Llama went batty

Well, not really but Llama did go where there is a large bat colony. Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Llama’s travel companion, Karol, had her 59th birthday on September 11th. All she really wanted to do was get out of town and go hike Carlsbad Caverns. She and Llama could go there every day and that would be fine.

Karol has an arm injury which makes typing tough. Please excuse the brief blog post.

Thanks to Yelp we found the most amazing food in Carlsbad, Carniceria San Juan de Los Lagos. This meat market/restaurant is fresh, tasty, and authentic. I had a chance to practice my Spanish and you totally needed it. The few tables were spread out and the place super clean. It is relatively new, 3 years old. There is also a panaderia, so we had to buy a treat for later.

Full deli and meats counter. Wish we had our large cooler with us.
Never judge a book by its cover.

Had a great day at Carlsbad Caverns and Sitting Bull Falls.

Quick trip to Carlsbad, NM. Just a quick note on use of points to travel and experience. NM is technically closed to most visitors but we didn’t feel this was really checked as there were lots of out of state license plates, but we had 2 recent COVID neg tests just in case and we don’t want to be virus spreaders. I would say for all of NM’s strict rules, there seemed to be only about 50% compliance with mask, social distancing rules.

At Carlsbad Caverns compliance was higher. We wore our masks for about 80% of the time in the caverns, only slipping them off when were way away from folks. 

We wore our masks everywhere else in public.

Stayed in an Airbnb room,  shared bath for $70 offset by 7000 Capital One Venture points. Very clean and we didn’t see anyone the whole stay.

Gas, one awesome dinner, and one birthday present t-shirt for myself was all we spent. Yay!

Admission to Carlsbad Caverns and Sitting Bull Falls covered by our National Parks Pass.

So nice to be away for a bit. Great trip.

Sunset on Day 1 in Carlsbad Caverns NP
Getting dark so we didn’t climb all the way to the cave. We had more we wanted to see that evening before it got dark.
The weather had turned chilly and the bats didn’t fly that night. You could sit in your cars but not ranger program. We did learn that, cold or not, bats have to come out to feed every three days.
You had to be able to walk in. Elevators were one way only. Tickets were limited by the day, first come, first served. This reminded Karol of when she visited as a kid and walking in was the ONLY way in.
Paused to look back at the entrance. Without modern lighting , how quickly light disappears.
Llama just thought this was visually striking picture
Original visitor entrance. Hard pass from us.
Michael practicing his dark mode photography.
Once they started allowing visitors to take the elevator in, loads would just come down the elevator and do the Big Room loop. Our past visits have found the room packed with noisy visitors, many who couldn’t respect the beauty and quiet of the place. It was actually refreshing to virtually have it to ourselves.
This is one of Karol’s favorite formations.
Original excavation ladder. Hard pass from me.
Crowds gone, we could really enjoy the caverns. Very strange to be there without all the people.
This was the only time we really saw a lot of people. We had to wait in line for the elevator. Our wait was about 30 minutes. Not bad at all.
Nope don’t think I will. Trapped underground in a elevator. Hard pass for Llama
On the list for the next trip. We always want to do the Caverns so we miss so many of the other trails in the park.
Afternoon nap time.
We knew nothing of this oasis in the middle of the desert and Lincoln National Forrest.

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