Ringing in the New Year in Valdivia

After a wet six days on Chiloé, we left the island and had to spend a night in Puerto Montt.  I say ‘had to’, because we didn’t really plan on spending a night in Puerto Montt; from the feedback I’ve received from other tourists, it didn’t sound very exciting.  Unfortunately we didn’t experience anything that proved the tourists wrong.  In the Get South Free Guidebook there is one backpackers listed in Puerto Montt, so that was where we headed when we got off the bus at around 10pm in the evening.  House Rocco is more of a Hospedaje than a backpackers and it’s not located in a great area of the city.  The owner is a lovely lady who made us a delicious waffle breakfast in the morning!  She was very concerned for our safety when we went out at night to find a restaurant, but nothing bad happened to us as we walked to the Plaza de Armas  a few kms away.

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We had to take our shoes off and walk around in the house with crocs on our feet. I’ve never worn crocs before. Just saying.

There are a lot of German style restaurants around the beautiful Plaza de Armas.  We chose a restaurant that served a dish to share, almost like a chorrillana; filled to the brim with chips, pieces of meat, olives, tomatoes, pickled onions…we could hardly walk from eating so much!  Puerto Montt didn’t feel like a city with a lot of visiting tourists – we were the only people at our hospedaje.  When you go to the South, remember to pack a raincoat – it was also rainy in Puerto Montt.

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My favourite Spanish word at the moment is ‘bailar’ – ‘to dance’.  In Afrikaans we call a ballet dancer a ‘ballerina’ and it makes a lot more sense now that I know the Spanish word’ bailarina’!  The owner of the hospedaje was very proud to show of her bailarina dog!  She showed us a medal that the dog won for her dancing.  The woman would hold up a doggy snack, and the dog would twirl around and around.  Our last day of 2013 started off fantastic with the waffle breakfast, but we wanted to have some kind of celebration with other travellers, and we were certain that we wouldn’t find it in Puerto Montt.  After buying some cheese on the way to the bus station (the cheese is great in the South of Chile), we got on the first bus to Valdivia, hoping to make friends and have a great New Year’s party.

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Which is exactly what we got at the Aires Buenos Hostal in Valdivia!  Fun, fun, fun and a gay duck.

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We knew the duck was gay, because he only bit men’s toes. My feet were safe.

We had a New Year’s dinner at the hostal and just before twelve we were running like crazy people towards  the port to see the fireworks.

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Arroz con leche. Rice with milk and some jam on top. A surprisingly delicious desert.

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Last photo of 2013!

It’s a good thing we ran, because we managed to catch the last few fireworks.  I think there were about ten fireworks in total.

ImageWe drank Valdivieso (Chile’s Sparkling wine) and made fun of the giant Sea Lion basking in the moonlight.

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The next day our newly made friends looked like a bunch of rockstars with their sunglasses hiding their ‘babbelas’.

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A few people from the hostal took a bus to Niebla for lunch.

Not knowing what to expect, Dirk and I tagged along.  everything was closed for New Years in the city, so it was great to head to a place that would be open.  Little did we know we were going to have the best lunch EVER!

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Families sat under a shaded structure and had lunch. You could buy food from the surrounding stands. I have never seen so many delicious plates of seafood dishes in my life.

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Empanadas de Mariscos! (seafood pies) Yum!

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This was our lunch. Salmon filled with cheese and mince and tomato. Delicious.

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The lunchtime gang

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We even had a cueca show for entertainment

DSC_8334A happy New Year indeed.

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