Viña del Mar, Chile

Viña del Mar is the next town over from Valparaíso, and very accurately gets compared to Miami in terms of the high rises and beachfront.

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And extends for miles like this beyond the pier.

At the end of the beach there’s a sports section, with soccer, rugby, and beach volleyball being played.

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If you look closely, you realize one of the most Chilean things has happened here: a stray dog has entered the game as defender for the blue team. They did stop play a few seconds after this picture because he was getting too good at it.

Also in the area was a massive Zumba session; I’ll proudly say that I participated for 15 seconds.

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Viña had just been in the local news for hosting a massive music festival, entertainingly headlined by the 1987 one hit wonder Rick Astley.

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Does this mean the entire crowd got rickrolled?

In the TV special about the festival, they had impersonators for singers like Amy Winehouse and Elvis Presley (below).

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On a different note, transit in the Viña/Valpo region is very entertaining. You board these minibuses that you need to flag down, and step up often while they’re still moving. The driver steps on the gas while you’re struggling to get your suitcase up the stairs and find correct change to pay, now with the added challenge of not letting yourself or your bag fly out of the open door as the bus shakes its way down the bumpy road. The aisle is too narrow for the bag to fit through, so you settle for one of the first seats, and you somehow lift the bag over your head but then stumble so it all falls on top of you while you still try to look like you’re gracefully taking your seat.

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She couldn’t make her mind up in time; bus left.

Truly one of those times you feel like you’re having a local experience.

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