We had a long drive to Carlsbad Caverns the next day. I’m not going to lie…I slept through most of it. I have this gift where I can sleep anytime, anywhere, even if I am extremely uncomfortable. We broke out the camping equipment first thing in the morning and made some all American pancakes for breakfast. Delicious! Then we hit the road. We had a few stops on the way which broke the journey up for us. It’s about the journey, not the destination!

Our first stop on the journey to Carlsbad was Santa Fe. We stayed at the Super 8 which had a lift! I can’t tell you how excited we were to see that lift. We had all been lugging our suitcases up steep stair cases for days to get to our rooms. So that lift was the ultimate treat. It’s all about the little things in life that make you happy! Once settled into our new pad we went for a little walk to the shops and I grabbed a MacDonald’s ice-cream to take the edge off the blistering heat that was New Mexico. We had some time to rest after the long journey in the car and later met the group to go to dinner. Emily had picked out a Mexican restaurant. Mexican food is the local delicacy in this region of America and it all looked lovely. Unfortunately, I can’t stomach Mexican food so I had to pass on this meal and had something later instead. Trek does cater people with dietary requirements. Usually there is something on the menu I can eat but this little local restaurant didn’t have anything alternative which was a shame. Not our tour leaders fault at all, just unfortunate. I think I had to grab a MacDonald’s on this occasion but this was the only MacDonald’s I can recall on the trip. In the morning we explored the beautiful city of Santa Fe. This was a very art driven community which had art exhibitions, galleries, and pieces in the streets. There were even locals selling their handcrafted pieces in the street. If you’re not into Art, then you might not appreciate this little town but there are still some shops to visit. As the group wanted to go to another Mexican restaurant while we waited for Emily to pick us up. I opted out of this so I went to find my own little rooftop bar which was absolutely beautiful. The staff were really friendly and helpful. I had some pizza, chips and a drink for under $10 which was so cheap! We met Emily, then it was back in the van and back on the road.

The next stop was Roswell! I was so excited about this stop. I love Sci-Fi movies so this was a really highlight of my tour. Roswell the TV show was one of my favourite shows as a kid. Geeky, I know! Emily surprised us all with rolls of tin foil and we got to make tin foil hats to protect our brains from aliens. It was absolutely hysterical! When we got out the van we greeted locals with our crazy tin foil hat designs and even got a few car horns honking at us as we walked past. We took a few photos with the alien’s casual on the street and then few our hats back in the van before entering the Roswell UFO Museum. Apparently, the museum doesn’t take kindly to foil hats and think it’s a mockery of their beliefs? I believe! I think the hats were brilliant. Once in the museum, we put a pin on the world map to let them know where we have come from in order to visit the museum. There were pins from all over the world. The museum was filled with newspaper clippings, photos, artefacts and model displays. It was fascinating! Some of it was rather on the creepy side, like the incubated aliens and autopsy section but still fascinating. There was even a section dedicated to TV shows and movies about aliens. I was in Sci-Fi heaven!

Another couple of hours in the car and we were in Carlsbad. We stayed at a real Motel 6! It’s not as creepy as you think but it was small. My roommate Yvonne and I found this one quite challenging as we like to pretty much completely empty our suitcases each night. This wasn’t really possible here as there was nearly no floor space. After a short freak out we met the group for some fun and games in Emily’s room where she explained a little bit about the Carlsbad Caverns. We ordered some pizzas and sat around playing games that night. Even the beer pong table made an appearance. The next morning we set off to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It’s got a small museum area inside the main entrance which lots of interesting facts about the tunnels etc. Once we descended into the caverns the hike took about 2 hours to get to the bottom. It’s so beautiful! I’ve never been into a cave before so this was a first time experience for me. At the bottom there a bathroom….seriously! They’ve made a modern bathroom right at the bottom plus a little shop with t-shirts etc. Really weird! Weirder yet….there a lift! A LIFT! Unfortunately, this was out of order so it was a long climb back to the top for all of us. 


If you want to see more on my adventures with TrekAmerica on the Southern BLT, please check out my Santa Fe, Roswell and Carlsbad Caverns vlog below:


Natasha Atlas
Natasha Atlas

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