Saturday, April 21, 2012

Selva Del Mar partners, Rich Brown and Rick Flanagan, at the new Rancho Santana clubhouse with  Selva Del Mar resident, Gray Gardner. Rich and his family spent the Semana Santa holday at Villa Espiral, Rancho Santana, which is about 15 minutes from Selva Del Mar.

Rich's family brought down  clothes, baseballs, soccer balls, and baseball caps for the kids in Gigante. Chris and Marisa Brown did an awesome job! Lovely Yamali Palma helped organize this little get together. Here are Chris and Marisa with their new friends.

This is in Tola, where a new project is underway to pave the road all the way to Gigante, thanks to the Pellas family and the Guacalito de Isla resort they are developing at Manzanillo, near  Selva Del Mar

This is the new entrance to Guacalito de Isla. It is approximately a quarter mile  from the Selva Del Mar entrance on the road going into Gigante.

It is as beautiful as ever back home at Selva Del Mar.

Ed's casita is now in the finishing stage of construction. This photo was taken last February.

Gray checks out the February progress on Ed's casita.

The dry season tree flowers were in bloom, and the above average rain kept things green through February. 

This is the best time in the last five years to buy a lot in Selva Del Mar. Here's why.

In 2006, Daniel Ortega was elected as President. Many investors were afraid that he would not keep his promises to honor private property rights and to encourage foreign direct investment. We now know that he has kept those promises. Foreign direct investment is on the increase, tourism is growing, and Nicaragua remains one of the friendliest and safest countries in Latin America.

The roads are better, there are ambitious power generation projects both completed and underway, using a combination of hydro, geothermal, and wind to reduce dependence on oil powered electrical generation. Major multinational corporations are present in Nicaragua and there is growth in manufacturing and service businesses.

The 2008 financial crisis hit the real estate market hard in Nicaragua, just as it did in the states. When home equity lines of credit dried up, the stock market tanked, and the U.S. government bailed out banks, car makers, et al, fear was everywhere, and the notion of investing in Nicaragua seemed all too risky, even for those who still had the resources to invest.

Now, we are seeing major investments in real estate by high end resort developers, and these project are all around Selva Del Mar! Guacalito De Isla, just south of Selva Del Mar, will be among the finest resorts in all of central america. With the new paved road, the whole Gigante area and it's stunning beauty will become a lot more accessible. Aqua Spa's inspired wellness retreat in Gigante's hidden cove called Redonda is nearby too.

Just north of Selva Del Mar is the Iguana Beach resort and golf course. This is where Colorado - one of Nicaragua's best surf spots, is located. An airstrip is scheduled to go in at Iguana soon.

North of Iguana is Rancho Santana, and they have just finished their spectacular new clubhouse, conference center and pool. A 17 room adjacent hotel is scheduled for completion in December of 2013.

Prices at Selva Del Mar are much lower than at these nearby resorts, but Selva Del Mar is equally (if not more) beautiful, and you still have access to great surf  and other resources. Right now, we are offering a special of 33% off list price for any available lot in Selva Del Mar, with financing available. Get in touch with us soon, because things are changing fast and the market could ignite at any time.



Saturday, June 11, 2011

A horseback ride at Selva Del Mar

Until I get this embedding issue fixed, here's a link to the horseback riding video.

May/June 2011

Take a look at this video shot last August at Selva Del Mar.

And here is a short video of Selva Del Mar during the dry season.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

September 2009 Update

Hola Amigos,
It's been too long since we updated the blog, but we have been busy at Selva Del Mar. Two of the three lots in our NSR promotion campaign have sold and we are continuing to improve the infrastructure. The first picture is of Dominique on her lot.

October is a time to be mindful of rain and drainage. So before the rains came, we got to work preparing for it. This picture is at the entrance to Selva Del Mar. There was a huge mud puddle there, so when we got a little dry spell in July, we filled it with a truckload of crushed rock and then tamped it down with that compression device.

