Crouching Scorpion, Missing Camera

Friday, February 17.

It’s early. I’m sitting on my bed, bleary-eyed, waiting for Jenn to finish showering.

We’ve all got to be dressed and filled with food by 7:30 a.m., so we can high-tail it back across the lake to La Fortuna, jump in our vehicle and motor west to the coast.

I hear Jenn make yelping noises. I sleepily smile to myself, assuming that it’s probably due to cold – instead of hot – water streaming from the shower head.

That’s so NOT the case.

Prior to our trip, we were advised to check our shoes in the mornings, for frogs and scorpions. Turns out they forgot to warn us to check our shower stalls, too.

Jenn manages to trap her barb-tailed shower buddy under her soap dish until after breakfast, so she can tell the hotel owner about it.

I decide not to shower in anything except a proper hotel bathroom, until we reach Playa Hermosa.

We gulp down our tasty breakfasts, coffee and tea, grab our things and then do our final room check …

But not before Jenn yanks her soap dish off the tile floor and snaps a picture of The Scorpion She Saw That One Time While Showering in Costa Rica.

I peer over her shoulder to take a look. Yuck! I’m out of the bathroom within seconds.

We load our things into the awaiting taxi and begin our long, winding descent down to the boat pick-up at Lake Arenal.

It’s extremely misty this morning. The clouds and fog seem to come out of nowhere, literally engulfing everything that appears to our naked eyes.

About 20 minutes into this visually fascinating drive, Jenn searches her handbag to pull out her camera. She can’t find it. Anywhere.

It takes another moment to realize that she’s left it at the hotel.

We surmise that she left it on the ledge of the porch, just outside our cabin, while we were carrying our things out of the room.

The best thing to do is to ask the folks at the hotel back in La Fortuna for help, when we return to La Fortuna.

It rains on the boat ride back across Lake Arenal. It’s the only rain we’ll see during the entire trip.

We reach La Fortuna sometime after noon. At the hotel, Jenn sees Menrique at the front desk and explains the situation with her camera.

The first difficulty is trying to find an phone number and an address for the hotel, since – from trying to find online maps of Santa Elena – it appears to sit in the middle of nowhere. It takes a few minutes, but we locate a number, and Menrique calls the hotel.

The next obstacle is trying to figure out how Jenn will get her camera back. She considers getting the hotel owner to send the camera back to Canada by courier. But the obvious question arises: how long will it take to get from Costa Rica to Barrie? That’s no good.

Then she wonders aloud if perhaps she should attempt to drive back to Santa Elena and back to the hotel. Or drive to Santa Elena, leave us in town, and and hire a taxi to drive up there.

Trying to do the math of how long this round-trip will take, Zoe voices her reservations with this option. SIX HOURS?! NO. WAY.

In the end, Menrique uses his personal resources to locate a friend of his, who owns a hotel in Santa Elena proper, and arrange to have him meet us at a gas station on the outskirts of Tilaran. It’s a two-hour drive away, en route to Playa Hermosa, and the detour is minimal.

We all agree to this option.

Zoe and I grab some pastries from the nearby bakery (for the drive), while Jenn firms up the arrangements.

We leave La Fortuna just after 1 p.m. And by 3 p.m., our meeting with Menrique’s friend is a success.

With all our belongings now in our possession, we continue on, towards the sun and pebble beaches in our near future.

Photo of El Scorpion, courtesy of Jenn Hadfield.