“Daddy, I really have to pee.” Emma says weepily and concerned. “And we’re trapped in our room.” Shit, I think, as I roll over. She’s right, we are trapped in our room at the budget hotel with the public toilet downstairs.
I know this because I too had to pee an hour ago. But I’m not ready to tell her my solution, which was to use an empty water bottle as a receptacle. I’m not proud of it. This marks a new Creekmore low.
“I can make it through the night.” She says optimistically as I fiddle with the lock, headlamp on, muttering curses. Of course she can’t do that. Can you ever get back to sleep once you wake up having to pee?
There is a screw pin at the bottom that somehow disengages the lock and ‘click’ the door opens. Emma dart through under my arm. I follow and empty my bottle of shame in the garden.
Budget accommodations ($55 a night including breakfast) are not always a good deal.
At least the room had few mosquitoes and was cooled by fans. And the breakfast is really good with ‘real’ pancakes. Emma has discovered the pancakes around the world resemble sweet crepes more than the bready, toasty ones we eat in the USA. But these are the real thing, and we enjoy them.
The flight back to San Jose is fun. It’s a sightseeing aircraft with really big windows – a 16 seater. There are nice views of the Sirepe river, our entrance-way to the Osa Penninsula four days ago, and the cloud-capped volcanic ridge of mountains in central Costa Rica.
We get our rental car easily, and head north to the Arenal region, where we will stay at Leaves and Lizards resort. It’s a top trip advisor pick in the area, but it’s fairly far away from the center of town down some of the roughest roads we’ve ever driven. The trip is just over three hours, and we skip lunch.
Leaves and Lizards is an amazing place! The volcano is right in front of us, the rooms is tasteful and very high quality. Best of all there is a fantastic deck and gigantic bay window overlooking fabulously landscaped gardens. I am hard to impress, but this place does it.
The Arenal region is home to dozens of hot springs resorts that provide pools of hot mineral water in tropical settings. Down the road a few miles from Leaves and Lizards is ‘The Springs’ where we will hang out tonight.
As we drive up, Emma snarkly says ‘creative name, morons.’ If I hadn’t noticied it before, I have been presented with uncontenstable evidence that I am the parent of a Tween. Emma is 12, and has adopted sarcasm, snark, and feigned bitchiness for 90% of her communication. It gets on my nerves from time to time.
‘The Springs’ is a new, conventional resort. It looks and feels like every other Disney-esqu tropical resort you’ve ever been to. Their claim is to have the most (18) pools, but they are all man-made. It’s a nice-enough place, but generic.
I have stupidly forgotten my wallet and have to drive back to our distant hotel across the boulder filled path they call a ‘road’. My brains are shaken by the bumping. I’m ready for this day to be over.
The hotel seems to be taking care of them reasonably well. The Ocelot pictured has a nervous disorder, and has a wacky look in his eye.
A spider monkey is named ‘Mike Tyson’ for good reason. Trish gets close to the cage and he whips his tail at her with such speed that it smacks her in the head. She steps back a few feet, but he keeps coming at her, about 10 more times. Nutty monkey.
A few minutes into the animal tour, Lily start a complete radioactive core meltdown that doesn’t stop for hours. She says the animals are scaring her (and they are, but they are in cages. She was Justin the jungle!)
The truth is, sleeping in a ball on one side of a twin bed last night was bad. Skipping lunch was worse. She (like me) has a little diarrhea and a cold.
Sigh. This was supposed to be the easy transition days between Corcovado and Arenal, but you can’t tell when things go good or bad on the road. That’s one of the features of adventure travel.
After some outrageously expensive hotel pool food ($85 for chicken nuggets, mini-pizza, burger and a sandwich) We get Lily home to bed. The room is at least super comfortable, and we brought some decongestant in our extensive first aid kit. She is asleep instantly.