La Serena & the Elqui Valley Photo Diary

Laguna Conchali

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Stopping outside of La Ligua for some of their Chile-famous pastries
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Manjar-filled delight
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Laguna Conchali, outside of Los Vilos. A great spot for bird watching.
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Birds to spot: Chiloe Wigeon, Cinnamon Teal, Great Egret, Chilean Mockingbird, White-Tailed Kite, White-Tuted Grebe, and more.

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Turbines everywhere on the way between Los Vilos and La Serena

La Serena

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The Japanese Garden
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Cueca Brava in the Mercado La Recova

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Eating papayas makes a delicious way to spend your time in La Serena!

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Inside the Museo Arqueologico

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The La Serena Lighthouse

Vicuña

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Death mask of Gabriela Mistral, South America´s first Nobel Prize winner, and who was born in Vicuña.  The town also has a museum dedicated to her life and achievements.

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Checking out the Pisquera Aba distillery
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Pisco with Maqui, a berry found in the south of Argentina and Chile. Que RICO!
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Visiting the stars with Alfa Aldea. Highly recommended.
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Only Spring and we are already swimming! We found our cabaña on Yapo – no middle man to pay and great prices!

Villa Seca + Paihuano

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Sun-baked goods in Villa Seca! Love to see all that solar energy being put to good use.
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Copao is a fruit endemic to Chile that comes from the Eulychnia acida cactus. The Elqui Valley is a great place to try it, along with deliciously cold and fresh fruit juices.

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Pisco Elqui

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Fundo Los Nichos, one of the few family owned distilleries in the area. Support small!

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More blogs like this:

Ovalle & the Limari Valley;

Punta de Choros ;

Sewell;

Chile in Photos;

Copiapo & Desierto Florido;

Beautiful Photos by Photographer Yorka;

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Karun: Leading Change in Fashion

From the wild open spaces to the starry sky, the snug fields of green tucked between snow-capped mountains and the raw expanse of open ocean, Chile has got to be one of the world´s most beautiful specimens of Planet Earth.  It seems only fitting, then, that it is also a country taking the business model and embedding it with an environmental conscience (as we have seen with TTANTI and Apicola del Alba).  This next business is one that is setting a new benchmark in the fashion world by merging concepts of sustainability and responsibility with quality eyewear in a way that is quite simply revolutionary. Enter Karun World, sunglasses and glasses made ´from a different point of view´ which I am so excited to feature on my blog because I love the concept, all that they stand for and the sunglasses themselves which are effortlessly stylish and unique.  Here are some reasons why they should be on your radar too.

They symbolize a new vision

The philosophy governing Karun is that their products form symbols of a new way of being; a new way of thinking of ourselves and how we view the world around us. As founder Thomas Kimber says, ¨it´s clear the world needs a big change. I don´t pretend to change the world by making sunglasses, but prove that we are able to make the best products in a completely different way that respects the planet¨.  They follow a circular and regenerative model, aiming to prove that it is possible to manufacture products that are high in quality and that have a lower impact upon the environment than the usual extractive methods that define the norm. They also see themselves as much than just a company, in fact their Kickstarter page states ¨ Everything we do is a reflection of the dream of a great group of people sharing similar values and way of life. We are working as hard as we can to prove through example that we can change the way we interact with ourselves and our planet¨.

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Photo: Karun

They look to nature for inspiration

Karun is inspired by the wilds of Patagonia and means ´to be nature´ in Mapundungun, the common language spoken by the Mapuche indigenous people. This rugged landscape at the southern end of Chile is a place known for its beauty and raw energy, and this is channelled into the designs.  They don´t focus upon inventing new things, instead they look to nature to inspire them.

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Photo: Karun

They are revolutionizing eyewear

Karun is a Chilean business that is revolutionary. Their first collection (Wood) used fallen trees in Patagonia, carefully selecting them rather than cutting any down, to create unique eyewear that embraced the differences found in each specimen.  After this they teamed up Bureo, a company creating skateboards made from recycled fishing nets sourced from Chile, to make the first glasses in the world made from 100% recycled fishing nets using recycling programme Net Positiva.  Discarded fishing nets cause around 10% of plastic pollution in our oceans and cause major damage to sea ecosystems and marine creatures. Net Positiva was developed by Bureo and launched in Chile in 2014, where it collected some 3000kg of discarded fishing nets in just six months.  Net Positiva works across the USA and Chile to clean up coastlines, and are engaged with various non-profits that remove ocean pollution.

