To pass the time until Gloriana called me, Nicole and I took the old school trolley to the vegetable market on Avenida Argentina. On the ride there, there was an adorable pair of old ladies that were holding hands and giggling:
I really felt transported back in time. And I had visions of Nicole and I when we're old.
The market was really bustling. I don't know if it's always like that, but I imagined it was especially busy because people were preparing for parties that night.
The colors were amazing:
While we were at the market, Gloriana had texted me to tell me she had landed and was keeping me up to date as she made her way to the bus terminal. On our way back from the market, she let me know that she had found a ticket to Valparaíso and was on the bus! By that time, we had eaten lunch and timed it perfectly to walk to the bus terminal to meet her. Just as we were walking into the terminal, she was walking out. I almost cried I was so excited to see her and relieved that everything worked out (she wasn't going to have to spend New Year's alone in Santiago).
We took the micro and colectivo back to our hostel, Allegretto bed and breakfast (which I highly recommend), where we took naps to prepare for that evening's activities.
After our naps, we headed to Vinilo, a restaurant on Cerro Alegre right around the corner from our hostel which had a special New Year's Eve menu. Nicole ate linner there the day before and were so impressed by the food and the friendly staff that we figured it would be a fun place to have NYE dinner. We were not disappointed! Our meal started out with a ceviche, made with the rockfish 'Vieja':
Which was followed by our main meals. I had a lamb patty:
Nicole and Gloriana each had chai tea crusted salmon:
Finally, the main course was followed by a dessert of corn cake with red currant ice cream:
Needless to say, we were happy campers!
After we were done eating, I tried calling my friends from ECIM so that we could meet up. There were 3 million people in the city that night, so the chances of finding each other were pretty slim without a designated location. I ended up having the wrong numbers for two of them and only got in touch with another one for 2 minutes, during which I couldn't understand a word he was saying, and couldn't get in touch with him again. So, I was a little bummed that we might not be able to hang out that night.
But, we decided to stick to our plan B and head to a place to watch the fireworks. Nicole and I had scoped out areas earlier that day and found an amazingly beautiful view from the Cerro Panteon, right in front of the Dissident's cemetery. So, we decided to head there. After walking up the extremely steep and long flight of stairs to the top, we noticed that there were two guys smoking at the top of the stairs. As I got closer, I realized that it was Hagen! And right next to them was Simon! We all started hugging and laughing. I was kind of laughing crying because I was so excited to find them, and so grateful to powers greater than me for making it happen. I swear, sometimes my intuition creeps me out a little because I knew we were going to see each other that night, I just didn't know how or where. I was so relieved that we found each other early in the night and could enjoy the fireworks together:
I was surprised at how few people there were on Cerro Panteón because the view was so great. It was just us and a Chilean family, who we quickly became friends with:
The rest of the night (until 8 am!), we just hung out in the streets with the 3 million other people, mostly Chileans:
And enjoyed hanging out together for the last time:
Definitely the most memorable New Year's I've had, hands down. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2012!