Uncle John was a recluse who loved water. Mother has memories of him as a little boy getting lost for hours along the north England shore when the tide was out. Later, he lived on boats in Florida, Hawaii, California and islands in the Caribbean. As he grew older, he ventured out to Mexico and searched the coasts for a quiet place to settle. In his travels, he discovered a small crater lake three hours inland from Puerto Vallarta. He bought land, and for the next few years, the lake of Santa María del Oro became his home.
A place as pristine as the lake of Santa María del Oro -or Samao, as the locals call it- is a rarity in Mexico. It has lush semi-tropical vegetation, clear waters and lots of wildlife. It was preserved in part because the actual town of Samao settled several kilometers away from the lake, and because it is far from major cities, and the toll roads to get there are expensive.
When we visited John for the first time fifteen years ago, my parents fell in love with the lake and decided to make it their second home. My father (an architect) built a gorgeous sculpted house, a studio, and guest loft, and my mother created a wonderful garden combining plants with found objects. They planted lots of fruit trees, and grew passion fruit vines along the entire fence. The lake has brought joy and peace to their lives ever since.
I went to visit my parents at Samao lake a few weeks ago, and took lots of pictures so that you could also experience such beauty.