Now Karun bring you The Clothing Collection.  This collection highlights the issue of waste in the fashion industry, where items are mass produced and quickly discarded by consumers.  Jeans are some of the contaminating, with around 3 billion pairs produced annually, of which 80% then end up in landfills.  From there greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are released which cause considerable damage to our soils and water.  The Clothing Collection is the world´s first eyewear made using recycled jeans, combining 75% recycled jeans and 25% bio-resin.  Karun have partnered with Balloon Latam, where a portion of sales from each pair of sunglasses goes towards entrepreneurs in the Llanquihue Lake region of Chile.  Balloon Latam works across Latin America to help develop local economies in a way that is respectful of each community´s identity, cultural conditions and productive possibilities. The designs in this collection are influenced by native Chilean birds such as the Chucao, which is native to the south and known for its emblematic sound, the red-breasted Loica (Long-Tailed Meadowlark) and the crested Kuru, or Magellanic Woodpecker.  Karun has been lauded everywhere, from Cosmopolitan to CNN and GQ.

 

Their eyewear is special

The materials are 100% Chilean and designed in Chile, and are put together using the finest technology in Italy.  The sunglasses use Zeiss official lenses which offer complete protection from UVA/UVB rays, and are available in either grey or amber, or as optical lenses. They contain German stainless steel spring hinges and have no added chemicals. The current collection come with a hardcase container made from jeans and fully recycled cardboard packaging.

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How You Can Get a Pair

Karun are currently seeking funding via Kickstarter, a global crowdfunding platform that got their other designs off the ground.  The campaign ends in late July, and the first 500 models will be completed by August.  In October all the models will have been completed to be delivered by November.

During the campaign, the glasses have a price of USD$149 which is 40% less than their actual retail price so get in there quick to take advantage!

 

 

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More Information

Website here

Facebook here 

Instagram here

Kickstarter campaign here


If you liked this, you might like to support one of these other amazing small businesses:

TTANTI watches made from fallen Patagonian trees;

Pajarito de Mimbre books & toys;

Apicola del Alba natural cosmetics.

 

TTANTI: Fine Watches Made in (and of) Chile

¨We believe that a watch should not only display a point of time as measured in hours and minutes; but should be a constant reminder that time is passing, that we must appreciate every moment that ticks by.¨

– Sarah Goldsmith, TTANTI

Over the years I have become really passionate about Chile.  Knowing its quirks, its people and flora and fauna, and giving my support to the #hechoenchile movement that is finding its stride with leaps and bounds recently. I also want to encourage the support of small businesses, often born of as much love and passion as hard work and stress to get a simple dream off the ground. I believe TTANTI, a small business that has appreciation for Chile at its heart as well as a focus upon sustainability, is the epitome of all these things, creating beautiful timepieces that represent not only the passing of time but a respect for life, and each one contains Patagonian materials. Wearing TTANTI, then, means you are keeping a small piece of Chile at your side throughout life´s moments.  Here is my interview with Sarah Goldsmith, an expat from the United States who is the Director of Communication and Sales for TTANTI.

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Who is TTANTI and how did the store begin?

TTANTI was founded in 2014, but really started to grow in 2016. Our team is lead by the founder, Angel Andraca. Angel is a native Chilean and wanted to combine his love of minimalist design with the spirit of Patagonia and the long tradition of Swiss watchmaking. Designer Rodrigo Bravo brought together the concept in a striking and harmonious way that gives respect to the traditions of Patagonia, while showcasing a modern aesthetic. Our Chilean team is rounded out by Sarah Goldsmith (me), Felipe Rioja, Carlos Bravo, and Mathilde Pfeiffer. Our European team includes Patrizia Vogl, Guillaume Vaslin and Steven Fantina.

 

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TTANTI is inspired by the raw and rugged beauty of Patagonia.  The watch featured is the Darwin Black, made with Aromo Criollo wood, a tree known for its beautiful flowers.            Photo: TTANTI

What is the motivation behind TTANTI?

TTANTI was born out of a respect for the noble materials of Patagonia and the spirit they encompass, as well as the centuries old tradition of Swiss watch making. Combined into one timepiece by the patient and passionate work of Swiss and Chilean craftsmen, we seek to transmit our beliefs to our customers. We believe that a watch should not only display a point of time as measured in hours and minutes; but should be a constant reminder that time is passing, that we must appreciate every moment that ticks by.

