Monday, July 04, 2005

Santa Maria del Oro - Jalisco - Lost in Mexico

Take a wrong turn in Mexico with a terrible map and this is what you might run into. Santa Maria del Oro - in the southern section of Jalisco. I was headed from Mazamitla in Jalisco to Los Reyes in Michoacan.

A number of friends were looking for the route I followed on good maps but nothing really close was found. This government web site had the best info and also shows that Santa Maria was recently called Manuel M. Diéguez.

El municipio de Santa María del Oro

Valle de Juárez in Jalisco (near Mazamitla) is where I started on my way to Los Reyes in Michoacan - thinking there was a decent road between the two. Actually I had a lousy map and was totally lost. Anyway, up and over the mountains I went on a paved but very steep and winding road. As I came down the other side I saw my first view of Santa Maria del Oro - which is essentially the end of the road. Santa Maria is just about the friendliest town I've run into in Mexico. The first night I was invited to a fiesta of nearly 100 people (primary school graduation) and the second night invited to dinner with a young family (the horseman below).

There were lots of little pueblos, ranchitos and farms beyond Santa Maria that I didn´t take pictures of because I didn´t want to be driving in the dark and I hadn't made contact with the locals. Taking fotos of small places that you zoom thru is like eating and running

My first view of Santa Maria as I came down the mountain.

The main street thru town is mostly one direction at a time. There are very few side streets in this little hillside town of a few 1000 people.

Looking down on almost half the town.

The local corner hangout for Coke, beer and important small talk. The guy on the horse invited me home with him for dinner with wife and baby.

Another supposedly 'end of road' town - La Aurora - but I pressed on

One of the two major bridges I crossed and a little of the road I traveled behind and to the left.

This is the valley-gorge that was crossed by the second bridge.

After many ranchitos, pueblocitos, rough roads and some close calls - I finally came in the back way to Los Reyes. A great and kinda crazy experience. I'm sure if someone else was with me I would have been talked out of it.

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

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House building in Pinal Villa

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