Two days earlier than planned and due to the fact that I did not have sufficient time to reach Constanza before dark, I park my car at Rancho Wendy near Bonao. Frank and Elias, who run the place since Rancho Wendy’s founder and Eco adventure promoter Marshall Zipper passed away last year, are welcoming me. Rancho Wendy, named after Marshall’s daughter, caters to travelers on a budget. With beds starting from $ 9 US before taxes, it is a great deal for young people who do not mind roughing it a bit. The hotel offers decent beds, beautiful rough on the edge surroundings; free Wi-Fi Internet access, a small pool and a pool table. Some of the large dormitory rooms have an air conditioner, a small television and even a DVD player, which you can use for checking out a DVD from the extensive movie library located in the communal dining room. The smaller more private rooms have to do without most of the above. Here exhaustion, a ventilator, a bottle of anti mosquito lotion and perhaps a beer or two are the best change a solo traveler, like me, has to make it happily through the night. Warm water is not available; so I rough it, realize once again that my hard-core backpacking days are behind me and urge myself to keep this fact in mind before passing unreasonably harsh judgment on the bare bone facilities with fancy touches. Up until here I can stay positive, even the smell from the shower drain I can handle, after all I am out in the boonies and the amount of money guests pay does not allow for major investments in plumbing, paintjobs or elaborate decorations.
I am less inclined to be flexible when it comes to details that do not cost a penny and can be achieved by hard work and maintaining a positive focus.
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