Picking up mail in Lima [YQrtw Day 114 Aug 2]

mail for yq

Location: Lima, Peru

Important building in Lima
Important building in Lima

Last night, the hostel owner drove me to the bus station for my midnight bus from Nasca to Lima. Thankfully, I was not car sick during this trip although I was disturbed by loud snoring.

It was around 6:30am when the bus rolled into Lima. The sky was grey and it looked like it rained. The bus stopped at two stops, mine was the last at La Victoria.

I haggled with a cabbie (30 soles to 25 soles) for a ride to my hostel. It took a while to find the hostel because the addresses in the area weren’t in order.

After a call to the hostel, we found the place. The place that I’m staying at is actually someone’s apartment turned into a hostel. It’s really pretty inside but a bit far from the main bus station (6 blocks!)

I explored a bit of Lima’s historical center when I went to run an errand.

Dunkin Donuts invades pretty, old building in Lima
Dunkin Donuts invades pretty, old building in Lima
Nice church deco in Lima
Nice church deco in Lima
Pretty full-wall mural in Lima
Pretty full-wall mural in Lima

Picking up mail in Lima

I don’t plan to do much sightseeing in Lima for the two days that I am in the capital.

Since I’ve seen Machu Picchu, pretty much everything else is dull. However, there is an interesting museum that I might go to if I can figure out where it is exactly.

However, I do have a very important errand to run. My friend, D, in Singapore has sent me a package using a poste restante service. It means that the post office keeps your mail for you and you collect it by showing your passport.

Ever since I’ve read about poste restante, I’ve wanted to use the service to collect mail in a place where I do not have an address. For me, this is really romantic.

It took a while for me to find the central post office but it was really easy to pick up my package. The lady looked at my name and went in search in the “L” box which did not have anything for me and in the “Y” box which had an envelope for me.

Woopee!

"You've got mail!"
“You’ve got mail!”

Bus system in Lima

Bus platform in Lima
Bus platform in Lima

The hostel owner, Marco* (his real name), passed me a transportation card for Lima. I went off to explore the public bus system on my own.

Here in Lima there are different types of buses. The one I took was the Metropolitano which reminded me very much of TransJakarta, the public bus in Jakarta.

There are levitated platforms in the middle of the road where the buses stop. Here in Lima, you’ll need to tap your transportation card, paying 2 soles for one entrance.

There are several doors for the buses which are quite long. Then there are different doors for different routes but sometimes these are shared among different routes.

It’s easy to take the bus but it’s difficult to get on since there seems to be a lot of people already on the bus.

Where to find cheap food in Aguas Calientes [#FoodFriday]

menu at aguas calientes market

Aguas Calientes is the town nearest to Machu Picchu. This is where you will likely stay a night before you visit the site or having a meal before you take the train back to Cusco or Ollantaytambo.

Most of the infrastructure in Aguas Calientes is targeted at tourists. This means jacked up prices.

In Aguas Calientes, I had eaten a 45 soles (S$21) set meal where the rice was as large as the head of my fork and a 67 soles meal (S$30) that was actually pretty tasty.

Of course, not every meal in Aguas Calientes has to exceed 50 soles. I can show you a place where you can have a meal plus a fruit juice for just 10 soles (S$4.50).

Where to find cheap food in Aguas Calientes
Where to find cheap food in Aguas Calientes

This little piggy went to market

Go to Aguas Calientes market for cheap food
Go to Aguas Calientes market for cheap food

On the second floor of the local market (not the “craft market) is where they sell cooked food. At lunch time, a lot of the stalls write their dishes of the day on a whiteboard. Just order off the list and you will have tasty, freshly made food.

Second stall in Aguas Calientes market
Second stall in Aguas Calientes market

The second stall on the left gave me a good vibe so I had both my meals there. The stall is run by a family of women. The first time I went, the elder sister cooked while the second time, the mother cooked.

Bistek frita
Bistek frita

The beef steak meal was lovely but the Milanese chicken (breaded chicken cutlet) wasn’t as good. I love how they have rice along with the meal. I also requested that they only give me tomatos and not greens as the salad.

Milanesa pollo
Milanesa pollo

After your meal, you might want to have a drink. At the market, juices sell for 5 soles. For this price, you get about 2 glass-full of juice. That was enough to stretch my stomach.

Fruit juice stall at Aguas Calientes
Fruit juice stall at Aguas Calientes

I will definitely miss the generous servings of fruit juices in Peru.

Special fruit juice
Special fruit juice
Mixed fruit juice in Aguas Calientes market
Mixed fruit juice in Aguas Calientes market

More about Aguas Calientes:

Who likes Aguas Calientes? I kind of do

Finally, the day I visit Machu Picchu [YQrtw Day 109 Jul 27]

Hot springs at Aguas Calientes [YQrtw Day 108 Jul 26]