Set half-way up a mountain overlooking the town of Banos, Bella Vista is a tiny restaurant with an incredible view. On my first day I see the colorful building surrounded by leafy terrain on all sides: no road can be seen leading to its door. I wander around to what seem the most likely areas for a road or path leading up the mountain, to no avail. Eventually I find someone that has directions comprehensible to my feeble espanol, and find a small trail at the end of an innocuous road. I trudge up the road to find beautiful sights, one after another. The road, actually more of a muddy path, skirts across the mountain more horizontally than vertically (hence my trouble finding it originally) and eventually leads to an iron gate bearing the resturant's name.
Through the gate is a fantastic garden of flora and fauna, flowers of all description interspersed with dogs, cats, chickens, and mule. As I take in the panoramic view I'm met by the owner of the estate, a middle-aged mother of two with a towel wrapped around her head after a recent shower. The restaurant, which is really just the front porch of a small home, serves a wide array of foods and drinks, the first of which I order is tea (of course). Later I order a salad with roasted chicken that is absolutely fabulous, consisting of a collection of vegetables only half of which I could name. For several hours I sit on the porch as the sun drops slowly to the mountains, throwing shadows about the valley from peaks and clouds. Eventually I gather my things, pay my tab, and make the arduous trek down.