Machu Picchu train tix booked/ More baby alpacas! [YQrtw Day 102 Jul 20]

Mundo Alpaca

Location: Arequipa, Peru

This morning at about 6am, my neighbors were getting out of bed and the floorboards squeaked like crazy. I fell back to sleep much later and woke up for breakfast after 9am.

I tested out the 0% lactose evaporated milk I bought from the supermarket. I made lactose-less kopi C and it tasted well. I’ll write a full report for next Friday. Stay tuned!

After breakfast, I decided that I need to start planning my trip to Machu Picchu. I only have 2 weeks left in Peru and I don’t want to screw up my main reason here in South America.

I talked to the little travel table at the hostel. The guy quoted a US$270 package from Cusco to MP and back. He also said it’s quite easy to book the tickets myself.

So I started checking out the sites for trains to Machu Picchu’s nearby town–Aguas Calientes–and the tickets for the site.

I was a tiny bit disappointed to find out that the combination of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu were all sold out until September. (Don’t worry, there are still tickets to MP.)

Booking train tickets were a bit tough too. The original date that I plan to go did not have cheap return train tickets so I pushed everything to one day later.

For now, I have my return train tickets from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes but not the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu because I needed to pay the entrance fee at a bank. I plan to buy the entrance tickets when I get to Aguas Calientes.

Baby Alpacas again!

After the tiring ticket buying, I set off to take the bus to the supermarket near where I used to stay with my homestay family. I walked all the way down Santa Catalina and realized that I was only 500 meters away from the cute baby alpacas.

My feet decided to carry me to Mundo Alpaca.

I was not sure how Milk (the white baby alpaca) escaped from the pen but it was calmly grazing and eating the tips of the flowers when I spotted it. I never got to pet it because it kept running away.

White baby alpaca at Mundo Alpaca
White baby alpaca at Mundo Alpaca

I saw baby Coffee (the brown baby alpaca) resting its neck on a bigger alpaca which I hope is its mom. They were so cute.

The baby alpaca snuggled against its mother and it was so adorable~~

Brown baby alpaca with mom
Brown baby alpaca with mom

At Mundo Alpaca, there’s also loads of sheared alpaca wool. I snuck away one pinch of it. Shhh!

Bales of alpaca wool
Bales of alpaca wool

After Mundo Alpaca, I walked back to the main street for the bus. Luckily, I found one which had an empty front seat.

The traffic on the main avenue was quite bad and the bus crawled until I reached my stop.

View of Arequipa from the inside of a combi.
View of Arequipa from the inside of a combi.

After having a ceviche at a restaurant recommended b one of the teachers, I headed to the supermarket where I couldn’t find cheap cotton pads. Can you imagine, one cotton pad here costs S$0.35. That’s quite expensive!

I was hungry for something else so I stopped by the supermarket cooked food area. I was horrified to find out that the lady reheated my chicken drumstick in the microwave on a Styrofoam plate.

After the meal, it was time to head back to the city center. It took a long time before I found a relatively empty bus (meaning it’s not crammed from the front to the back with human bodies) and I got on.

A quick summary of the rest of the day: quick walk to the market; watch Batman Return in Spanish; have dinner; head back and blog.

See you tomorrow!

More days in Arequipa/ Dolls in Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa [YQrtw Day 101 Jul 19]

dolls in the church

Location: Arequipa, Peru

I’ve decided to extend my stay in Arequipa to Monday. One of the main reason is that I really really dislike the act of travelling (getting from Point A to Point B) so I want to delay my 10-hour bus ride from Arequipa to Cusco.

Today was the last day of Spanish class. Both my teachers gave me farewell gifts–a book of coupons and a box of chocolates. That was really sweet of them.

In the evening, I visited the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa which only opens at 7am and 5pm. The church has a wooden “devil” crushed under something heavy.

The devil in the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa
The devil in the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa

The basilica also has a few dolls dressed up in lavish dresses and some with beads of tears on their face.

Dolls in the church
Dolls in the church

Other interesting photos for the day were:

Two-storeyed cactus
Two-storeyed cactus
Slightly creepy manequins for wedding dresses
Slightly creepy manequins for wedding dresses
Wedding dresses in Arequipa
Wedding dresses in Arequipa

I’ll leave you with a few photos of the sights in Arequipa from earlier in the afternoon.

Beautiful door at Interbank in Arequipa
Beautiful door at Interbank in Arequipa
Arequipa's municipal theater
Arequipa’s municipal theater
Courts of Arequipa (?)
Courts of Arequipa (?)

Fountain in Arequipa

A church in Arequipa
A church in Arequipa

Caturday: Black Beauty at Istanbul Archaeological Museum

black beauty

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Black Beauty in Istanbul
Black Beauty in Istanbul

If I had a cat, I would like to have one that is all black. That way, it wouldn’t look too dirty if it rolled around in something.

This cat was resting at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum before I went to disturb it. It walked off, ignoring me.

When it reached the steps, it turned back and gave me a mean look. Meow!

Cat from afar
Cat from afar

If you have a cat, what color would it be?