26 March 2015
This is another surprising turn of events. We're almost getting whiplash !
We may well head back to Bill and Jean's sanctuary in Bahia del Sol for the summer.
We are getting some really bad vibes here in Marina Papagayo and Costa Rica in general. We had initially planned to skip Costa Rica altogether because of its bad reputation among cruisers (and other tourists). Of course, the Papgayo winds pretty much forced us to make a stop to rest up and Laird on Winterlude made a summer stay here seem downright perfect. As of right now the plan is to get the two-year exoneration paperwork done and then stay here until October when we return from Sweden and Rhode Island. But, big but, that may change !
We have now run into seven boats that have had from major hassles to downright traumas at the hands of local officials. The everyday thefts that we'd read about have not happened but we're in a very very out of the way location. The only "theft" so far is the overcharge that the National Car Rental hit us with and are still avoiding to credit despite having admitted the mistake over three weeks ago. We have seen the pervasive wish to separate us from as much money as possible at every turn and the prices are inexcusably high. We were told that a martini at the neighboring Four Seasons resort costs $25 !
We are also beginning to wonder about the exoneration itself. It was supposed to cost $600 or $700 but is now $900 (which we get back in the form of free slip rental for October). The process was supposed to be simple and take a couple or three weeks, it has probably already been four weeks and we expect one more week at least !
What really could put a wrench in the work is that we will have to sign a contact at the end of the process. That contact is supposed to cover our 8 month stay here at the marina. We could be wrong, but now we have been told that the contract may commit us to a two-year stay with the understanding that we will break the contact at the end of the eight months. If the deal is that we have to sign the contract in bad faith all bets are off. We are not going to sign a contract with the intent of breaking it, absolutely not.
Tomorrow Nancy will ask Brian in the marina office what the deal really is. After that we may be packing up and heading north. That would be incredibly inconvenient as we already have plane tickets from here to Boston and then back here in the fall.
What a pain !