Today, we have errands to run, and being the spiffy town that it is, Viña del Mar has everything we need at our fingertips, including, a Western Union conveniently located at the town colectivo stop where Graham and I wire beaucoups of pesos to secure our excursion to Machu Picchu at the end of the month.
And, secure passage to our next destination, the Atacama Desert, preferable to buy bus fare at least a day in advance or risk delays, and walking all around this Miami-esque town leads me to two revelations–
One, people here have great hair–big, bouncy, lush, and dark, it cascades and stands and dresses up their cabezas with mountains of beautiful black and brunette, rod straight, curly, whatever, it’s all pure lusciousness.
Two, Viña is cosmopolitan enough to feature a McD’s, Golden Arches pointing the way to redemption, cuarto libre con papas fritas.
A small town with big city comforts, what we imagine Monaco to feel like, we wrap up our tour of this coastal gem with a walk on Playa Acapulco, down to the casino uuwith a glimpse of castle Wolf. Back up the boardwalk, it’s a trip down memory land, aesthetic, vibe and toys harkening flashbacks to our respective forays into beach time, all circa the late 80s: Short of boom box blasting dudes, we might as well be either on the digue at Knokke or St. Joe beach, polos, short shorts, loafers and plastic sand castle gadgets sold in mesh, a tan and sun-kissed pair in neon trunks tossing back a game of paddle ball while aerobics-minded residents jog, ellipse, and roller their way into fitness.
For the first time in South America, Graham waxes poetic about living here, intoxicated by Viña’s easy-going, resorty atmosphere.