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New Years in Valparaiso, Chile

New Year's Eve 2010 fireworks in the harbour of Valparaiso Chile

New Year's Eve 2010 fireworks in the harbour of Valparaiso Chile

I still can’t believe my good luck. I was invited to join a group of friends to go see the famous fireworks display everyone had been talking about for months, but didn’t expect the invitation would include entrance tickets to the top floor of a 20 storey apartment building right on the harbourfront of Valparaiso, Chile, practically at eye level with the fireworks launched from platforms in the sea all along the harbour and coastline between Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. The fireworks burst in perfect unison, a dazzle of light, colour and heartstopping booms for more than 20 minutes.

Every minute new fireworks exploded into view, each new display completely different than the last.

New Year's Eve 2010 Valparaiso, Chile

New Year's Eve 2010 Valparaiso, Chile

Goregous fireworks in the harbour of Valparaiso, Chile on New Years Eve 2010

Goregous fireworks in the harbour of Valparaiso, Chile on New Years Eve 2010


green fireworks

green fireworks


Loud bombs of fireworks

Loud bombs of fireworks

Then, once it was over and the applause died, we trucked down the stairs and onto the streets. Along with a million other people (literally – reports before the weekend said that more than a million and a half people had flocked to Valparaiso for new years).

Live music throbbed through the Sotomayer Plaza and thousands of people danced danced danced and cheered ¡feliz año nuevo! to friends and acquaintances they spotted milling past.

New Years 2010 in Plaza Sotomayer, Valparaiso, Chile

New Years 2010 in Plaza Sotomayer, Valparaiso, Chile

The party wasn’t just in the main plaza, it was on every street winding up into the cerros too and inside houses and restaurants.

New Years 2010 parties on the street in Valparaiso, Chile

New Year's Eve 2010 - parties on the street in Valparaiso, Chile

What a great place to start a new year. Chileans really know how to have a good time. Cheers to 2011! May 2011 bring wonderful and unexpected adventures and surprises for each of us. Best wishes to all of you reading this right now, no matter when you read it.

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