It’s my birthday and we’re on our way to the Treehouse with our Finca Bellavista pointer sheet in hand. Lots of instructions, directions and rules. Too many to remember. It begins:
You won’t find billboards or roadside signs that lead you to Finca Bellavista. We are not a full-service spa or a fancy hotel. You won’t find TVs in our cabinas, or electricity. What you will find is a rustic, yet comfortable retreat from the outside world to explore and enjoy on your own. We are in our infancy as a project. Though we keep our location somewhat of a secret from the outside world, we are more than happy to open our doors to you since you found us!
As per directions, we follow the coastal highway south from Dominical to the remote pueblo of Piedras Blancas and turn left at the only restaurant in town, Rancho Guiri Guiri. According to the pointer sheet, it serves the best fried chicken in the southern zone of Costa Rica, and since it’s lunchtime we decide to stop. I take the safe route and order fried chicken. B. checks out the ‘specials’ and takes a chance. “I’d like to try the tepezquintle.” This rodent-like animal has been the hunters’ favorite since homesteading days and here it is on the menu, probably illegally.
“Your horoscope this month must be telling you to take chances.” I laugh.
B. knows he’s made a mistake as soon as the cook serves us, “Whew, that smells really gamy.” And it taste that way too. He takes his medicine like a man and eats most of it. I try one bite and we chalk it up to experience.
Back in the car we finally see the obscure sign for Finca Bellavista, follow the dirt road a few miles to the ‘base camp’ and pull into the only car parking area. There’s a community center with bathhouse, kitchen, dining area and game room surrounded by well-kept gardens and trails. We meet Erica, she shows us around and we gather our belongings for the long trek to our treehouse. Thank goodness we’re in good physical health. The trail is steep, wet, and treacherous, but the destination is worth every step. A handmade sign “Mis Ojos Treehouse”, points to a two-story wooden structure set high up among four giant rainforest trees, with just one more steep ladder-like staircase to heaven.
After showing us around and giving last minute instructions, Erica leaves us with, “dinner is served at seven back at base camp.”
She’s gone before I realize. “Oh shit. We’re gonna have to walk all the way back there.”
“And in the pitch dark!”
We’ve signed up for meals instead of cooking in the treehouse. A big mistake?
We don’t want to think about it right now. We sit on the balcony and soak in the exciting new adventure of being an integral part of the majestic jungle hundreds of feet below and above us. “We’re so lucky – or rather you are. You win stuff all the time.”
“You’re right, my son used to be the lucky one. He won almost every time he entered a contest, from dinners for two to Caribbean cruises. Guess it runs in the family.”
But luck isn’t all of it. Whether you believe in horoscopes or not, taking risks and making changes is what makes our lives rich and exciting. Last week we took surfing lessons, my low bid at a silent auction for a dog adoption group. And now here we are at Finca Bella Vista in the treetops of the Costa Rican jungle drinking coffee. In our faces, the insistent sound and sight of the waterfall intertwines with sweet and raucous birdsongs, and fluttering blue iridescent flashes of Morpho butterflies.