TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE VI: OUR BIGGEST TEAM YET HITS THE GROUND
An early start for everyone again, for the surprisingly long journey to Denpasar Airport through often grid-locked Bali traffic. We made it, checked in, and barely had time to make the flight.
The flight to Dili was short (2.5 hrs) and there were lots of spare seats at the back so we were able to spread out, read, sleep or look out of the window as we flew down the Lesser Sunda Islands and came in to Dili, approaching from the northwest with Ataúro Island on the port side and the wide Comoro River valley off starboard. Upon arrival the team, our largest to date with 12 members from overseas, were met by two of our Timorese colleagues, the Jets, namely Zito and Laca*, as well as the bus from our base in Timor-Leste, the Timor Lodge Hotel, aka TLH.
|Entering Timor Lodge Hotel
||Our chalets at Timor Lodge Hotel
* Followers of this project will know that Benny is of course studying for an MSc at the University of Sydney, and Luis has also recently found a job and may not be able to work with us this phase.
After settling in we took a drive into Dili to introduce our newest team members to some of the sights of Timor-Leste's capital, the Cristo Rei statute, the debating crocodile statue, the warnings about crocodiles on the beach and the newest statue, featuring a clock and .... a crocodile. Lafa'ek, the saltwater crocodile is an imporant part of Timorese creation myth. And out in the bay was our main field location for Phase VI - Ataúro Island, albeit across a very windy and choppy sea.
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