Our last real day in Vina, we decided to rent a car and drive north before we picked up our van and started driving south. We started north on a mostly overcast morning, driving past the resort areas of Renaca and Con-Con, and on to the cute little surfing/fishing town of Horcon.
We had considered spending the week in each of these towns and in hindsight were glad we stayed in Vina – just a bit more central with more options. Reaching our destination for the day, we parked at Cachagua beach and walked out to the point to check out the colony of penguins!!! Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for the penguins) I was separated from the cute little guys by about 100m of water, but they were absolutely darling to see waddling around on the rocky island. The Monumento Nacional de los Penguinos is home to both Megellanic and Humbolt penguins.
All I wanted was to take one home with me, but instead we decided to follow the oceanside path.
The walk along the water may turn out to be another of my favorite memories from the trip, partly because we hadn’t planned on or expected anything.
It turned out to be this gorgeous stretch of coastline that reminded me a lot of Carmel, California, complete with multi-million dollar mansions perched on rocky cliffs overlooking a dramatic shoreline. Wolf picked out a few he could tolerate living in.
We followed the path as far as we could before we had to turn around in order to find a place for Wolf to take a conference call.
If I had to choose a place to take a conference call, I think El Chiringuito in Zapallar would be pretty high on my list of acceptable choices. If the pleasant view of fishing boats and pelicans in the bay wasn’t quite enough, the delicious machas a la parmesana more than made up for it.
Afterwards we followed the same path back the other direction, this time stopping to scramble over the rocks, check out tidepools, and stopping to watch the waves crashing over and over, and to inspect some crazy looking creatures that were attached to the rocks…
Quite pleased with our day, we drove back the way we came, stopping at a local sea lion colony to enjoy a little sunshine, and then to check out the huge military guns on display along the boardwalk.
Back in Vina, we dropped off the car and then headed to the beach, eager to check out the horizon in the hopes of catching a glimpse of a certain very late vessel… Just a tiny little speck on the horizon, but still, it was finally in sight: our boat!!
We toasted with a sense of relief. Finally, the cargo we’d been waiting to see for almost a month was just offshore. It would take one more day for the boat to dock and unload, and then we would finally get to see our little buddy!
Our final day in Vina we did all our laundry, finished everything in the refrigerator, Wolf took advantage of being able to take a few long calls, and we enjoyed our last day of assured Wifi before packing up in preparation for a big day the next morning…