Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Years Eve Mayhem in Valparaiso

Fireworks after midnight

Someone is excited

Groups of friends sitting, drinking, talking, waiting

Setting up shop hours before midnight

After waking up and getting our act together on December 31st, we had to check out of the hostel and kill some time. The reason was that we still didn't know where the next hostel was, and we had to wait for a message from Adam's friend to find out where to go. They wouldn't be in Valparaiso until 3 pm, so we walked around trying to find Pablo Neruda's house. Though he rarely visited it, there's a museum up there.

Adam had already tried and failed to find it on his last trip, so we used the map carefully and though we passed it at first (it was horribly marked) we found it. Only going to the point where we didn't have to pay money, we sat around and eventually made our way back down the hill to get some lunch and sit in the park waiting to hear the news.

Finally at 3:45 p.m. Adam sent a text and his friend gave him the address. Oddly enough it wound up being the same hostel we'd gone to the day before but were told was booked. It turns out our own reservation was the reason we couldn't stay there the night before. The coincidence stunned us as we marched back up the hill to the hostel.

Meeting up with Adam's friends, we dropped off our things and walked around a bit, scoping out good places to hang out later on. Though it was only 4:30, people were already claiming their spots on the lookouts by the hills. We all got heavily stocked up on alcohol, walked around a little more, and eventually went back to the hostel to rest up. Just like in Kindergarten, all ten of us laid down at the exact same time in the room crammed with beds and took a 30 minute nap. Waking up at the same time we were ready to go.

We took in a drink on the balcony and watched the hordes of gringos and Chileans going by. Unfortunately it was overcast the entire day, because the sunset would have been incredible from the view by the hill. I'm writing a story about the New Years celebration for GoNOMAD, so I'm not going to spill the beans just yet on what the party was like. But it's listed as one of the top 5 parties in the world, and it definitely lived up to its reputation.

After the crazy night in Valpo, I had one day left in Chile before heading back to Ecuador. To be continued...

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