Drainage channels are being installed so we can keep the water off the road.

This area receives a lot of the runoff from the higher up areas so we wanted to insure there would be no erosion.

This crushed rock will be tamped in.

The drainage curbs are going in on Calle Monte de Oro.

Here you can see the drainage curb going in front of Colin, Dominique and Gray's lots.

Work has now been done all the way to Joe's house.

Drainage is particularly important on the road going to the top of Selva Del Mar.

So we are putting in more drainage channels and crushed rock.

Another truckload of crushed rock at the entrance of Selva Del Mar.

This is a picture of Dom and Colin's lots. See the young hardwood trees that we planted?

Vidal is doing well and so is Filete.

This is what it's all about here at Selva Del Mar. Excitement and thrills nearby, but tranquility at home.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

May Update

Hola Amigos,

We are making more improvements to the infrastructure at Selva Del Mar. Here are some pictures of the drainage work we are doing. I know, you probably aren't too entertained by construction oriented pictures, but it's important to keep moving forward with making Selva Del Mar an even better place to be. And we want to show you that we take these things seriously and that we are committed to the project. We want to get as much of this drainage work done before the usual May rains start in earnest. Early May saw some great surf in southern Nicaragua. Check out, especially the May 7th photos. There, you will see Gray and his friends Mateo, Chris (Bubby) and others scoring big time. The fishing and diving have been improving too. By the way, did you see our ads on Nicaragua Surf Report? We have a promotion going for the next 3 lots sold, 33% off. We already sold two lots on the promotion, so there is only one more opportunity to take advantage. This is a great time to take advantage of low prices. We will even work out a financing plan for your purchase.
I just got a call from Sergio and it seems my horse, Filete, ate up most of the new grass we planted along that drainage area near the creek. It may be time to build a little corral for him before he gets into any more mischief. Sergio also told me that his mare over at Bella Mar had yet another foal. We don't know who the daddy is, but now he has 3 horses instead of one. Anyway, the horses have been busy! Gray, Ryan, Zach and Cody were able to get the bar at Olas Gigantes open for Semana Santa with help from Rob Plath and Selva Del Mar lot owner Ed Schrade. That is the craziest and busiest time of year in Gigante, and all went well. Now they are working on the kitchen and then they will focus on getting the lodging ready. Soon, you will have more choices of places to stay in Gigante. Rob Dull's Hotel Brio has been improved. Joe's place, here at Selva Del Mar, is available for room rental. And soon, you can stay on the beach at the boy's place, Olas Gigantes (OG's for short). If you want more upscale high end lodging, you can stay at our Villa Espiral in Rancho Santana. Gray tells me Ed has been charging Selva Del Mar on his mountain bike. Yeah Ed! Send me some pics! We also wanted to let you know that Adam Monaghan is doing good things in Gigante with his Project Woo. This is a great way to give back to the local community. Project Woo operates from Joe's house at Selva Del Mar. Please consider making a donation to this worthy cause. We hope you can come down and visit us soon. Saludes!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April Update

Hola Amigos,

Joe's house is done, so you can now stay at Selva Del Mar and get the full experience of living with nature. Here is his new website. We hope you can come and visit us here at our natural sanctuary in the coastal hills of southern Nicaragua.



Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Update

Hola Amigos,

Well this last trip to Nicaragua was one of the best ever. Unforgettable in many ways. I will work backwards from the day I returned home on Sunday, March 15th. I spent Saturday night at Selva Del Mar with Gray and Ryan because my guests at Villa Espiral had arrived that afternoon, so I had to move out.

I woke up at daybreak, a little groggy from the barbeque and Tona fest we had the previous night, but I wanted to hike to the top of Selva Del Mar to see where the sunrise is near the time of the vernal equinox. I want to be mindful of that sunrise location when we design the house for lot 4. Anyway, it was just me and the sounds of birds. The creek was all but empty as it is the heart of dry season. There were a few little fish splashing around in one of the remaining pockets of water just west of the creek crossing.

