Driving from Valparaiso north we came to passed Viña del Mar with Concón the final destination before heading back to Santiago.  Along the way we enjoyed views of the ocean, beaches, and wildlife.  There are many condminiums as Chileans enjoy vacationing on the coast, especially those from Santiago.  The most exciting part of this day trip was happening upon a distant colony of sea lions.  With the advantage of binoculars and zoom lenses we were able to enjoy a closer visual of these ocean creatures.  The primary bull was absolutely enormous! Several sea lions would descend the rock outcropping offshore for a respite in the salty water.  Heaving themselves, especially the head honcho, back onto the lowest rock and then further upward seemed quite challenging.

Here is a short video of the sea lions:  https://flic.kr/p/PBQFSy Sea lions

The aquamarine water in places was just gorgeous, especially against the dark craggy rocks.  Across the road from one lookout is an enormous steep sand dune known for sand boarding though we only saw one daredevil exiting with his ride under his arm.  Though not great for surfing, some men were treading water hopefully.

There was also a pack of sea kayakers setting out as we lunched.  Punta del Este is a professionally staffed enterprise.  Cloth napkins were placed next to using tongs, and freshly baked rolls were served with butter and salsa.  Still warm, they were quite delicious.  When I ordered sea bass and wanted to verify it was corvina and not the iffy corvineta, he was quite incensed I asked.  Fish and fries tasted yummy.  Two rolls were left and just before leaving I wrapped them in napkins.  As I made my way to the bathroom before leaving, the waiter came towards me quickly with a plastic bag for me to put them in.  I guess he met me before!

From Concón we headed east and then south.  The landscape is dry with trees well-spaced on the hillsides.  The air was rather hazy but we didn’t know if was moisture or pollution.

 

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