Valparaiso or how I spend the last days of 2015

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December 30th 2015
Published: July 16th 2017
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Geo: -35.6751, -71.543

On wednesday 30th of december, Alex and I arrived at 7 PM with our nightbus to Valparaiso. We first wanted to drop off our staff at the hostel so we took a taxi there. Outside of the Licanantay hostel were already waiting Maria and (?) who live at the moment in La Paz in Bolivia (Maria is originally from Nicaragua but grew up in Canada and X is from Spai ) and a bit later we were joined by Oscar from Wajaki in Ecuador. The hostel wasn't open yet and nobody inside seemed to be awake (WTF?!) so Oscar was playing his guitar and trying to wake them. Even though we had to wait more than 1h outside, it was fun and we got to know each other.

After freshing up, Maria, Oscar, Alex and I took a bus to Viña del Mar where Maria went shopping and we visited the beautiful and clean center of this fancy city. We went to the beach, had some good fresh juice and relaxed in the sun. Alex went into the sea a few times, me just once and Oscar not at all because the water was simply too cold....
Then we decided to go have lunch and because we wanted fresh salmon, people sent us to the fish market in Valparaiso. We started going there and we like almost 1h later we finally arrived (WHY can't people just tell you : " Go there by bus, it's quite a long walk there" ???) Well, it was worth it though, the salmon was delicious! :-D Oscar had buttered salmon, Alex with tmato and sweet pepper and me with mushrooms and a mint sauce. Afterwards we had a siesta on the beach and then went back to our hostel. We decided after 15 minutes walk to taje a bus but of couse we missed our stop and ended up as far from our hostel as where we took the bus, just on the other side of Valparaiso. No more buses or walking now :-S
Back in the hostel Alex had a nap and I went out to buy a dress for the party and some food and dr. When I came back there wera lot of people in the living room and we started talking and drinking. Alex, Oscar and I cooked some pasty with a great cheese sauce and afterwards we went back to join the others. We had a lot of fun and around 11 we went tthe club "Cubanismo" where we danced salsa, merengue, etc. until 2 or 3 AM. That was when I got to know better Charlie who is a really nice guy from (?) and we talked a lot about (happy and unhappy) relationships, freedom and happiness.

Next day at 8 AM we got up, at 9 we had (very poor) breakkfast and at 10 we went with Katie and Tori from Bosten on the free ciry tour where we met again some guys who were with San Pedro with us. This tour was really nice and on the way I had the best empanada of my life (shrimps, goat cheese and sweet peppers). Valparaiso is a nice and super colorful city. It's streets have no order, no structure and the houses are all built on the mountain side. It all looks very unstable and like it would break down at the next earthquake but they have lots of them and the city still stands. :-)

I like this city a lot, mostly because of it's beautiful streetart / grafiti everywhere. Almost all houses are either painted in a lively color or have grafitis or both. There are several legend about these colors : one is that people there were really poor and to paint their houses they used the left-overs from the fishing boats, another one is that the boats were colored in the same way as the house of the owner so that the wife can see her husband come home from fishing (waaay to cheesy romantic!) and my favorite is that the colors allowed drunk people find their house whrn they go home. ;-)
Most of the grafitis we saw were really beautiful, some quite amazing and made by real artists. You should go see it yourself! :-D

So, at the end of the tour, with Katie and Tori we went back to our hostel and had some hotdogs with avocado and cheese on the way (they were huge! I couldn't even eat half of it!). After some chilling I went with Alex, Katie, Tori and Augustin (from San Raphael in Argentina) to Pablo Neruda's house which - of course - was on top of the hill and already closed so that we went there for nothing... But we had a good time and that's all that matters. :-)
Back at the hostel with alcohol and food we started the party by playing the card game "Shithead", eating some strawberries and drinking some beer and later some rum.
We had a lot of fun with people from many different countries and different stories. At about 9 PM we all went together to paseo jugoslavo from where we wanted to see the fireworks. The paseo was quite crowded already and it got worse and worse. I was so fortunate as to meet my friend Ellie from London and some other people from our hostel in San Pedro de Atakama but later I lost them again.... Just before the fireworks started, I saw some people from our hostel climbing up something like a gate and thanks to the kind help of some other people I even did. From that point, the view was just fabulous and the fireworks were the most beautiful and impressive I ever saw! Afterwards if course first the obligatory hugging and kissing everbody you know to wish a happy new year befire we went down to the place were happened the party. I must saw that from there on everything is quite a blurr, but it was a great party! :-D

I have a great memory of this new year's eve and our stay at Licanantay hostel (not because of the hostel itself which was in a good location but quite dirty and small but because of all the great people I met) ! I will definitely miss Maria, Katie, Tori, Oscar, Sophie from Germany and Nelson from Brazil but I'm sure one day we'll meet again! ;-)

And so, the year 2015 and the beginning of 2016 were great for me and I can only hope it will go on like this! ;-)

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