Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Las Orquideas Hotel, Santa Elena.
Well, two things are for sure. One, we had certainly ruined a section of the lawn at the hotel and for sure Nidia and Danny are one of the most delightful and charming couples we have met. As we all perused the gouges and ruts that now make up part of their landscape, Danny and Tom came up with a plan to extricate the RV from it's present location and they didn't kick us out. They had already came up with another location for our second night here. As Tom twisted and turned the steering wheel following Danny's instructions, it became obvious to both of them that we would not get out without help. "I'll tow you out" said Danny as he went to get his SUV. He attached a chain to the RV, Tom got into the driver's seat and again following Danny's instructions started slowly steering the RV as Danny towed. "Whoa" he yelled, Tom braked but not in time. Now we had taken out a few flagsones that made up a walkway. Finally, after two more starts and stops, Danny pulled us clear of the garden and had us located in our new spot. Still grassy but with better drainage. Now we could see the extent of the damage in all it's glory or goriness as the case was. "We are so sorry", we kept saying over and over to Danny and Nidia. "We will pay for any repairs or help out". They kept assuring us not too worry. Tom asked if they had a rake. They found one and we spent the next hour or so raking the deep ruts until they were at least flatter and putting the broken flagstones back in place. Just as we were finishing, the rain started again in earnest and we were glad we were on safer ground. We had wanted to go into town for dinner but the rain just kept coming down. Since we have decided to come back here to stay once Danny and Nicole arrive, we knew we would have other oppotunities to see the town so we contented ourselves with a dinner of salami, cheese, barbequed chicken and crackers with a glass of Chilean red wine. As the rain peetered out, I walked Winston and Tom chatted with Nidia. We learned that she is Italian, her father was from Naples and she and Danny have been married 42 years. Besides the hotel, they have other property in Costa Rica, a farm which we had passed on the way here from Tilaran and a house in Puntarenas. Their farm grows the coffee that they serve at breakfast, some cattle and pigs and 4 horses. The next morning we go in to breakfast and Nidia sits with us and chats. A little later, Danny arrives and we talk about their farm and home. Since Danny is going to the farm after breakfast, we agree that we will stop and visit on our way to Lake Arenal and the volcano. Also, after he finds out that we plan to stop in Puntarenas on our way to San Jose, he insists that we make use of their home there. He says we can't get onto the property because our RV is too tall but there is parking to the side and we can hook into power. He gives us the contact information of the housekeeper who lives on site and says we can use the house to shower etc. Their kindness is overwhelming to us, particularly considering our less than auspicius start but if ever you are in the Santa Elena/Monteverde area of Costa Rica, consider a stay at their hotel. It is beautifully maintained with amazing views and extremely reasonable. At present it is $25.00 per person which includes breakfast. As we prepare the RV for moving, I once again visit their mirador that overlooks the canyon. With Santa Elena, the jungle and the three waterfalls clearly visible, it is a stunning view and a reminder of the diversity that makes up Costa Rica.