Dreams in the cloud forest
Review Submitted: 15 April 2013
Date of Stay: March 2013
First the good: great location, ~6 km from San Ramon with a great grocery store (MaxiPali), easy access for Highway 1, easy access to many of the sites of the central valley and the northern Pacific area. Great views from the house, beds comfortable, plenty of hot water and good water pressure, nicely stocked kitchen, washer / dryer, large fridge. Great bird watching. Best of all was the support system - met at the airport by a family member and guided to the house, he arranged the dongel for the internet and cable TV, left us a phone with his number (which we used a couple times). We had a couple minor issues and he addressed them very quickly. Sister lived next door, and although she spoke no English and my Spanish is terrible, we were able to communicate. She was wonderful! We felt safe the entire time at this location. Weather was nice, although a little warmer than I thought it would be in this location. The house was clean and relatively well maintained.
Downsides: the picture is a little misleading - you can't actually get to the front walkway shown because the road to the house is so bad - you can get to the house and park in the back area, but not really park / drop off someone in the front. My elderly Mom was with us - fortunately, she could do the steps in the back, or this would have been a bust! The road to the house is rough - we made it in a car, but to continue down the road, you need 4 wheel drive (getting down is hard, getting up is almost impossible in a standard car). No screens on doors or windows - so tons of bugs get in, the only really worrisome ones are the mosquitos. They are totally annoying! And most of the windows do not open, so there is limited air circulation. The downstairs bedroom has some killer stairs - fortunately our party member that used that bedroom is a young man - an older person would risk falling if they went downstairs. The internet (via dongel) was reasonably fast in the early morning hours, but in the afternoon or evening it was tediously slow - some days you could not connect at all. If you need internet to be in touch with family / work, this can be very frustrating.
I would stay here again and I would recommend this house to friends or family - I really enjoyed the location, the views, the quiet and the idea of 'family' next door!
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