28 June 2011 3 of 3


JACO IS., LAUTÉM DISTRICT, TIMOR-LESTE

 

 

TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE V: TO JACO AND BUST
(page 3)

 

The team was ferried back to the Troopie on the mainland and we drove back towards Com as day turned to evening, a long and bumpy drive. Despite that I was trying to sleep in the front passenger seat as I was feeling increasingly unwell.

When we reached the abandoned Troopie, around 90 minutes later, I got out to see if I could start it but stepping on the cold of the night I felt chilled to the bone. Hinrich switched off his ignition to listen for my engine but the vehicle battery was flat and it refused to start, as did Hinrich's engine when he turned the key.

So now we had two Troopies, both dead as door-nails, facing one another on a cold dark road on a limestone plateau in eastern Timor-Leste, and both I and Marissa were feeling decidely unwell.

I have had enough for one day.

Pushing Hinrich's troopie up and down the road failed to get it to restart, all lights had gone from the dashboard. Then after a while we figured the jolting of the road might have causes an electrical misconnection somewhere in Hinrich's vehicle and jiggering with the HT leads on the battery suddently brought the vehicle back to life again. Leaving my Troopie by the side of the road we headed back to Com Resort and warmth.

I was now running a temperature of 101.3 so Dr J (Naveen) sent me off to bed with medication to bring my temperature back down. It was a rough night, as roommate Hinrich will attest, with fits of coughing and fever but by the morning my temperature was back under 100 degrees. At least for me, the next day would have to be a day of inactivity.