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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Holy dirt and horse riding in the Land of Enchantment

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We had a fantastic time in NM but in 5 days we barely scratched the surface; so much to do so little time. We'll be back!

Day 1. Friday Sept 25th.
We arrived in ABQ around 3pm and loved the view from the plane! The Sandias are very impressive set against a clear blue sunny sky; as first impressions go this was wonderful!

After a non eventful FULL flight on AA we quickly found the shuttle to the car hire. I really liked the fact that all the main car hire companies shared the same shuttle.. makes sense environmentally too.
We rented an economy car with Enterprise which was fine for the 3 of us (if my son had been with us we'd have needed an upgrade as there would have been no space for his luggage in the boot or room for his legs in the back.) This was our first trip without DS and although we missed him and his sense of humour we also appreciated the extra space and the ease of early starts without a teenager in tow!

First 2 nights at the Hyatt Place Uptown @ $100 a night inc. tax. We really like this relatively new addition to the Hyatt chain and this is our second stay (Last month we stayed at Hyatt Place NJ) Very large comfortable rooms. The link is below.

http://albuquerqueuptown.place.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/place/index.jsp

Great breakfast included with fresh fruit (pineapple/melon/grapefruit), bagels etc; pay extra for cooked to order eggs.

So we dropped our bags and decided to take a walk to the Uptown mall across the street. This was the newest looking mall in the area and we walked through it checking out the stores and restaurants to get to a restaurant recommended by the hotel staff; Gardunos.
We arrived during happy hour on Friday afternoon and sat outside for margaritas, great $1 tacos, with free chips and dips.

Gardunos link. http://www.gardunosrestaurants.com/

We enjoyed our tasty snacks and sat for an hour or so soaking up the late afternoon sunshine by which time the little patio was buzzing and this seemed like a very popular after work spot.
We headed back to pick up the car and drove up to the Sandia Peak Tramway.
http://www.sandiapeak.com/

I think ABQ is at around 4,000ft and the cable car takes you up to over 10,000ft! The temperature dropped to 47F at the summit so we were glad of our jackets. Great views and we stayed until sunset. It was lovely riding the cable car down as the lights of Albuquerque twinkled below.

Although we were unaffected by the altitude we all had either sinus pain or ear ache after the descent probably due to the pressure changes after flying and the cable car couple with the fact that we had colds. I had a slight headache by the time we got back to our room (probably due to the decent margaritas at Gardunos!).
So we decided an early night was in order and went to bed at 9pm (it felt more like 11pm for us due to the time difference).

Day 2. Saturday and early start.
We headed out after breakfast into downtown ABQ which was deserted at 8am. We walked around checking out the Plaza, the pretty church, etc.
The Navajo code talkers were sat at a table signing books and we eavesdropped for a minute or two (understanding zero of course!).
We did a little shopping and picked up the Tour NM card when the tourist info.place opened at 10am.

More later...

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