Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Santa Maria del Oro: Our RV Trip to Lake SAMAO

Laguna Santa Maria del Oro
     Santa Maria del Oro Lake is beautiful and deep, inside the crater of an extinct volcano. At an altitude of 2400 feet, we thought it would be cooler in early July. But it was hot and humid.
     We rented kayaks one afternoon and cooled off by paddling across the lake and back. Bella, our doxy, wasn’t too excited about getting into the single-person boats, but she felt better after she and I jumped out of the boat for a short swim that cooled her off.
Laguna SAMAO has its Letters on the Malecon
     Laguna de Santa Maria del Oro is about 30 miles southeast of Tepic in the state of Nayarit, MX. We stayed at the Koala Bungalows and Campgrounds on the south end of the lake. There are only five trailer sites but quite a few tent camping sites. The Church and Church Mexican Camping book warned us not to arrive on a Saturday or Sunday because the entrance road gets jammed with parked cars and it’s difficult to pass to the area behind the bungalows where the trailer park is.
     Well, we arrived on a Sunday afternoon and found out that they were right! Even with our mirrors folded in, we just squeaked by the line of parked cars. If we would have had a Class A motorhome or one longer than our 28-foot rig, we would not have been able to get into our RV site until about 9:00PM when the campers had packed up for the day.
The Nearest Restaurant to the Trailer Park
     A walk along the Malecón and beyond revealed about half a dozen restaurants facing the lake. All of the menus seemed to list the same entrees, so we settled for the restaurant closest to the RV Park and got our fill of chicharrones (fried fish pieces) and French fries.
Bella, Covered with a Cold, Wet Towel
     We found it to be pretty hot and humid at Lake Santa Maria del Oro in early July; even Bella was so hot I wrapped her in a wet towel so she could cool off. The trailer park only had 15-amp service and no breakers that we could access, so we were hesitant to run our air conditioner. We finally decided to try it so we could cool down the rig enough to sleep and it worked fine.
Time to Head Back Up the Hill from Lake SAMAO
     It was time to head to higher altitudes where the weather would be cooler. Our diesel Class C climbed out of the crater and up the hill with no trouble, through the little town of Santa Maria del Oro, and back to Hwy 15D. Next stop, Roca Azul on Lake Chapala.

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  1. I'm glad Bella was able to cool off in the lake and with the towel. Looks like a beautiful spot, but I know you'll enjoy moving to higher elevations. We are warm and humid here on the Yucatan gulf coast, but it was actually hotter in May than it has been so far in July, so with our pool and being oceanfront, we've only had to run the bedroom A/C on one night. We have a variety of fans for the rest of the time. Enjoy your travels!

    1. Hi Emily,
      Thanks for your comment. Wow, you've only had to run your A/C one night? That's great! Having a pool and ocean breeze really helps, I'm sure. We've moved to 6500 feet where it's cooler and dry, so now I'm adjusting to the high altitude. Sometimes I can be such a wimp:)
      Have a good July and stay cool.