The wind has blown harder this dry season than any year since I have been coming to Nicaragua. It made the water cold enough for a full wetsuit during the early part of the week, and it blew down several of our trees. This was sad, but it did provide some firewood for open air cooking and barbecuing. Gray had borrowed a chain saw and had already cut a bunch of it up before I arrived on March 8th (Gray's birthday...more on that later).

Still, most of the trees made it through intact and lots of them were blooming. Pink and yellow were the predominant colors. As I walked past Colin's lot, I saw our horse, Filete, grazing there. He's getting a little chubby, being the only grazer at Selva Del Mar. He looked strong, having fully recovered from a horsefight across a barbed wire fence. Apparently both horses were rearing up and throwing punches with their front hooves when Filete caught one of his on the fence and cut his leg badly. Lots of blood. Thankfully Gray and his buddies, Rob, Ben and Ryan showed up and put a T shirt tourniquet on it to stop the bleeding. After some antibiotics and a little healing time, he was as good as new.

In fact, Filete is now in demand! More folks are coming to visit Gigante and some want to rent horses. I talked to Gray yesterday, and he was stoked because he rented out Filete yesterday for $20 per hour to somebody who wanted to ride him on the beach. With Gray, Ryan, Cody and Zach's little beachfront project almost done (more on that later), they will be able to offer their (and our) guests boating, horses, and probably some jet ski's too. Anyway, we are looking at getting more horses! Are you ready to ride horses to a surf spot? I'm going to get a surfboard holster made. Now that's the new frontier!

I brought my video camera for the hike, but ended up running out of battery power before I reached the top, so when I got there, I devoted the location of the sunrise to memory and sat down in the warm light to watch some beautiful hummingbirds feed on the tree flowers. In the distance, I could see that Panga Drops was still way overhead, and looking out toward Pie de Gigante, I could see that the left off the island at the south end of the Bahia was still breaking even though it was high tide.

After the hike and some pancakes, I went down to the beach to see how the boy's beachfront place was coming along. They call their place Olas Gigante. They hope to have it ready for Semana Santa. With their local partner Zacharias Martinez, they have obtained a provisional alcohol permit so it looks like the rum and beer will be flowing for Nicaragua's biggest beach party that starts April 3 and lasts for a week. Semana Santa is definitely party time in Nicaragua.

Here is a picture of Olas Gigante.

Here is Ryan at the beach entrance to Olas Gigante. Still lots to do, but you don't need everything done to serve beer and rum...right Ryan?

Here is Ben, Rob and Gray, at the entrance of Olas Gigante. Another day at the office.

Being Sunday, the beachgoers were showing up. Buses have now begun bringing folks to Gigante. There were people playing soccer and baseball, setting up umbrellas, and hanging under the trees. Kids were playing in the water and everyone was full of smiles. As I stepped from Ola Gigante's door onto the sand, I could see the left was still breaking off the island, so I walked down there to check the action. On the way, a soccer ball was kicked my way and after an impromptu mini game and handshakes with smiling Nicas, I resumed my stroll to the break.

As I approached, I saw Chele pull into a barrel and sit in in it for a couple of seconds as I looked straight in. Then his brother Irwin scored another. What? Tubes off the island? That was a revelation. I had seen some rights spit off the north end of the beach last fall, but now the south end was going off. It reminded me of that part in Endless Summer where people were saying "there are no waves in Tahiti!" Trust me, there are waves in Gigante, as well as nearby. I climbed up the rocks and took some shots with my iphone of Rob and the local boys enjoying chest to head high waves. Here is a two shot sequence of Rob Plath. Notice how it gets hollower as it goes past that rock. It's actually a pretty long wave.

Later, I heard that Colorado was going off and that the pros were getting some sick tubes. The report from the day before had been that Colorado was closing out and had broken 6 boards, so I guess the swell had moved enough sand around that it had shape by Sunday morning.

