Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nicaraguan Adventure - Part 7 (The Treehouse)


If you start in the middle of nowhere, El Gigante, and drive south on a rough dirt road until you get to the edge of nowhere, and then drive on for a few more miles, you arrive at "The Treehouse," otherwise known as nirvana.


It took us months of diligent searching online to find this perfect Nicaraguan vacation home, and that ended up being much easier than finding it in real life.  Imagine thirteen pages of driving directions that do not mention one street sign (because there were none) and instead relies heavily on the presence of chicken coops on the side of the road.  Oh, how we love us some adventure!

And even though we usually try to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, in this case the destination was pretty amazing.


The Treehouse gets its name because it is built in a cascade down the forested hillside, and the giant second-story balcony is built around the trunk of an ancient Panama Tree, about 20 feet above the ground. In fact, the "dining table" is built between the branches where the  huge trunk splits for the first time.  We decided that we definitely need to eat more meals in trees.


And the house is on a small peninsula jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, so if you ever get tired of sitting in the middle of a rain forest canopy and looking at all the tropical animals crawling and flying around you, you can just look beyond the trees to see the Costa Rican coastline on the left and the beautiful Redonda Bay on the right (more about that later).


The house is made almost entirely of Teak, and it is so modern, comfortable and inviting that it makes you feel like royalty.


Except there's nobody around, so you don't have any subjects.  It's just you and the monkeys.



Howler Monkeys, to be exact.  Lots of them.  And they are fascinating creatures, providing endless entertainment.  They travelled around the treetops (i.e., at our level) in groups, with clear leaders and followers, and a mix of old and young, male and female.


We had seen a lot of monkeys in zoos, but this was different.  Now we were in their world and they were so good at living in their world.  They seemed so happy and so relaxed as they swung and jumped and hung from limb to limb.  Suzy captured the moment well when she said, "OK, I totally get Jane Goodall now."  (Technically, Goodall worked with chimps, but surely the feeling was similar.)

And what were the monkeys doing all that time?


Mostly they were looking for these yellow flowers and their pods.  Whatever they are, they must be extremely tasty because those monkeys will stop at nothing to pick every last one off the farthest reaches of each branch.


They also rested a lot.  That inspired us to do the same.


We really liked "our" monkeys, and we even named some of them.  This big dude was the leader of one of the packs and clearly called the shots.  We named him Romel, after our friendly carriage driver in Granada.


But the most impressive of all of our monkey friends was this mother, who swung from the branches, soared through the air, and reached for tasty yellow flowers -- all while tenderly carrying her little baby in one arm.  We named her Marcella, after our Mombacho hiking friend.


There hasn't been a single day since we left (over two months ago now) that we haven't thought about the Treehouse and talked about going back.  We will go back, and next time it will be with our kids.  And we will reenact the Swiss Family Robinson, assuming we can find an ostrich to race on the beach.

7 comments:

Hillary said...

I'm pretty sure Aunt Hillary needs to go with you next time. You know, to help with the kids and stuff.

Ye Stewart Clan said...

Done and done!

Katie said...

Oh man, I'm so amazed. the whole time I read that and looked at the awesome pictures I was all...I want to go to there. You guys are true adventurers. And I miss being on real adventures with you. I forgot we can still have those times even grown ups. I want to come with you one of these years.

love bug momma said...

Um, I want to go too!

Anne Brissette said...

I don't know you, but I feel I do. We (13 members of my family, 18 to 60) just came back from a house near your treehouse. We were there for two weeks. You are right: it IS paradise. Aren't we lucky to have enjoyed all this beauty, and sun, and pure happiness?
Anne, Quebec, Canada

Anne Brissette said...

I don't know you, but I feel I do. We (13 members of my family, 18 to 60) just came back from a house near your treehouse. We were there for two weeks. You are right: it IS paradise. Aren't we lucky to have enjoyed all this beauty, and sun, and pure happiness?
Anne, Quebec, Canada

Janet said...

Love your blog! We are booked in for a trip there in Feb/March and are very excited to be spending a large amount of time at the treehouse. Do you mind if we ask you a few more questions?