Zipping Over Tree-Tops

Trip Start May 18, 2013
Trip End May 25, 2013

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Where I stayed
Allegro Papagayo Gulf of Papagayo
Read my review - 1/5 stars

Flag of Costa Rica  , Guanacaste,
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

This hotel is not getting a good rating from us. I was suspicious yesterday; today those suspicions were confirmed. The hotel room is a bit shabby and worn-down, with a pock-marked mirror and old plumbing. The sugar ants on the bathroom counter I can live with. The well water I can live with, as across the road there's a water cooler with fresh water. Dinner last night was okay – buffet style and decent. Breakfast was good this morning, lunch passable. All of the food and drinks (including alcohol) are included in the price of our stay. What’s not included is internet. Okay, we’re used to up-scale hotels charging for wireless on top of the high cost of the rooms. So much for our package being all-inclusive, but we noted some internet-ready computers in the lobby and figured we’d just walk up there (our building is down the hill from the reception) whenever we needed to get online. Other than trying to get our lease signed by tomorrow, there’s nothing urgent for us on the net. Today, after a fun morning and lunch, we figured we’d go up to use those computers, especially as it had begun to rain, nixing the idea of swimming and reading on the lawn chairs. We take the shuttle up, only to discover that it’s $4 for 20 minutes! What a rip-off! That drops what was going to be a 3-star rating down to a 1 or a 2. Which one will depend on how the rest of our stay goes. I know this sounds like sour grapes, given that drinks and food, along with various other activities, are included, but the gouging for internet is irritating since the food and drinks are not overwhelming in their quality. Oh, and neither hot tub is working.

Enough complaining.

This morning was actually quite fun. Yesterday evening we’d booked a horseback ride and a canopy tour. At eight in the morning we boarded a motorboat and were taken to the other side of the bay. Because of the way the peninsula juts out, the water here is extremely calm, making the twenty or so minutes we were on the water pleasant and affording good views. Once across, we got into a van and were driven five minutes up the road to where our horseback riding guide awaited us. It was just me and Ben, plus the guide, which in a way was nice. Unfortunately, my horse was a slow-poke. Ben figured out that the best way to let me catch up was to ask the guide questions, at which point he’d stop to answer and point out other things and my animal would ponderously amble up. I think it was mostly because mine was an older horse, about twelve years; although I will say he didn’t like me much and seemed tempted to scrape me off on a barbed-wire fence.

The ride was hot but beautiful. Since we were doing a long loop, and accessing different elevations, we got to see a lot of different flora. We saw a couple iguanas, a lot of different birds (I didn’t catch all the names), and a group of howler monkeys, who were kind enough to howl for us. Fascinating. No poo throwing, as the guide at the Asis animal sanctuary had led us to expect.

After the ride we were driven down the road to another all-inclusive this resort in order to do the canopy zip-lining. This we did for about an hour, though it felt far shorter and I was sorry once it was over. In the interests of not losing our cameras, we didn’t take them along, so the only picture is of the two of us immediately before setting out. I was a bit nervous getting started, but quickly loved it. I think the freakiest was when I was given the opportunity to hang upside down – not holding on to anything, feet above my head, supported only by the webbing around my waist and carabineers. We got a lot of amazing views of the bay and the tree-tops, though if there were any animals around I went by too fast to spot them. At one point, they had me sit in Ben’s lap on the way down, both of us individually attached to the cables, but only he got to brake if we went too quickly. So not only did I have no control, but I was going backwards as well!

Now we’re back in the hotel room, letting our irritation at the way this hotel is run dissipate before we head out to find an internet café. Alas, the towns around here are few and far between, so there’s no guarantee there’ll be anything to find. We shall see.

Update: We've driven into Playa del Coco to find internet. On the way, we saw what we think was a kinkajou carrying its baby out of the roadway. We're now relaxing in a very pleasant coffee bar and art studio, enjoying some delicious drinks while we take care of a few necessary emails and update the blog.

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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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