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.
Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México
VALLE DE JUÁREZ --
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. A great
and kinda crazy experience. I'm sure if someone else was with me
I would have been talked out of it.
Very interesting is
also the 60 some comments on my blog from people who are from
there or have family in Santa Maria or La Aurora -
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