wow what can I say, I am orginally from Albuquerque, NM and I remember walking the walk to the sacred Church many times as a little girl during holy week. haven't been back to the great South West in many years, My Husband and our little girl went back as tourists in July of 2009. I can't beleive we walked that. The road from Santa Fe to Chimayo is long with lots of curves DO NOT SPEED or you will end up on the mountain side. Gas up in Santa Fe because there is no stations in between. There is a nice WInery on the way and it's quite and Oasis in the Desert.
Santuario itself is a very spirtual place, religious or not you will leave feeling light hearted. The History itself is remarkable weather fables or truth its a great feeling being there among all it's holyness, The Church is so old you almost feel as though it will calapse if you lean to hard on it, the Padre is originally from Spain and he blessed a few Rosary's we purchased. His story alone is wonderful to here, he is a very short short man who is quite humorous about his Height. There is a prayer room filled with Crutches and casts where ill people came to pray and be prayed over and left out walking or healed. There is a hole in the ground filled with Holy dirt you are allowed to take. It is said to have healing powers and never goes empty even with all the 300,000 or visitors that take from it.
There are a couple of vendors, bring plenty of water after all you are in the middle of the desert. The drive up there is all desert if you take pictures its a great oppurtunity, it gets greener the farther north you venture up.
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