I have already used the term ‘magic’ in several previous posts. But, once again, the term seems appropriate.
My best friend, Ellen, wasn’t feeling well as we toured northern New Mexico together. We, of course, spent time in Santa Fe and Taos. We also visited tiny Chimayo, along the ‘High Road to Taos’ when driving from Santa Fe. The town is full of amazing weaving, paintings, pottery, and jewelry, which artist Ellen appreciated despite her illness.
Chimayo is also the home of legendary El Santuario de Chimayo. Nestled among the Sangre de Cristo mountains, El Santuario de Chimayo has been a place of worship since the early 1800s, drawing American Indians, Hispanics, and other people of faith. Today, this ‘Lourdes of America’ attracts more than 300,000 visitors, annually.
The compact adobe sanctuary, with its resplendent altar, invites private worship and attendance at services, while many visitors also ask for healing. In fact, numerous discarded crutches, canes and even wheelchairs filled a small room off one side of the sanctuary. There is also a small circular pit of dirt – or el pocito – in the anteroom floor, which many people believe has amazing curative powers.
After about an hour at El Santuario, we decided to dine at the nearby, iconic Rancho de Chimayo. It had been decades since my first visit there. After a devastating 2008 fire, the restaurant underwent a massive restoration that preserved original adobe walls, structural elements, and authentic building features. Dozens of red chile ‘ristras’ decorated the restaurant’s exterior and large old trees provided shade.
The family-owned restaurant celebrated 50 years of operation during 2014. By 2016, Rancho de Chimayo achieved rockstar status as it received the James Beard Foundation America’s Classics Award. Changing seasonally, the menu may feature anything from shrimp blue corn enchiladas, and prickly pear margaritas, to delicate flan, and Carne Adovado Burrito.
I couldn’t wait for Ellen to taste this delicious food, while hoping that it might also help her feel better. Over the years, one thing that had bonded the two of us was a shared awareness of energy changes in the environment, largely through practicing energy healing.
But neither of us was prepared for what happened immediately after we placed our orders. I noticed that Ellen’s table setting was vibrating near her hands, and she said, “I feel like a million bucks.” That’s when she realized her foot had inadvertently dipped into el pocito during our visit to Santuario de Chimayo. And she remained healthy for the rest of our trip.
Please note: As is common in the travel industry, I may have received accommodations and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this post, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.
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I love crafting stories about fantastic food & beverages, must-visit destinations & eco-friendly topics. I wrote a 350+ page book about Kansas. And I've worked with dozens of additional clients - from Fodors.com & AAA magazines to USAToday.com & WanderWithWonder.
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