I had heard great things about Valparaiso and I’m sure on a regular day it would live up to its expectation but I was there for new years and it’s a completely different scene then. Also, I was there with someone I had met only a day ago and unfortunately, we were on different pages when it came to traveling together.
All the hostels were either full or were absurdly expensive. My plan was to hitchhike to Valpo, Request a hostel to let me keep my backpack there, walk around the entire night and then leave the next morning for Mendoza, Argentina. Pretty neat, right?
I had checked out from my hostel in Santiago and was all set to leave when my friend from the previous evening came to pay me a visit. The conversation ended in her deciding to join me for the new years. So like normal, sane people we took a bus. By the way, all the buses were full as well. We had to take two buses. it cost us the same but took us a lot more time to reach. The only downside to this was I couldn’t see how the place looks like in daylight.
We directly walked to the fireworks viewing area. Managed to grab a good spot and enjoyed the fireworks from there. The fireworks were really brilliant and I loved how they were doing the same thing from three places to cater to the massive audience. There are three spots where people can watch the fireworks from – Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Concon. While watching the fireworks I was wondering ‘they have set such high standards with it, I wonder how it will end. Has to be stupendous and it ended. Just like that. I was a little disappointed with the ending. I had expected it to be more dramatic maybe because Diwali (The festival of lights in India) has set our firework expectations very high.
But celebrating new years in Valparaiso is definitely not just about the fireworks, the air is brilliant there. Everyone starts wishing you at midnight, there’s so much confetti in the air, you will be drenched in spray-on snow, Seeing about a million happy faces around you feels like a good beginning to the new year.
After the fireworks, we went walking around the little town. It’s so pretty with amazing graffiti work and views. It was like a little magic land.
After a lot of walking around, we left for Viña del Mar beach as my friend expected it to have lesser drunk people on the roads (Well, wrong assumption). I tried to take a nap at the beach but it was absolutely freezing so we left for the bus station.
My friend was beyond frustrated with the entire experience. I needed some fresh air too so I decided to hitchhike – My second favorite way of meeting amazing locals (First being Couchsurfing of course).