Posts Tagged ‘Dili’


‘Sure! You can come along!’
The sailors of the Darwin to Dili yacht race were sitting around the table drinking, laughing and telling stories. One of them will be returning to Darwin, and Clement and I are allowed to join them. A dream come true!

Darwin to Dili trophies

Darwin to Dili trophies

Today’s cycling was a dusty affair. I popped over the high pass into a new, much drier valley, and over a second little pass into the dry, Australian-like landscape. Timor has two climates, and the border is the mountains. It is fascinating to see everything change so suddenly. Water is the bringer of life.

The green middle valley

The green middle valley

The dry side

The dry side


‘How about this race here?’ I asked, pointing to the trophy on the desk. ‘The Darwin to Dili yacht rally? When is that?’
Cargo boats don’t allow passengers to Australia. I saw the trophy on the desk in the hotel reception and asked about the rally – it appeared it might be just great for us.
‘They will be arriving around the 11th of July, some returning to Darwin a few days later.’
We spent the day phoning around, making plans, and then leaving the expensive Dili to a beautiful village on the coast.

The road out of Dili

The road out of Dili

We left our lovely friends in the morning, and after circuiting around Dili a few times – a rather uninspiring town – we cycling along an amazing coastal road in the soft evening light. Our goal is the furthest point east on Timor island, and the closest place to Australia. Then we’ll return to Dili to see what the universe may provide for us.

Our friends in Dili

Our friends in Dili

The road out of Dili

The road out of Dili

The road out of Dili

The road out of Dili


The kids ran out of the staff area screaming ‘PORTUGAL!’
I poked my nose in after the stampede was over to discover Portugal had beaten Poland in the Euro football. Portugal flags were flying today. Imagine if they were to win..

Our friends at the school

Our friends at the school

The kids started in the morning singing in the church service in the next building. It was a lovely sound – the kids could actually sing well which was not a prerequisite for the call to prayer at the mosques in Indonesia. The whole atmosphere was harmonious and peaceful – a collection of airy buildings around a central square of dry earth in this remote island. I felt transported back to yesteryear in the time of the missionaries. Christianity was central to everything in this school, and a tranquil happiness pervaded. We were welcomed by the 5 priests/teachers who were happy to share their experiences with us. Breakfast was freshly baked bread with jam – a delicacy I have not had for a long time.
We also met an elderly gentleman from southern Germany – a carpenter who has been travelling the world to where his church sent him, building schools, houses, churches and other things. He has taught many people so they can take their skills and use them elsewhere. He has had quite a life in the most forgotten places on the planet.

Today the road hugged the coast, sometimes over flat plains, and a long stretch high above the sea, climbing and dropping along the mountainous coast. We stopped just before Dili and have been welcomed by a lovely family.

The coastal road to Dili

The coastal road to Dili

The coastal road to Dili

The coastal road to Dili