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Travel Diary

South America Part One: Santiago

©Kara Rosenlund

Hola! South America – are you ready for it!? I’ll get to the point straight up. Last month I received an email from LATAM airlines inviting me to shoot a body of work in South America. It went like this –

‘Dear Kara, we love your travel work, would you like to visit Chile, Patagonia and Peru, experiencing the very best of the best, travelling with a small group of journalists hosted by NOMADE Unique Experiences and experiencing South America as an insider?  You will be on location for 12 days and we will fly you there in our newly designed LATAM Boeing 787-9 in business class, accessing our world class Vip lounges, fine dining and wine as you travel?’ 

Silence. You can tell what my response was. Hola! When do we fly?

Above left: Birds flying above the buildings on the streets in Santiago, Chile, this print is now available in my print shop titled ‘ Santiago Skies’.  / Above right: Graffiti on the streets of Santiago

Above left: Taking in the ordinary everyday experiences / Above right: The busy streets of Santiago, Chile

First stop was Santiago, Chile; the gateway to South America. After a very restful nonstop flight in business class, thanks to the fully flat seats (yes, I squealed many times over) I was able to hit the streets of Santiago as soon as I landed.

There is nothing more revitalising than arriving in a new country and hitting the streets straight away. You always want to know the lay of the land and absorb the street air and culture, taking in the ordinary everyday experiences. I always find that the memories are never as rich as those first few hours of newness.

Above left: View from my taxi window. / Above right: Embracing the ‘time capsule’ of culture; the clothes, the light, the shadows.

Santiago felt cool. Really edgy, there was a rawness about it. It was alive on the streets and there was an openness with the people. In some ways Santiago felt like a time capsule of culture; the clothes, the light, the shadows.

Above left: Exploring the streets of Santiago, Chile / Above right: A decorated Llama roaming the streets.

Above: Window details on the streets of Santiago, Chile.

Above left: Building refections / Above right: Shadow play on the building.

Above left: A cyclist, riding his bike through the streets / Above right: A statue of man on a horse emerging from a cloud of water mist

I loved the feel of the 19th century neoclassical architecture, splashed with art deco, married with the grit of any world class city. The old and the new, living together. The light was extraordinary.  Such intense light, bouncing off the concrete and the buildings all around. It was far more beautiful than what I could of imagined, with an intense undertow of edge.

Above: Vibrant plants I found on my travels

Above: some painters I stumbled across on my travels, that old school vibe.

Above left:  Balloons for sale on the street / Above right: Two boys in the streets of Santiago, Chile

Above: Man crossing the road on the way to the markets, dragging his products behind him

Above right: Mysterious woman on a bus / Above right: sorting through jewellery at the markets

Above left: Fresh fish for sale at the markets / Above right: A man and an octopus

Above left: A shadow of a tree on the building / Above right: the buzzing night life in the streets.

Above left: pink art deco boutique hotel Luciano K, my home for my stay / Above right: the roof top bar overlooking the streets

And just like that, it was time to leave the Lastarria neighbourhood of Santiago, with its pink art deco boutique hotel of Luciano K and its magnificent rooftop bar which overlooked the streets, which I had called home for my first two nights.

Above: LATAM plane flying over the mountains

Onwards and upwards to Patagonia with LATAM. You just wait! Part Two coming tomorrow night. Ohmygoodness – you won’t want to miss this. I can’t wait to share what I saw in Patagonia with you!

Ok, ok ,ok. If you can’t wait that long and you want a sneak peak, you could head over to my online print shop to see the my new South America print collection. Spoiler alert though, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

K x

P.S. If you’re not already signed up, subscribe to my newsletter here to be the first to know when Part Two is published.

Also, if you’d like more info about LATAM airlines and the trip here is a fact sheet to download.


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10 Comments to “South America Part One: Santiago”

  1. I was there many years ago and can’t describe the thrill I felt to see your pictures. You are so privileged, loads more pictures please. I sitting in my kitchen in Glasgow with a cup of coffee dreaming!

  2. Just loving the photos and the words too, Kara. I travelled there many years ago and the colours, excitement and edginess are all coming back… What a wonderful assignment, they picked the right girl for the job, well done.

  3. Well, those photos did not disappoint! What a vibrant city. I love that Llama (?) in a teensy hat! :-)

    The dude looking out of the bus at you is slightly frightening!

    Can’t wait to see Patagonia. I CANNOT head to your print shop for a sneak peak as I’m still deciding where to hang the LAST TWO PRINTS I couldn’t help purchasing from you!!!


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