25 June 2012 1 of 1


DILI, DILI DISTRICT, TIMOR-LESTE

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE VII: A CHANGE OF PLANS, AND A DAY LOST

Monday morning and the first port of call for Hinrich was the Indonesian Embassy to drop off our paperwork for the transit visas that would allow us to travel through West Timor to the Oecusse exclave. His second port of call was the office of Manuel Mendes, Director of National Parks in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, to organise our collection permits. In the meantime the rest of us busied ourselves finishing off organising and packing of equipment and personal kit for the field.

Hinrich was a very long time, and when he returned we learned the reasons for the delay, some good news and some bad news. He had managed to find Manuel Mendes, and our permits would be ready the following day, but the cost of the Indonesian transit visas had nearly tripled since our last visit two years ago. After some discussion we ruled out driving to Oecusse due to this massive increase. We could have still gone on the Berlin Nakroma ferry, which would have negated the need for the transit visas, but we were then reliant on the ferry schedules, and the limited amount of space available for vehicles, so we decided to shelve Oecusse for this phase and shift our attention to the mountains south and southeast of Baucau, which we had yet to visit, and possibly also the south coast around Nancuro which we had only visited once in 2010 and found to be a productive area.

So, what to do with the rest of the lost day? We tweaked manuscripts that were already in preparation, read, watched a DVD, and generally tried not the make the day feel like a total loss. The only thing I found to photograph was a large rhinoceros beetle which bumbled into us as we walked back from the TLH restaurant.

A large Rhinoceros beetle which bumbled into us