Cajun del Maipo, day 6

To get a little bit out of the city we were suggested a trip tp Cajun del Maipo, in the valley of the Maipo river. We rented a car from, which was cheap comparing to other sites. And their office is in the city centre.


Entrance to Cascada de las Animas – a beautiful space for lodging as as well as for having dinner or just coffee or going rafting, for instance.


A chilean cowboy called huaso kindly letting me take the picture. His herd and other companions are more further away.

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Tinoco tunnel in Cajun del Maipo – a walk in the darkness of the spooky tunnel ends with a beautiful arcade.

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The river flows in the springly flowerbed of orange and yellow – a most spectacular view.

As soon as you get out of the city the scenery changes dramatically. A beautiful ride passing hotels, villages and little shops in the valley will bring you closer and closer to the Volcano and the thermal pools of Banos Morales. This time of a year unfortunately the water in the thermal pools was not suitable for bathing, that`s what they said. Anyway the scenery is most amazing, beautiful colours of the mountains make a contrast with early spring`s green creating an atmosphere of happiness. It would be great to arrive earlier in the day, since the walking track in the mountains is open only until 1 pm.


Is this el Volcano in the back?

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This is real, that`s what it looks like 🙂

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Those round buildings are quite common in the architecture of the area. Actually there are many really interesting buildings in the valley.


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Day 7

It took about 1 hr to go from the centre of Santiago to the Centro des Artes Aerios run by company Balance. I had arranged to meet with Pablo Garrido to learn more about Chilean circus art. After kissing everyone hello in the circus I almost immediately had to start kissing everyone good-bye – so many kisses in such short time 🙂


DSCF2529The building that Pablo has designed himself together with the architects seems to be so great for aerials with all the possibilities in the world to rig. The building has problems with stability and some of the parts are not ready yet, like you have to climb to the office via 7m ladder (not completely free-standing). It is lovely to see how passionate Pablo is about his centre, his art and his school.


This Centre offers opportunity for trainings for professionals in the morning and they do classes of hobby cirus every afternoon. It is a private school even though the local government has helped to build it. The students pay about as much as in Estonia. The difference is in the schedule. We do trainings 3 times a week, El Centro des Artes Aeries and el Circo del Mundo do perhaps 1 time a week, but the weekly hours are similar.

In the afternoon I had some time for my own. The museums in Santiago are inexpensive just as many other tourist attractions. Everything we have experienced has been of good quality. Today there was a strike of museums, claiming higher salaries, so I understood. The only choice and not a bad one was to visit the Precolombian art Museum. On the lower level there is a very nice exposition of Chilean art.

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This kind of wooden statues have been made for thombs

In the evening we were invited to the very good restaurant Liguria by Carolina who had also invited a translator, …. from Peru. Itzi is actually el Circo del Mundos partner in a social circus project together with Circo Social del Sur of Argentine. The whole evening was great fun with really excellent food and drinks. We came to agreement that the chilean wine should better be a Carmeniere of Reserva and that pisco is actually originating from Peru. Pisco sour seems to be a traditional appetizer everywhere you go. Eero has guided me through piscos a bit and I have to say that the taste can vary really dramatically. It is basically a brandy, but necessarily doesn`t taste like one. But this pisco sour drink is truly nice regardless of the brand of Pisco. In the restaurants they first bring bread and a spicy tomato-onion-coriander sauce which I really like and I am looking forward to make and tune one of my own taste back home.

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Day 5

El Circo del Mundo is giving workshops out of Santiago and one of the places is Til Til. It took about 2 hrs to get there by public transportation – 3 metros and 1 bus, running in the meantime. As soon as the bus got out of suburbs beautiful scenery surrounded us with vineyards and olive orchards and mountains. In the back of the bus all trainers for the workshop were having fun for sure.


We arrived in a village in a beautiful valley and took a little walk. We have by now had an experience that no matter how the village looks like and what kind of life the people seem to lead, the schools and parks are a priority to the local government. A very little remote village that looks like noone lives there has always a garden in the main square, with blooming flowers.


Everywhere we have seen big modern schoolbuildings. Children`s playgrounds have all the facilities and lots of people do sports even late in the evening on well supported sportsgrounds.


The team of teachers teaches 80 kids from the school, in a big hall. I don´t know what I was expecting, but it really surprised me that the acrobatics teacher does exactly the same warm-up routine that I/we do in Folie, on the other side of the world. I would like to look into it, how does this happen. Evidently there are practicies in acrobatics that are universal and best, but still, I mean, every trainer does usually do own program in the end…


We got a tip from Nilton, one of the trainers of petit volant and acrobatics in el Circo del Mundo, that it is a must to buy olives in Til Til.


Thats a little shop to buy local olives and in addition we bought papaya honey… and that is mmm how delicious.


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Valparaiso, day 4

It is Sunday and we took off to Valparaiso in the morning.

DSCF0641First place to visit was Pablo Nerudas house and this made the whole trip already worth it. Beautiful house, great interieur with different pieces of art to spice it.

The house of Pablo Neruda in Valparaiso

The house of Pablo Neruda in Valparaiso

The ascension takes you to the hills with less effort, those elevators really are nice addition to the city. Great, that they are renovating those old means of transport. 1 ride is 300 pesos, less than 50 cents.


