When I reboot with Control-R pressed as suggested by many, I see the spinning wheel for more than half hour and the laptop does not show the recovery options. I have Yosemite and want to go back to Mavericks for various reasons. Any suggestions.
I assume that was a typo.
It is not Control-r it is the command-r to get in to recovery mode.
In order to get back to Mavericks you will need the Mavericks Installer file on a USB stick.