Victor Valley College Tropical Research Initiative
Herpetofauna of Timor-Leste
Phase VII

Maliana to Dili, Dili District

After a breakfast of coffee and buns in the yard of Hotel Risky we headed back to Dili, another 140 km drive but on largely much better roads than the Fatucahi to Maliana road.

Breakfast at Risky's!

Enroute we could see the border crossing point we have used previously to travel through Indonesian West Timor to the Timorese Oecusse exclave, and also the Indonesian island of Alor, behind the Timorese island of Ataúro where we have also conducted fieldwork. Alor is the closest location for the Indonesian spitting cobra (Naja sputatrix).

In the distance the coastal border post Zoomed image of the border
Indonesian Alor and Timorese Ataúro


On the final run towards Dili we stopped off at the haunting Maubara Lake in Liquiça District. The 'petrified' or rather drowned, trees really give the place an atmosphere. We watched the pelicans on the lake and sighted a Timor tree monitor (Varanus timorensis) on a tree. This species had been our first herp of the trip and was almost our last too.

Views of Maubara Lake
Pelicans on Maubara Lake
The Troopies at Maubara Lake

In Dili we returned to our usual chalets at the Timor Lodge Hotel to complete the specimen prepping and photography, begin the wind-down, sort and pack kit, clean and store the field kit for Phase VIII, and prepare to to our various homes.