After a lovely late dinner with Mark and Kathy at Map Café (the glass box that sits in the courtyard of the museum near our hotel), we walk to the plaza.
The colonial churches and other buildings are beautifully lit and the plaza below is crowded. Firecrackers and small fireworks periodically flash above our heads.
We join the crowd and circle the plaza. The people watching is great – a mix of local people of all ages and touring backpackers. Many local women and children wear cheerful yellow confetti in their hair. It is a festive crowd.
Close to midnight we choose a spot on the Cathedral’s stairs to watch and wait.
There is no times square ball here, no synchronized count-down to midnight. As the hands on the clock tower creep upward, the plaza quiets. I sense the crowd wondering When? Now? A few more assertive individuals shoot off larger fireworks from the midst of the crowd.
Attention turns to the empty street and the plaza beyond. A figure emerges and runs past us down the street along the plaza. I’m not exactly sure what this figure is. . . a paper mache’ horse or donkey perhaps? As it passes, the crowd swarms into the street behind it, a steady stream circling the plaza once and then again, more and more people joining in, turning the street into a flowing wave of humanity.
I have no idea what any of it means.
When the fireworks begin to explode near our feet, rather than above our heads, we wind our way back through the ancient streets to our hotel.
Happy New Year world!