Happy New Year from the Southern Hemisphere!
*Sorry this post is a bit late. I left Valparaiso and went to Buenos Aires and the wifi at this hostel is absolutely terrible so I haven’t been able to do much.
**Pictures will come later because the wifi is too slow to upload pictures.
I rung in the New Year in Valparaiso, Chile, said to have one of the craziest NYE party and fireworks. Like I probably said in my previous post, I purposely spent 3 weeks in the city in order to experience NYE here and it did not disappointment, okay maybe just a bit but I’ll go more into that later.
A few of the other Workawayers (Sasha, Sam, & Lauren) and I plus two of our friends (Mel & Chris) got an Airbnb together since we didn’t want to work at our host’s NYE party. Over a million people travel into Valpo for New Years weekend every year so hostels, hotels, and all accommodation are booked up really quickly with ridiculous prices. Even 3 weeks prior the best option I could find for was a $45/night hostel, which is absolutely insane. So for the weekend, we found a one bedroom airbnb that stated could fit 5 people, so we squeezed 6, but it fits more like 4 since it only has 1 bed and 1 pull out couch. However, we made it work since it was our best and cheapest option for the weekend.
There was a lot of build up and hype for the weekend since we heard the street parties were going to be crazy, filled with so many people you couldn’t even move. Earlier in the day we saw them set up stages around the city and portal-potties everywhere. Our original plan was to head out and party on the street from 8 - 11pm, then head up to our host’s hotel party to watch the fireworks and make up of the open bar and then maybe head back down to the street.
We were all getting ready, playing some pump up music, drinking a bit to get the party started, and enjoying being together. Poor Mel hadn’t been feeling well for the past few days and had a major headache which left him laying in bed and not able to join us ); such a bummer!
After a number of pictures (because if you don’t have a pic, did it really happen?), we finally made our way out to the streets around 8:30/9pm. We walked down to every main plaza and it was fairly empty. It just looked like any other day so we assumed we were just too early to the street party. OMG gross moment, as we were walking I stepped in a puddle and this liquid splashed all over my leg. I started wiping it and realized it was PISS. Holy moly, I GOT PEE ALL OVER MY LEG!!! It stunk so badly and I wanted to throw up. I finally found a bathroom to wash it off, but they didn’t have soap so I did what I could.
I walked to a few different plazas that we thought would have something going on but everything was pretty calm, nothing out of the ordinary. So we decided to readjust our plans and head to the party early to get started on the free drinks, get a good spot for the fireworks, and eat some food.
Let’s say the walk up the hills of Valpo to the hotel was not a leisure one… the food and drinks were well deserved. The party was James Bond themed so everyone else were decked out to the nine, with three-piece tux and long dresses while we were in jeans, the nicest tops we had (which did not compare), and the best shoes a backpacker could bring along with them. We were pretty out of place but after a few drinks, who cares??
They had a famous Chilean bartender who made amazing cocktails. This open bar wasn’t like many others that just had your typical mixed drinks and boring cocktails, these were customized ones that he specialized based on what your liked. And the food that was floating around were delicious as well. A bit lacking since there were only a few different things but the ceviche and kabobs were delicious. We mingled with the other workawayers who took our place in the house (a bit sad), but it was a pretty fun evening there. The hotel looked completely different from when we left it a few days before. It was almost unrecognizable!
Countdown and Fireworks time! The anticipation of the countdown did not happen this year. Every year, we would watch the countdown on TV and collectively yelled “3, 2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!” but since we were outside on the roof and there wasn’t a clock visible, we didn’t even know it turned midnight. We were all waiting for the fireworks and I looked down at my clock and it read “12:04” so that was when I wished everyone a HNY. So even more anticlimactic than other New Years.
The fireworks were pretty dope! We had a really good view from the roof since we were able to see the entire harbor. It lasted for about 25 or so minutes I think. It was one of the better ones I’ve seen but I can’t claim it to be the best ever. I don’t know what is but it didn’t wow me as much as I had hoped.
We stayed at the party for awhile longer, drink, eating, and talking. Then we got all the workawayers together and headed down to the streets. This time it was a lot busier but not as crowded as I had thought it would be. People were screaming and yelling but there wasn’t shoving or as much chaos as everyone told me there would be. It was still really fun but not as crazy as I had imagined it.
We headed home around 3:30am. The next day was absolutely terrible. I haven’t had a hangover that bad in a very long time. It didn’t completely go away until about 8/9pm.
Overall it was a really fun New Years Eve with an awesome group of people who I miss dearly and made my 2016 to 2017 time the best. I can already sense 2017 being the best year ever!