culture of street art (ie elegant graffiti) and colorful houses. We found excellent vegetarian restaurants and good fresh seafood. It was easily our favorite city for food. The street are relatively pedestrian-friendly and by far the best way to see the city is on foot. So, as far as cities go, this is definitely my favorite! (Mendoza is a close second).
Valparaiso is probably fun year-round, but being there for New Year's Eve amped up the fiesta exponentially. Before heading out for the night, we whipped up a great pasta dinner at our hostel. Three bottles of wine helped wash it all down. At 11pm, we made our way to the waterfront for "artificial fire" (fireworks). The main street was closed for 15 blocks. There were no less than seven visible, synchronated firework displays lasting over twenty minutes. I've never seen such a spectacular spectacular in my life.
We were back at the hostel by 1am. We could hear the distant pulse of dance music as people partied their way into morning. We could still hear the music at 9am as we ate breakfast. Partying until morning seems fairly standard for Chile and Argentina. I don't know how they do it!
K. and I are now back in Santiago. Her family left today and we are sad to see them go. It was such incredible fun traveling with them. We are faced with some difficult decisions to make on where to travel next, how long, what flights and visas are needed, etc. Plus, we're looking at an uncertain future of when we'll see our families next. Boo.
How could you not like a farmer's market like this?
Celebrating the first few minutes of 2010!