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Watch in Darwin White. Photo TTANTI

What makes a TTANTI watch unique?

TTANTI has its roots in a land where local traditions and foreign wanderers coexist, and our commitment to that land sets us apart. Protection of this land, responsible use of its materials and preservation for years to come is at the forefront of all we do. We use only previously fallen trees and are proudly certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for the responsible use of native forests. Our leather straps are cut from scrap material would otherwise go to the landfill. We package in recycled materials, maintain a wholly online/virtual workplace and strive to take any steps necessary to reduce our impact on the environment.
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The watches are all assembled in Santiago. Photo: TTANTI
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Photo: TTANTI

Who designs the watches and what are they inspired by?

Our designer Rodrigo Bravo seeks innovation through simplicity and functionality. He creates unique objects and solutions through a methodology that is born from the study and rescue of traditional carpentry techniques with the most advanced technologies. Rodrigo merged our inspiration with his detailed study and knowledge of functionality to create our strikingly and simple design.  Although typically worn by men, and designed with a man’s wrist in mind, they’re popular with men and women alike! I am a woman and wear a TTANTI every day. I love the elegant but relaxed look it brings to my outfits, and love the connection with Chile it brings me.

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The watches are suitable for men and women.  This watch is the Magallanes White.                    Photo: TTANTI
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Watch in Darwin White, the TTANTI bestseller!                                                        Photo: TTANTI

How are the watches made?

The process to create a TTANTI involves the combined efforts of dedicated and passionate craftsmen from Patagonia, Santiago and Switzerland. After our timepieces are painstakingly assembled in Switzerland to exact specifications, we bring them to our workshop in Santiago. We then hand assemble the watches with the laser cut and hand polished wooden rings and hand cut and sewn leather straps from Patagonia.

 

How should we care for a TTANTI timepiece?

Your TTANTI is a work of art, and should be treated as such. Our wood has been rigorously tested for durability, but should be treated with care – it is in fact an antique in the making. Just like your grandmother’s oak dining table will sustain scars and memories from life, so too will your TTANTI. This is the natural aging process of wood. Specific care instructions for your TTANTI can be found on our blog.

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The Chatwin White, made from Patagonian Oak, a tree which grows some 50m high.             Photo: TTANTI

What does TTANTI mean?

TTANTI means “seed” in the Kunza, a nearly extinct native language from the north of Chile. We want to plant an emotion that evokes the philosophy we deliver and in order to give tribute to the ancient cultures of our country.

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Magallanes with a Darwin strap.   You can request your strap combinations. Photo: TTANTI

How have the watches been received?

Reception has been really promising. We’re growing slowly but surely, and every sale is a celebration for our team! We all truly believe in what we’re doing and love seeing our work appreciated.

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Darwin White watch.  Photo: TTANTI

What is next for TTANTI?

We want to bring the wild, wonderful nature of Chile to our customers. We want to transmit the beliefs and traditions of our beautiful country, from north to south, to our customers. Eventually we would like to expand our product line to include trees and leathers from the other regions of Chile, though that might be a little further out.

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Magallanes White, made using Lenga wood made from the trees native to Andine and Patagonian forests.  Photo: TTANTI

Do you have a special offer for my amazing readers?

Yes! We are offering Querida Recoleta readers a 10% discount off of our products with the code queridarecoleta07

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More Information

Website here

Instagram here

Facebook here

The names behind the watches:

Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), also known as Hernando de Magallanes, was a Portuguese explorer who led the first European voyage to circumnavigate the globe,, while searching for the Spice Islands. He found the route through South America to the Pacific, known today as the Strait of Magellan (estrecho de magallanes).

Charles Darwin (1809-1882), who needs no introduction, traveled the globe on a scientific expedition aboard the Beagle. He explored Chile from Tierra del Fuego to Copiapo; controversially, he is believed to have used the indigenous people he met in Patagonia as an example of his theory of evolution.

Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989was a travel writer from England who wrote In Patagonia (1977), a book which revolutionized travel writing and drew the world´s gaze to the southernmost areas of Chile and Argentina.

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Photo: TTANTI

If you liked this, check out some other small businesses you can support:

Pajarito de Mimbre: Children´s Books + Toys

Padre Nuestro: Traditional Shoemaking

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