So, our #USroadtrip has officially begun! As someone who usually travels on public transport, I have pretty quickly discovered that one of the best things about having your own car is that you can stop to have a nose at something whenever you feel like it.
On our way from Albuquerque airport to Santa Fe we kept passing signs for the Coronado Monument. We had no idea what it was and couldn’t find anything about it in our guidebook, so we decided to pull off to check it out.
And I’m so glad we did.
What we discovered was the remains of the pueblo of Kuaua, an American Indian settlement which was built in the 1300s. During the late 1930s archaeologists unearthered the remains of around 1,200 houses at the site.
For just a $3 entrance fee, we were able to walk around the former settlement which was built right next to the beautiful Rio Grande.
Houses in the village would have been built on a number of levels, which were used for different activities, ranging from cooking to sleeping. We had the opportunity to climb down into a reconstructed kiva (a ceremonial chamber) and learn a little more about the very private ceremonies which would have gone on there.
In the centre’s small museum we also got the chance to view some of the original murals which had been discovered inside the kiva and are considered to be some of the finest examples of Pre-Columbian art ever found in the United States.
It was amazing to think that the entire community had been built from the earth on the site – with no mortar to hold the bricks together.
It is my first visit to New Mexico so it was fascinating to be able to learn a little about its history within hours of arriving in the state.
Roll on the rest of the road trip!