08 July 2014 1 of 1


TIMOR-LESTE (Dili Distr.)

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
CATCHING THE TIMOR EXPRESS

It was a 07:00 start from Barry's Place to get back to Dili. Being earlier in the morning, the 2.5-hour journey back was less bumpy, and even seemed faster, than when we travelled out a few days before. Back at Dili we disembarked and brought all our luggage and kit ashore to await Paulo from Rentlo, who brought a bus to pick us up.

The view leaving Ataúro Island by boat

It had been our plan to pick up our passports from the Indonesian embassy, collect our two Troopies from Rentló and hit the road west for Oecusse, but as usual, best laid plans ........

Waiting for Paulo from Rentló we spotted this old Timorese..
His big bag reads "See the World"

 

The passports, with their Indonesian transit visas to allow us to pass through West Timor both going to and returning from the Oecusse exclave, were not ready. Due to the Indonesian election, the embassy had been closed for a day, and this meant our visas would only be processed today. In addition, it appeared that the Ambassador himself had to authorise our transit and that would not happen until the afternoon. As the Oecusse border closes at 17:00 we would not have enough time to get into the exclave, so we decided to overnight in Dili at the TLH (Timor Lodge Hotel).

As no fieldwork was planned this gave everyone the afternoon off, so we headed into town to shop for supplies and took some time out to relax and recuperate. Given that fieldwork in the tropics has led to exhaustion in some team members on previous phases, this may have been a blessing in disguise. In the evening we bumped into Barry at the TLH with a party of Australians he was taking to Baucau. We had missed him at his resort on Ataúro so it was good to catch up.

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