You’ve already read some of my comments about staying at the Hotel Cacts. If you ask others, you’ll hear two extreme opinions, some love it, some hate it. I have to say when I first arrived, I was a little taken back by it. It’s basic, it’s old, it’s rustic, definitely different from the US standards I’m accustomed to. However, the hospitality of all of the staff, from Alexis the owner, her daughter Gretchen and there’s Anna who fixes breakfast every morning, these wonderful women have made me feel safe and welcome in this foreign country. That said, getting back to one negative, the hotel is built entirely of concrete, rooms surrounding an open area filled with beautiful Costa Rica fauna. Concrete isn’t exactly a good sound barrier, and without air conditioning, you have to have open windows, thus each and every morning from about 4:00 on, the native sounds permeate my room. From the birds mating calls, to the sounds of wheeled suitcases going by my door, tourists heading home, to talking, I am awakened each and every day. This might come as a surprise, particularly to those who know me, as I am not typically a light sleeper. Maybe I’m awakened because I’m alone in a new place, but really, it’s LOUD! So, note to self….add ear plugs to the packing list (as I would still stay at Hotel Cacts, should I return to San Jose).
Today I had an appointment at 9 am, finally got into the dental chair at noon, out by 12:45. My new crowns are in and cemented and I was told to go eat lunch and give them a work out! So, I went to the Soda around the corner, La Estrada and had their fish platter. La Estrada looks small from the outside, but once you get into it, you’ll find a lovely area, spotlessly clean. There’s even a small fauna area that is a backyard to two parrots, who’s antics are part of the dining entertainment. All this, and the food is great and the price is right. My fish platter was complete with 2 nice pieces of haddock, a salad and fries plus a beer, total price 4700 Colones, or around $9.40 and that included the tip. Oh, and since I paid with a combo of colones and dollars, I messed up and the waitress came back to return money to me, saying I paid too much. Now please, would that happen in the US? I highly recommend this Soda should you come for dental work at the Cavallini clinic, it’s a short walk and it’s great food!
My work is all done. 8 crowns, 3 implants, a root canal, a night guard, several panagram xrays, 2 posts to support the rootcanals…total cost….(now’s the time to sit down those of you who are getting this kind of work done in the United States)….Grand total for the dentistry, $4500 Toss in about another $4000 for flights, hotel and food and we’re still way under what the cost would be for a fraction of this work in the US.
I have to mention a story….a gentleman sitting next to me in the waiting room this morning was a return patient. He had implants done several months ago and those implants came ‘loose’. I’ll add that he is a smoker, and it’s common knowledge that implants have a high failure rate among those who smoke, something about how it affects the bones ability to fuse. Anyway, his implants failed, so he called the Doctor who fully guaranteed the work, I mean FULLY! This man’s flight and hotel and all work to be redone was totally covered by the dentist. I am impressed! In the US, my neighbor got a recent quote for a dental implant, $3500 not including crown, and the dentist was specific in saying there were no guarantees with implants. Well folks, they don’t operate like that in Costa Rica.
So, my work is done, my bill is paid and I’m not leaving until Sunday. Tomorrow I am going to take an all day tour to the Tortuguero Rain forest, will be leaving the hotel around 6 am and returning around 6:30. What the heck, I’m not sleeping mornings anyway, I might as well take off and see the country again!