Hola! Criticia Voluptuous Right-Right here. My mom gave me that name. Isn’t she funny? She says I can be a tad critical. Part of my charm. So let’s get started, shall we?

Highway_to_nosara Last Wednesday morning I got my family and guests up early and we drove to Nosara for 3 days in the sun and surf. It’s a 5 1/2 hour drive, the first 4 1/2 hours on highway like in the picture at left: animals, hairpin curves, mongo potholes that drop thru to Kuala Lumpur, all whilst riding up and down and up and down the mountains surrounding the central valley. It’s an unbelievably gorgeous ride. As long as you aren’t in a hurry, you can definitely enjoy it!

Dirt_road_to_nosaraThe last hour is on mud and dirt road, like the picture on the right. Good mud and dirt road, one of the best we’ve seen by far. Still bumpy as hell… but, hey, we are going to a surfing village, a beach bum hangout. I need to lower my standards here.

Good thing. ‘Cause only a surfer would be happy in a town like Nosara. Why? You are not going to believe this but for starters – are you ready? – you can’t get a cup of coffee before 7:30am. Unbelievable. Isn’t this Coffee Country???

Here’s worse news (for me anyway): it’s 6:19am, I’ve just come in from driving around our little Nosara neighborhood, which took all of 2 minutes, hoping I’d missed a cute breakfast place somewhere….but, no, just an endless muddy road to nowhere. I was forced to come back to my room and scrub the filthiest coffeepot I’ve ever encountered and brew my own.

3_nosara_063This is the sink in my room in which I washed the coffeepot. And a coffee cup. I used scalding water so at least the stains inside the cup are disinfected.

The sink tells the story of my hotel. But there is so much more: the toilet seat that doesn’t fit so, if I’m not careful, I get to sit down on the very place where the boys just peed. Nice. The back scrubbers, er, towels smell unpleasant. The dishes next to the coffeepot are used plastic and styrofoam. The refrigerator is disgusting on the outside, old and stained. Clean on the inside, which I found rather miraculous.

BathroomThe floor has that slimy-not-quite-rinsed slide to it. Every corner in the room is dirty. There are missing and/or broken slats and glass in the jalousie windows. The fan is tiny and filthy. I suppose if Hal lifts me up (fat chance), I could pull the chain and adjust the speed or turn on the light. But I don’t want to touch the chain. There are two bare bulbs in the beautiful wood and beam ceiling. You can get those Japanese paper lanterns online for $2 each. Come on, people. Wake up and smell the… oh, right.

All five boys were in the cloudy murky pool from 5pm till 9pm. When they got out, all had itchy red blotchy skin and were scratching for the next couple of hours.

Hal_in_bed This is Hal’s body in the bed. Notice there’s no indent around his body. He just rolled over and muttered, "I think they train monks on these mattresses. After a week, you get your own hair shirt." He’s given up sleep and is in the shower. Great water pressure, filthy shower curtain. I’d get in there with him – safety in numbers, you know – but didn’t bring any shampoo. I’ve looked everywhere for those cute freebie bottles but… nope. Not here. Gotta borrow from Miss June next door.

Speaking of Miss June, just before we left, she looked under her mattress. She said none of us would have slept in the bed if we had done that first.

The pillows are filled with polyester balls… Who’s idea was it to make a pillow with leftover pieces of foam? Everyone who wants one of those, raise your hand.

There is no ac, which we were prepared for. And it does get cooler at night, as promised. But nothing except ac takes away the damp or that musty smell. Fortunately we are only being charged $30 for our damp dirty room. I don’t think there was an extra charge to lie awake listening to the surfer dude and his chick laughing their heads off at the bar till midnight. That’s included.

Hal just pointed out the rather large pile of tiny turds in the corner. He says they aren’t big enough for a fur-bearing creature. "Probably just roaches or iguanas." Oh, that makes me feel better. Our toilet has stopped flushing. We are booked for two more nights. Right now, I don’t know if I can do one. I may opt to sleep in the car.

Hemingway Hemingway would have loved this place. I don’t. (Can you tell?) The thing I hate most is that I brought the two families who are visiting me from the states to this joint. I booked the hotel, I picked the spot. I talked them out of Manuel Antonio which admittedly has its own problems, like the road to get there and the fact that it’s even hotter… but at least the hotel where we stayed last December, the Mono Azul, is clean and has coffee by 6am. Coffee all day, in fact. I yearn for that place. But we’re not there. We’re here. Thank you, Saratica.

So guilt is fueling my disgust. And as a former guesthouse owner/manager, let’s just say we did things a little differently. At least the food here is good, although expensive. What are the chances the kitchen is cleaner than our rooms?

NOTE: Please don’t ask the name of this beachy hot spot. I sent them a copy of this. Almost everyone deserves another chance.

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