Day 410. 72km. Hera – Lalela

Posted: July 7, 2016 in Cycling, Timor Leste
Tags: , , , ,

Someone has transported me to Australia. The countryside has suddenly changed to the dry rolling hills north of Adelaide covered in dry grass and dotted with trees. The south side of Timor is wet, and the north – where I am – is dry. Sharing the same poor soil as Australia, I’ve left the Indonesian tropical landscape for something more familiar. I feel close to Australia now, and I am happy.

Dry

Dry

Also it is hot, but not infinitely humid. I can cope with this heat. We climbed and dropped following the coast, sometimes in the bright, hot sun, but it was not such a sweaty affair. We stopped for a swim in the clear blue water, and I passed 36000km from Eindhoven.

36000km

36000km

Clement is homesick, thinking of France all the time. I feel I am getting closer and closer to Australia. In a few days I will be on Jaco Island – the closest point I will get to Australia before leaving Timor (hopefully by boat).

The dry landscape is uninhabited. Long stretches without people – something we are not used to. Every now and then the countryside bursts into life with greenery and expanses of rice paddies. There is life, but it is concentrated around the rivers. We stopped early tonight when we passed by a couple of white women in a small village (after a long stretch of nothing). They were from Australia, working for the church and the community as nurses. We got talking, and now find ourselves in something quite close to a monastery. Some friars prepared beds of us, and as I write this, the monks are singing outside my window.

Postscript: Sister Clara had her birthday today. Clement and I sat opposite her at the long table under the bright fluorescent light as we shared a meal with the whole community. It was a meal with lots of singing and clapping. Two sisters, two friars, Bernadette – our nurse friend – and a group of students all sang along. And then the cake appeared, and the champagne. Sister Clara, and everyone, are a very happy, smily bunch, and passionate about what they do. Good on them! What an opportunity to experience such a different life in this remote community on this remote island! There’s a good vibe when good people are doing good work.

Sister Clara cuts the cake

Sister Clara cuts the cake

Comments
  1. Congratulations with your 36.000km great experiences. (It takes me three year to get 36.000km). Nearly home !

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Congrats on 36,000 km. That’s quite a milestone. How long before Clement goes home?

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