The shooting bug had really hit me (pardon the pun) and despite other various entertaining activities, including attending the International Balloon Fiesta, I wanted to go shoot stuff, again.
Off to the whitest desert we went, to camp, eat cactus and shoot at brown bottles and old tin cans! The group consisted of a bunch of Americans, one crazy Brit (me), a couple of guns and some tents. Great fun was had, despite the mosquitoes.
Everyone the world over knows how much Americans love their guns! From Western movies, to police and sherifs, even your average Joe, you’re never really far away from a gun. Even driving down the highway you’ll realise gun shops and shooting ranges are plentiful.
So it was only normal that one weekend in early October that I would trek out with my American comrades to shoot bits of metal at paper and balsa wood cut out shapes at Calibers Shooting Range, on Cutler Avenue ABQ.
New Mexico really is a one-of-a-kind state. There aren’t any other states where you get quite such a potent mix of Mexican, Native American, Afro American and Old World American culture, all in the same state. Zozobra is one of those fine examples of historical and cultural superstition mixed in with modern American sub-culture. Think Burning Man, just on a much smaller scale.
Despite what I said about there being a huge drought in New Mexico (which there is) there are some lakes, the most notable being Elephant Butte (famous for boat parties and other chaos) and the lesser known, equally beautiful, Lake Conchas, part of Conchas Lake State National Park , famous for gentle jaunts around in a boat before throwing yourself in the water and taking a doughnut ride!
Moved into my flat- still sans luggage- next thing I know I’ve just agreed to go on a last minute trip to Mexico! Having met my new neighbours it turns out one of them (a Swedish ice hockey player) filled out the wrong visa entry card and has 24 hours to leave the country and return, otherwise he will be deported, logical conclusion (since Canada is a bit too far) is to drive to Mexico!
Albuquerque, New Mexico was to be my home for the next year or so as I immersed myself in American culture, history and society. Welcome to the Wild Wild West. Having waited two hours at Heathrow due to a mix up with my tickets, and running my foot over with the luggage trolley I am finally on the flight.