on the intentions they bring for their personal journey. Travel group organizers also forge relationships with the communities in the travel destinations, which provides unique opportunities for group participants to visit places and have experiences that are not readily available to those on conventional vacations.

Participants in group spiritual travel have the distinct opportunity to connect with like-minded travelers that are also seeking a spiritual awakening, renewal or reconnection. This allows you to participate in shared group activities, learn from each other's experiences, share your story with people who have a deeper understanding and ability to relate, discuss experiences that you are having while on this specific journey and forge new friendships that will last a lifetime.

Anyone who is in search of a meaningful journey focused on personal growth, gay spirituality and a truly unique travel experience should consider partaking in conscious travel when they begin to plan their next vacation. A spiritual journey is an excellent self-care measure and will allow you to refocus your life, reorganize your priority, remind yourself of the things and people that are truly important to you and return home refreshed.

Take the time to reflect on your life and experiences, nourish your soul and participate in a personal voyage that will give you the opportunity to experience spiritual growth and centering. Intentional travel with a spiritual focus can change your life and will continue to benefit you for years to come.

New Mexico Jobs

New Mexico as a city is fast waking up to a number of job opportunities. The web sites designed for providing employment and showing the employment status in New Mexico, are perhaps, one of the best and the most user friendly.

The most preferred active jobs in New Mexico are nursing in the health and medicine industry, administrative jobs, accounting, and the jobs in the sales sector. The total numbers of jobs available at any particular time are also listed on the web sites. You will find a number of different categories listed on the homepage of the sites, which will give you a detailed account of the various salary scales, which the jobs at New Mexico offer. You also get an idea about how you should create your resume and are allowed to post it for free on the site so that employer’s looking for new employees may notice you if you fit the requirements chalked out by their companies.

You can subscribe to various newsletters that are published by a number of publishing houses, which discuss job prospects, job satisfaction and job vacancies. There are a number of job fairs that are organized in New Mexico from time to time. These fairs are great help to those looking for jobs or those wishing to divert from their current line of profession.

New Mexico also provides great opportunities for those wishing to immigrate to this city for fresh employment prospects. New Mexico as a city is extremely conducive to all those who wish to settle down there from elsewhere, one will have very few problems with feeling at home in the environment.

While choosing the job though, one should be careful about the reputation and the credibility of the company. Going by the list of featured companies and featured employers on various web sites can be of great help in this direction.
Bitcoin led the cryptocurrency market in a phenomenon recovery phase from the lows recorded in the last week of August. Bitcoin’s graceful correction above $10,700 revived investors’ hopes of seeing the oldest cryptocurrency above the psychological level at $11,000. However, BTC hit pause slightly below $10,800 and retreated to $10,500. At press time, Bitcoin price is teetering at $10,550 after a subtle 0.78% drop on the day.
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Although Bitcoin’s short-term trend paints a positive picture, a number of analysts with huge followings on Twitter are advising investors to continue with caution. For example, Johnny Moe says that Bitcoin’s downside if moving. The consolidation witnessed in the last two months suggests a potential massive drop to lows around $6,000.

When Hamas was trying to raise bitcoin by funneling it through a number of digital wallets, one start-up was able to see what was going on and warn its customers.
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Based in London, Elliptic sells blockchain analytics tools to some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency platforms — including Binance and Circle — as well as banks. The company’s software is used to investigate criminal activity on bitcoin’s digital ledger and monitor transactions to prevent money laundering.

New Mexico Tourism

There are a number of reasons, which make New Mexico one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of America. Within the horizons of New Mexico, one can not only taste the flavor of cuisines from all over the world but can also breathe in the intoxicating aroma of the ancient cultures that have lived through the years in this city. New Mexico as a tourist destination offers something for everybody.
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If you are a connoisseur of art then you will find there a number of world-renowned museums and art galleries. If holiday for you, means living life on the edge with a number of adventure sports then the city promises not to leave you disappointed. Mountains, deserts, lakes and forests make the diverse landscape features that will make you gasp for more.
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If you are planning a vacation to New Mexico then you will not have to sweat it out. The Government’s tourism department will provide you with all the information and resources that you require in order to plan your trip to this paradise.
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Eating and lodging expenses in this city are not very high. Along with that there are great deals offered by various tourism agencies throughout the year. It is a good idea to visit the city as part of a packaged tour. This will give you an opportunity to experience the best that the city has to offer.
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The best thing about your visit to this city will perhaps be the fact that there is no inhibition to the number of different kinds of cuisines offered by this city. Tourists here are made to feel right at home.
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Whether it is Chinese, Korean, French, Italian or Indian, you will find it all here. Huge varieties of lodging facilities are also available. If you look carefully, you are sure to find something that suits both your budget and your other requirements.
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Perhaps what sets this place apart from other tourist destinations are its warm and friendly people. These people have an extremely embracing culture which will immediately make you feel a part of the entire experience, an experience which will forever remain etched in your memory as one of the most pleasant times of your life.
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New Mexico History

The land and minerals of New Mexico have been used since the prehistoric time of the early cultures in the Southwest that long preceded the flourishing sedentary civilization of the Pueblos, which the Spanish found along the Rio Grande and its tributaries.
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Many of the Native American Pueblos exist today much as they were in the 13th century. The word of the pueblos reached the Spanish through Cabeza de Vaca, who may have wandered across Southern New Mexico between 1528 and 1536. They were identified by Fray Marcos de Niza, as the fabulously rich Seven Cities of Cibola.
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A full-scale expedition, dating from 1540 to 1542 to find the cities, under the leadership of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, was dispatched from New Spain. The first regular colony at San Juan is believed to have been founded by Juan de Oñate in 1598.
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In 1609, Pedro de Peralta was appointed Governor of the “Kingdom and Provinces of New Mexico,” and a year later he founded his capital at Santa Fe. The little colony did not prosper too much, although some of the missions flourished and haciendas were founded.
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The subjection of Native Americans to forced labor and attempts by missionaries to convert them resulted in violent revolts by the Apache in 1676 and the Pueblo in 1680. These rebellions drove the Spanish entirely out of New Mexico.
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The Spanish did not return until the campaign of Diego de Vargas Zapata, re-established their control in 1692. In the 18th century, the development of ranching and some farming and mining became more abundant, laying the foundations for the Spanish culture in New Mexico that still exists.
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When Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821, New Mexico became a province of Mexico, and trade was opened up with the United States. In 1841, a group of Texans embarked on an expedition to assert Texan claims to parts of New Mexico and were eventually captured. The Mexican War marked the arrival of the Anglo-American culture to New Mexico.
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Stephen Kearny entered Santa Fe in 1846 without opposition, and two years later, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded New Mexico to the United States. The territory, which included Arizona and other territories, was enlarged by the Gadsden Purchase in 1853.
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A bid for statehood and an antislavery constitution was halted by the Compromise of 1850, which settled the Texas boundary question in New Mexico’s favor and organized New Mexico as a territory without restriction on slavery.
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In the Civil War, New Mexico was at first occupied by Confederate troops from Texas, but was eventually taken over by Union forces early in 1862. After the war and the withdrawal of the troops, the territory was plagued by conflict with the Apache and the Navajo Native American tribes.
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The surrender of Apache chief Geronimo in 1886 ended the conflict in New Mexico and Arizona, which had been made a separate territory in 1863. However, there were local troubles prevalent even after that time.
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Already the ranchers had taken over a large portion of the grasslands. The coming of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1879 encouraged the great cattle boom of the 1880s. New Mexico finally gained statehood in 1912.
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