I never even made it to Colorado this trip. Saturday morning saw me out at Rosada on a macking swell. Jan, Paul, Mark, and his friend shared the lineup with me. After pulling into a few barrels and getting heavily caught inside on a few, I decided to come in, catch my breath, get some food and rest up for a later session.

At low tide, I drove to the checkout spot for a hidden secret spot. I couldn't believe
my eyes! It was huge, breaking a quarter mile out, with perfectly shaped lefts, at least 12 foot. Nobody out, not even on the beach. I called Gray and told him to come over and surf it with me. It was too big to go out alone. By the time the boys arrived two hours later (nothing happens swiftly in Nicaragua), the tide had come up and the size had dropped to about 8 to 10 foot, but it was still empty and good shape. Gray, Ryan, Ben and I surfed it until we were too tired to paddle into them (or get caught inside) anymore. Rob stayed on the beach having already exhausted himself on dozens of long rides in Gigante that morning. That was a session I will never forget. Big, carveable glassy reef break lefts with some standup shacks. Just me, my son and our buddies. Yes, some of the spots can get crowded, but if you know where to look and when...well, it is still a magical place my friends.

Friday the 13th was no less lucky. As soon as the tide started to drop that morning, I made my way down to the beach at Rosada just as Mark Brown was coming off his front steps with his board. Mark, Joe, Paul and I shared the morning session on the rising swell. I was blessed to come out of what was one of the best barrels I have ever ridden there. It's a technical wave and it can warble and pinch while you are in the tube, but this one stayed wide open and dry. I came out hooting my head off (ok I admit it, I also did a two handed "claim"), and paddled back out with an ear to ear grin.

That evening, we had a high tide session at Rosada that reminded me of bull fighting. At high tide, the wave looks deceptively good, and it is, but it breaks really close to the rocks, which usually don't show themselves until right before you jump to your feet. If you don't get pitched right onto dry reef (one guy did and ended up cutting his feet), you find yourself wedged between a heaving double up that is firing down the line and exposed rocks that are just a few feet to the beach side of you. There is no margin for error. It's like being a matador, with the horns missing you by inches while you (try) to look calm and in control. A guy from San Clemente named Shaun was out and he took off as far back as I have seen anyone go at high tide and somehow managed to squeek through. Amazing! Bryan from NSR paddled out and we had a blast sharing some trecherous but very rewarding waves. As I got out of the water, Mark's wife Cathy was waving for me to come up and have a beer with them. So as the sun set, Mark, Cathy, Brian, Heather, their kids and I hung out while we grownups drank beer and wine. Brian and Heather's 5 month baby girl, Safari has the prettiest blue eyes and she just fixed them on me as we sat on their porch and talked story. After watching a great little outer reef video, I walked across the street to Villa Espiral and was soon fast asleep.

Monday through Thursday had smaller surf, but there were some surprisingly good waves at Santana Beachbreak where I got a chance to chat with Tony (from Surf Sanctuary) and thank him for teaming up with NSR to help a little local girl get surgery to repair a cleft palate. We had all pitched in to fund it, and we all just felt grateful to help a fine local family improve the quality of their lives. I encourage all of you to help out too by making donations to the Roberto Clemente Medical Clinic that is just outside the gates of Rancho Santana. They take care of the local community and sew up a lot of surfer's cuts too.

My arrival on March 8th was a classic. I turned on the video camera as I drove into Rancho Santana and pulled into the driveway at Villa Espiral. Gray's birthday party was already in full swing. I am putting together a video of the event, so I will post that soon. But it was a great party that raged into the night. When I woke up the next morning, there were people sleeping everywhere. On the couches, on cushions on the floor. Somebody had pulled two chairs together and was curled up on them. Monday was siesta day for most of the party goers, but I was just too stoked to be there so I was up early, just being grateful how good it can be in Nicaragua.

Back at Selva Del Mar, Joe's house is pretty much done now. As soon as I know more about it's rental availability and costs I will let you know.

Until next time, keep the dream alive. It certainly is in Nicaragua.