An arriving ascension and a leaving American cruise ship in the harbour of Valparaiso

On top of this mountain we found the Maritime Museum, another highlight of a day with great exposition in a plaza del 22 Mayo. It was rather interesting to learn about the seamen and captains of Chile and suddenly all the names of the places and streets made sense 🙂



I decided to take a little boat trip and left Eero to have some espressos near the port. In the wooden boat 2 guys started to hand out really worn out life vests for special guests like children and the ones who can´t swim. So I was not worried that I didn`t get one, even though the water in the ocean is really cold. The boat sailed to the submarine  not far from the coast and back and it was possible to take a closer look at the war ships residing in the bay. A couple of sea lions enjoyed themselves on some kind of floating platform. Every now and then a guy in adidas sports wear jumped out from the cabin and explained about everything in a high speed pace. I recognised some words 🙂 When the boat turned back, another guy made his way on the edge of the boat to the fore like a tightwire dancer and after a quick speech he strated to collect 300 pesos moving between 70 people tightly packed on board. I met with a nice couple from Equador, the gentleman is a professor of history and he finds that his country and Chile are really very similar except that it seems to him that in Chile there are people who do read books.

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Florentina Daza, 99, a former chilean opera singer having a nice day in Valparaiso.

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Day 3

It`s Saturday and there are trainings of Mini Compania  in el Circo del Mundo. Suddenly I was invited by Mariella to speak about our circus Folie in Estonia to the group. I had just been following an aerial class for complete beginners, little children and also bigger ones. The children are all the same, I suppose, so shy, just like the Estonians are having hard work through all the name-games. They had 3 trainers for about 10 kids. Also the group of Mini Compania reminds me a lot of our performance group and it felt nice and homey.


Minicompania in the training and their trainer Mariella in the background


This bike is waiting for it`s next training to practice how to carry 9 members of the Minicompania


Social circus of the world 🙂


Big and honourable mats let themselves being transported by the boys of Minicompania.

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Round of exchange

Young people seemed to be very motivated and interested. Asked a lot of questions. We had a chance to ask our questions as well getting to know the group. Most of them have a dream to become a professional. I think that it is highly possible for the best ones, even though the Chileans tend to think there is not enough circus in the country and that it is also not popular. I am afraid that Estonian youngsters just won`t have the guts to make this choice. Our society is promoting certain way of life which does not include being special. Instead of doing what is important to you, you do what you have to or what is expected. You must be successful. But of course it is hard to be a creative artist worrying at the same time about your success. Maybe Chilean youth has more freedom in their minds.


I truly still hope that I can steal some of those beautiful lemons with my own hand straight from the tree.

In the evening we had a chance to go to a local festival in la Reina to see professional circus. The individual acts were on the side of contemporary circus and some of them were really great. So happy to have seen it – thanks to Nicolas Riviera – and to have met some artists. It seems that most of the circus schools around focus on aerials – that can be seen from the schedules of the circuses.


My good colleague Eero enjoying himself in the beginning of the circus performance.

Nicolas took us to a centre of barrio called Nunos, a nice place with many good restaurants, where we surely enjoyed our dinner again.

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Food makes us happy, I don`t know why.

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Day 2

The extremely longlasting day of yesterday was followed by a successful night sleep. The apartement or departemento is on San Isidro street and it is very nice and not expensive. It was only possible to pay cash to the owner, in pesos or in dollars. Some other practicalities: metro costs 720 peso one way, sometimes less and peso to euro is possible to change in the centre for the rate of 750. It is not possible to pay with a card for the metro ticket or a metro card. However, there is a cash machine in our station of Santa Lucia, but it doesn`t like my cards, none of them, at all.

El Circo del Mundo has a full professional study for circus artists. It`s a 3 year course and they take about 20 students. We have been folowing the classes and a theatre exam, which was rather interesting. Also the dance course is just about to end and they will contiunue more with technical skills od their disciplines. It seems to be just like in many schools in Europe, I don`t see any difference, really. The acrobatics warm and conditioning and stretching up is almost exactly the same as in our school on the other side of the world. So, what makes the difference between schools? Is there any difference at all or are we working in kind of a global curriculum? But it must be the best, then 🙂

DSCF0279The school is situated out of the city centre of Santiago, it takes about 20 min by metro to los Pajaritos, plus walking for 10 minutes. I like the office and the surroundings. It seems to be a squatted place awaken alive by circus. Instead of grass wheat and oat (if I am correct) is growing everywhere. The gardeners in Santiagiodo not seem to make any use of the lawnmower. I kind of like it.


We also followed Niltons petit volant class, but I sort of missed my chance to fly a bit, since there was too much to see. There was a large group of young people who had come for a workshop of social circus trying out everything and again doing all the same things that we do. It seemed to be fun, especially the petit volant of course with Nilton. Anyway, usually they teach the group 1 time a week for 4 hrs, out of Santiago. There are other places the school staff goes to do circus. Actually they don`t bring childrens´ groups to the circus so much, the location in los Pajaritos is really mainly for the professionals.









Later on we got back to the centre and climbed a small mountain, I would say, of Santa Lucia, for views of the big ugly city buildings framed with magnificent mountains. Then took a long walk in the barrio of Bellavista, crossing the river into the colourful suburb and on to the more sophisticated area just on the other side of the river from the Plaza Italia. In the lively steets of cafes we were able to find an excellent restaurant which I could suggest immediately. It is called Matilde and it is on the roof of a six-storied building. We hit the sunset and food and drinks couldn´t be any better. The tallest building of South America, the Costanera center,  was beatufully lit up in the distance. I was really happy that my food didn´t consist of a half-kilo meat piece with fries (even though it can be so tasty). Instead we had a cut of tuna on top of kinoa, so beautifully presented. For the moment I felt that everything is perfect.



Raphael, this is for you – Eero is working, at least that`s what he says 🙂

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Day 1

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An incredible experience in the sky! The Cordilleras reach out so high in the sky that we felt that we could almost touch the highest peak of the Andes. Beautiful view kept most people in the plane glued to the windows. … Continue reading

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