Ernesto arrives in Miramar, where Chichina is spending the summer with her family in a luxurious summer house. The beauty of the landscape, the material comfort of the bourgeois vacation, and the alluring presence of his girlfriend tempt Ernesto to abandon his road trip and remain within the environment to which he is accustomed. Alberto becomes frustrated with Ernesto’s reluctance to move on.
After his first taste of “roughing it,” Ernesto gets to immerse himself once again in bourgeois family life. Even though he wants to be an intrepid adventurer, it’s hard to break free from the ease and familiarity of the life he’s always known.
Resting drowsily on the beach with his head in Chichina’s lap, Ernesto observes the formidable presence of the ocean and interprets it as a voice calling him to something more important than a life of leisure with Chichina. He decides that they must move on at last.
Chichina makes a big fuss over his departure, which Ernesto appreciates but only takes somewhat seriously. She gives him her gold bracelet as a love token, but Ernesto and Alberto turn this gesture into a joke, implying they might sell it when the going gets rough along the way.
Ernesto and Chichina never quite see eye-to-eye. Her parting gesture is meaningful to her but not to him, and he takes it only partly seriously. Although Ernesto likes the idea of romance in theory, he can’t quite commit to it in practice.