Baños!! Casa del Arbol :)

Without knowing what the future had laid out for us we started walking on what we thought would be a 2 hour track.

My final destination and the place I wanted to go to the MOST even if that meant walking for a day was Casa del Arbol.

I had seen pictures everywhere on the web. The top 27 places to go to before you die. Most daring places to go to. What to do in Baños and so on.  All of the sites were daring people to try the swing on the little tree house that looked over beautiful landscape. It was supposed to be for the bravest of the bravest. So this dare just flared up something inside me and I HAD to go.

Of course I dragged my partner who thought this would be a harmless walk.

To get to Casa del Arbol I decided, here is the important part, I DECIDED to go to Bellavista and then WALK on to Casa del Arbol. On the map I was pretty sure it was going to be a short walk. OH WHY OH WHY DIDN’T ANYONE WARN ME!!!!

So the walk from the entrance at the edge of the town to Bellavista was doable. It was quite steep and I had to stop many times to huff and puff, but it was still okay. It took less than an hour or so. So with my hopes as big as all the balloons from UP, I was ready to hike up to Casa del Arbol. Bring it on!

Entrance to Bellavista on the edge of town

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Up up and up we go to Bellavista

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View from Bellavista

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OMG!!!! I DIDN’T KNOW IT WOULD TAKE ANOTHER 2 HOURS TO HIKE UP. and there weren’t many signs so most of the time I thought I was seriously lost . We would enter a tiny muddy track  and hope that it was a road that people took to the mountain.

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Once we hit a little town, a farming place, we asked people how to get to Casa Del Arbol.

The answer was Arriba (up)…lehos(far)….mas un hora media (one hour and a half more)!!!!! What?!!! I just hiked up one hour from Bellavista….and now I have to track for another hour and a half??

After some hiking we found a road to follow…

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Up up up…never ending road

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ARGH!! I was starting to doubt whether this stupid tree house was worth it. I mean it’s just a swing on a stupid tree house. But it was too late to go back. and I needed to finish this like a fighter or give up like a loser…Actually I couldn’t imagine going back down after three hours of hiking…so the only way was up.

I should’ve taken more photos of the mountainous roads that we had to take. But I was just so exhausted I was actually crawling up.

FINALLY I see the signs.

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FINALLY THE TREE HOUSE.

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There were some tourists already from the area and they asked us how we got here because we were sweating like crazy and huffing and puffing trying to find a place to collapse. We said we walked. Their faces were like…WHAT THE….WOW….It’s really far from here….we said…trust us we know…we know….if we only knew in the beginning…

AND GUESS WHAT. IT WAS WORTH IT.

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We had to pay some donation in a plastic bottle attached to the tree.

Up we go up the tree house.

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Hola!!

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View from the tree house.

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The swing was so much FUN!!  It was so frightening at first but I got used to it so quickly, Kosuke had to drag me off it…

READY

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GO!

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Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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Scary….

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The way down was crazier. When we asked the ranger who took care of the tree house, he said there was a shortcut and it only took an hour back down to the town.

Before he told us though we had to write in the guest book in our languages and as I read it I found out the poor victims who walked up like us. They never knew it would be a 4 hour hike. And maybe if I had trained and actually exercised it would have been better,,,but my poor lungs couldn’t handle it haha I need exercise.

Just some ceremonious jumping shots on the green next to the tree house:

I was really bad at jumping…

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Ended up jumping best in this position…

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Kosuke was so so much better.

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So the way down was crazier and no it wasn’t like what the guy had told us. It was a 2 hour long steep downhill..and we seriously wondered if it was a road that was even used by anyone. It was so overcrowded with trees, shrubs and thorns, thank goodness we had long sleeves and pants. We slid, climbed and fell down and after what seemed like an eternity, we finally saw the town

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We met some cow friends on the way and many fly friends as well.

Even though we could see the town it was still a pretty long way down and once we hit the Virgin Mary Statue that we were supposed to see after 30 minutes according to the ranger…it was staircases all the way down….poor knees…it was creaking by the time we hit town.

When we looked back up it seemed like we had hiked from one mountain peak to two other peaks to get to Casa Del Arbol…

Our adventure started at 9am and ended at 3pm. It was like a 6 hour hike…Just please beware and be prepared 🙂

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