03. June 2017
We meet in a garden – it’s a very relaxed start to a day of impressions with Moira, owner of the KARE store in Santa Cruz. The meeting point is the Biocentro Guembe Mariposario orchid garden located a little outside of the city. In European terms the drive there by taxi is very affordable, and it’s worthwhile.
Moira welcomes us warmly in the effusive fashion which is so typical of Bolivia. She talks about the local flora and fauna with enthusiasm and a love for her country and its people – for example the Amboró National Park in the West with its tropical lowlands, impressive volcanoes, mountainous cloud forests with gigantic red table mountains, forests with giant ferns and Andean dry valleys. Only 18 km from Santa Cruz in the other direction are the sand dunes of Lomas de Arena. “When I want to take a little time out and get away from the hectic life of the city, I jump into the car and drive into the dunes. Here you can let your thoughts drift across the endless expanses and breathe deeply – far from the madding crowd it’s the perfect place for me to find inner harmony and regenerate my energies.”
We sense the deep commitment to nature which Moira has in every fibre of her being, and are caught up by her enthusiasm as soon we enter the park. It’s a miniature paradise with huge aviaries for birds and butterflies, a breathtaking landscape with numerous pools which look cool and inviting. While we stroll through the park Moira tells us about the spirit of optimism and growth which characterises Santa Cruz. The increasing receptiveness of the country to innovation is attracting more and more enterprises to bring art, design and the avant-garde into the city, turning it into a multicultural hotspot. She believes that the quality of the available materials, in particular Bolivia’s premium-quality wood, is a huge advantage.
Back in the busy traffic of the city we drive with her to the KARE store. “Decoration is essential: we love decorating our homes and applying little details to change the appearance of a room overnight. Not only that, a piece of furniture can also be given more charm if it is combined with an accessory like a picture, a vase or a lamp. Radiance and brightness are also essential factors in designing a home. They can create a touch of elegance in any room, while natural materials such as wood create an impression of cosiness and warmth. It’s part of the typical KARE spirit to give free rein to the rebel in you – to take risks. Don’t simply go along with the trend, do your own thing and mix colours and shapes in any way you want – this will turn your home into a place where you feel really good.”
1. Floorlamp Manufactory | 2. Sideboard Memory Carve | 3. Picture Frame Art Cool Dog | 4. Picture Frame Art The Dog | 5. Armchair Tudor | 6. Table-clock Grandfather Wood | 7. Coffee-table Galaxy Grey
Moira goes on to show us her favourite pieces. Such is her enthusiasm for interior design that we ourselves are infected and begin in our thoughts to redecorate our own apartment. We round off a day full of experiences and new impressions at the Jardin de Asia, a restaurant with outstanding sushi and an enchanting ambience. “It’s not typically Bolivian, but you’ve still got plenty of time to experience that.
Be sure to try sopa de mani, it’s a Bolivian speciality – a substantial groundnut soup with chicken legs or beef, and majadito, rice with fried eggs and plantains”. When she sees the expressions on our faces Moira begins to laugh. “For Europeans the combination may be highly unusual, but no risk, no fun! Give it a try – you won’t regret it,” she says with a wink – and of course she turned out to be right.
Restaurant: Jardin de Asia – Av Marcelo Terceros Bánzer, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
Restaurant: La Rinocanda – Km 7 Camino a Porongo, desvío Buen Retiro, zona del Urubó, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Bar: OGA – 24 de septiembre 242, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
KARE Store Santa Cruz – Avenida San Martín 554, Barrio Equipetrol, Santa Cruz de la Sierra