The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
December 9 - Hello, We Must Be Going

It absolutely poured rain all night and the humidity was building as the morning heated up. We had come to the inevitable conclusion that there was no reason to stay in Dominical any longer -- there were no restaurants we dared eat in, it was too hot and sticky even to sit outside in the shade and the idea of taking refuge under the air conditioner in the room meant that we would be living with the odd smells eminating from any part of the room with plumbing (there was a small kitchenette as well.)

At least the wireless Internet was working. We did a quick check of a few options but came to no firm conclusions. The only thing we were sure of is that it was time to go, so we decided just to work it out as we went. So we paid our regrets to the owner (who seemed totally sympathetic to our plight), packed up the car again and headed up the mountain to catch the Pan-Am Highway back toward San Jose. I should point out that this involved climbing from sea level to a max height of about 7500 feet over a narrow winding two-lane road. Fortunately it was Sunday so there were fewer trucks on the road than usual but it was still the parade routine until, one by one, the cars found a way to get around the elephants. Even some of the elephants found a way to pass their peers. You gotta love Tico drivers!

Now a trip like this would have been tricky enough in good weather, but of course it rained virtually all the way back. Oh, and did I mention that we were in the clouds for a lot of it? Add some heavy fog to the mix and I have to wonder why there aren't more nasty accidents. The lack of carnage is a miracle but Tico drivers are used to the dance and somehow manage to make space when someone is caught trying to pass in the face of an oncoming truck.

In one of our guide books, Margene found a spectacular-looking hotel in the boonies about two hours from San Jose that might just be posh enough to erase the memory of our night in Dominical. We had basic directions from their website and headed off the Pan-Am about 20km from San Jose to try and find it. Since we weren't sure where we were going to stop, we had not made reservations, of course -- we just hoped they would have room for us.

Did I mention that most of the roads in Costa Rica are not marked? We tried twice to find the right road and finally just started trusting the Mark VI direction bump to get us there. It worked ... and not a moment too soon! By the time we pulled in to the Hotel Casa Turire it was late afternoon and the sky was dark with rain. If they didn't have space, we would have to stay somwhere out here because there was no way we were going to drive to San Jose in the dark.

Fortunately we didn't have to work out a Plan C. We got their last room (they only have 16) and it was just what Genie needed to restore her spirits! A nice room, cushy robes, a marvelous dinner (and stellar companionship, of course!) All in all, very civilized! It was pouring rain when we arrived so exterior shots of the grounds will have to wait for another day. I hope that turns out to be tomorrow, although it is still raining as I write this (and Margene sleeps the sleep of the righteous.) I would be very happy to spend tomorrow curled up with a book on the terrace, listening to the rain.

The Road to Turrialba and Casa Turire

Dinner at Casa Turire

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