World Record Attempt for New Years Eve

Valparaiso is like a bigger, dirtier LES/Chelsea. In this incredibly bohemian and colorful city, I extended my stay from 2 days to 7 days. Until three weeks earlier, I had no idea that this city even existed. Until 1 week before, I had no idea that it was the 2nd biggest New Year's Eve celebration in the world, second only to New York City. Like hell I was going to miss this one, so pushing back several arrangements (flights, boats, places to sleep, you name it), New Year was going to be celebrated in Valpo.

The hills, the structures, and the ascensors (outdoor elevators) of the city are all considered part of the UNESCO site. Though small, parts of the city are ritzy and new, with cafes & hotels that overlook the entire 60km of coastline, but if you would prefer cleaner, newer cities with significantly less character, just go one town over to Vina del Mar.

The build up to New Year included a quick cultural lesson by a French girl staying in the same place: all the yellow underwear ('pants' for you Brits) that the street vendors had been selling was not an accidental color snafu of a batch of 50million pairs. Chileans wear a specific color of underwear for the stroke of midnight with regard to what they wish for in the coming year. Yellow signifies financial prosperity. Well hot damn! At only 3 hours left to the new year, I had lost my chance to wish myself some prosperity for 2013. Oh well. In my head, I was tricked out head to toe in yellow. Take that, Luck!

After that, our 15 minute walk with a group of 37 or so people joined hundreds of others at Cerro La Loma, just one of the many sites that overlook the coastline. The attempt for ringing in 2013 was to beat the world record of the length of a fireworks' display. I believe the actual time was kind of a reach for the 25-30minute show that was on display that night. Regardless, my view, with the help of a stepstool, was of the entire stretch of the curved beach.  Fantastico!

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