We bid farewell to the beautiful city of Valparaiso, and boarded the bus back to Santiago, a trip of about an hour and a half. Leaving Valparaiso, we climb the hills that boarder the Great Cordillera del los Andes, the highway to Santiago takes us through a number of Toll booths, as well as a number of magnificently constructed Tunnels, Tunnels that are illuminated and have air vents throughout, they are monitored via camera continuously. Arriving back in Santiago we relaxed and prepared for the next phase of our Adventure down to the South of Chile and the magnificent country known as the Patagonia region, here was the Hanging Glacier, which I wanted to climb, and also to visit the last Continental Ice shelf close up.
Santiago gave us time to prepare the final details for our tour of the Patagonia region; we did find time to once again; explore the Majestic Metropolis of Santiago, its colourful streets, street vendors adding their diverse array of wares on every footpath. Entertainers that appear throughout downtown Santiago, and its Malls and streets, entertaining with world class exhibitions. I introduce you to some of these excellent Artists that perform throughout the Great city. The first of these talented Artists is the one I have called, The Angel of Santiago.
The Angel of Santiago is a Statue, as are many of the Living Artists that dot the streets of downtown Santiago, she animates after a donation is left in a box at the base of her pedestal, which I noted was a donation to the Chilean Artists Society. I watched her for a long time, I was enthralled, there was a large crowd surrounding the Angel, I can’t say she was lifelike, because she was a living person, I can’t find a word opposite to lifelike so I accepted the word Statue, she was a statue that came to life. She was completely covered in Gold, She had Golden wings, her clothing was Golden, and overall she reminded me of a painting from the days of Michaelangelo. I watched her routine, someone from the crowd would place a donation into her box at the base of the pedestal, in slow animation motion, she would appear to come to life, She would extend her arm, and if you were close enough, she would gently caress your face, then slowly move her hand to a small box cradled in her left arm, withdraw a small piece of paper and offer it to you, as you accepted and walked away, she would raise her arm , in what I can only describe as a symbolic gesture or blessing of love, her gaze never wavered from you until the next donation was made. With prompting from my wife for a photographic picture, it was my turn, I approached the statue and placed my donation in the bog, she began to move her head, I felt an overwhelming feeling of Spirituality, a lump came into my mouth, this cannot be real I thought, I was witnessing something unbelievable. She looked directly into my eyes, I have to admit, I was in some form of reverential awe, she extended her arm in a motion of love, then moved her arm to the small box, all in slow motion, extracted a card and held it out to me, I accepted and stepped back, her hand was raised in a form of a love blessing, her gaze remained on me back in the crowd, until the next donation was made. I watched her for a long time after, the feeling of witnessing something so beautiful, so unbelievable was uncanny, My Angel did come to life, so that memory is recorded in my sojourn in life, as The Angel of Santiago.
My second statue, is one I have called The Senator, he is garbed in the robes, that remind me of the Roman Senators, he holds his poise in a typical Senator stance, the only difference was my Senator was wearing sunglasses, they did not detract from his overall performance, after placing the contribution in his collection box, he animated, he would extend his arm with hand open, in a gesture of friendship, if he could see you wished a photo with him, in slow motion, he would raise his arm across your shoulder.
There are many such talented Artists throughout Chile, varying age groups and varying talents, from the street pavement artists to the Musical artists.
The Chinchineros are a troupe of entertainers that frequent the streets of Santiago, they can be found performing individually, or in groups, their art is in the ability to play the drum, on their back, at the same time as playing the Cymbals and the Tambourine whilst doing a dance routine.
The next entertainment you will find on Chilean streets, is their National dance, the Quechua, this is a flamboyant dance with intricate movements, which I admire greatly but have no possibility of learning, their costumes are traditional, as is the music.
Enjoy my pictorial contribution to the flamboyant and beautiful South American country of Chile, and its great array of Artisic talent.
Emu aka Ian