|View from balcony looking to the right, towards the ocean|
|View to the left - Lider = WalMart|
|View straight out from the balcony|
The sun was shining and the weather was warm and inviting. We ventured back across the street to the mall and learned that prepaid SIM cards for our phones could not be provided by any of the telephone vendors there (Claro, Movistar, or Entel), but the Lider (Wal-Mart) had them. We found them in the electronics department where a helpful young lady with zero English got both SIM cards installed in both phones and I was able to call from mine to K's, and K was able to call from hers to mine. Success! We charged them up with prepago (prepaid credit) and walked out of the store with voice and data and 3G, enough for a month, at a cost of about US$55. Not cheap, but Chileans now helpful as advertised, even with no English and our poor Spanish.
We decided to stroll down the street toward the ocean and see the town. Viña del Mar is said to be the summer vacation capital of Chile, but it is a bit seedy and dirty, congested and busy. Still it has its charms, and we took in the views.
|2 Guys Fixing a Turret Decoration - Dangerous!|
Since, as you see from the very accurate flower clock (with sweep second hand!) it was now after 5, we were kind of hungry. We found a place that had everything - bakery, dessert, bar, grill, etc. We sat down and ordered a sandwich, a pizza, and 2 half liter bottles of water. The food was quite good, if somewhat salty, and to our surprise they took credit cards! I failed to mention earlier in our sightseeing that we spent about half an hour at various banks trying to figure out how to get cash, successfully, and I now had enough cash to get a meal or three. So I went ahead and paid in cash, this time!
|Nice place, and comfortable!|
|A big sandwich (half gone), a "pizza," and 2 waters - only US$25!|
Tired but refreshed, we returned to the apartment, where we decided to go to the market next to the Lider and get some provisions. Dinner was late, 10PM, and consisted of a decent Carmenere wine, cheese, salami, and a whole wheat baguette. We retired for the night shortly thereafter. Perhaps Chile is OK after all, despite being a bit expensive...
|Dinner in - very peaceful|