Larry is a keen astronomer so he was looking forward to our trip to New Mexico where the dry desert air promised excellent conditions for stargazing. He came across a place to stay in the southwest of the state that advertised dark skies as well as spectacular views and incredible quiet. It couldn’t have been a more accurate description.
We drove 30 miles northwest from Silver City on a secondary road to reach the tiny village of Gila. Already feeling like we were in the middle of nowhere we then had a further 4 miles to go on a dirt road. As we entered the entrance to the Casitas de Gila there was a sign “Entering Stress Free Zone”, another very accurate description!
Becky, our hostess, showed us to our adobe casita, one of five positioned on a terrace overlooking Bear Creek and the Pinos Altos mountains. Each casita has it’s own porch, an outdoor chimenea fireplace, barbecue and the view above.
Inside the casitas are artfully decorated in southwestern style, beautiful overall and even more impressive as you notice the many tiny decorating details. They have all the comforts and amenities anyone could wish for….Becky has thought of everything. We found it absolutely luxurious, especially when compared to camping, which is the only way we have previously stayed in such a remote location.
Larry spent most evenings stargazing and it was just as wonderful as he had anticipated He saw many deep sky objects he hadn’t managed to spot previously. Occasionally I joined him (often decadently viewing the starts sitting in the hot tub!) or I relaxed by the fire in our cute little kiva fireplace.
We also enjoyed our daytime activities. Each morning we sat on our porch and watched birds and did our best to identify them. We saw 18 different species without leaving our seats, many of them spectacularly colourful.
In the afternoons (when we weren’t napping!) we strolled around the property, photographing the early spring wildflowers and then went “home” to try and identify them. Each casita is stocked with an incredible library of books about a whole range of other topics….and if the information there isn’t sufficient Peter, the host, is a walking encyclopedia!
It was an interesting, idyllic and restful few days and we were sad to leave. As we passed the sign by the gate we had to giggle: “Leaving stress-free zone……courage”. That was exactly how we felt.
If you are interested in learning more about this special place the website is http://www.casitasdegila.com. It’s especially worth reading their very comprehensive Nature Blog.