Day 76 – There and back again

Flo woke me up quite urgently because the sun was rising right outside of our room. I stumbled out, into the hammock and we watched the sunrise.

From bed to hammock, that is as far as Nina got.

From bed to hammock, that is as far as Nina got.

A quick check of the clock told us that it was 6.30am and breakfast would be served at 7am.

I never have a problem with breakfasts (being vegetarian) and this one was great. Fresh bananas and pieces of oranges next to omelettes and hard-boiled eggs. As a baseline, there are always small, round bread rolls with jam, honey, peanut butter or marmite. It was delicious and I stuffed myself. Right after breakfast, we realized that we’ve forgotten to take our doxycycline today. So back to the table and more food…oh, the pains. 😉

We packed a daypack for hiking and went to talk to Barry about hiking to Mario’s place. Mario’s place is on the opposite side of the island with a hike leading across to it.

Like a map for a treasure hunt ;)

Like a map for a treasure hunt 😉

Barry gave us a basic map of the track (no markings) and we packed our lunch in the kitchen before heading off.

The first 1 ½ hours are along the road. Despite us leaving in the early morning, it was hot and the track was lacking trees for shade. However, the view back down to Beloi and the bay was great.

Finally, we came to the first real turn and the track went off into a forested part, leading past limestone walls and caves. Some of them are gigantic, with roots from trees hanging down. Immediately, it was cooler and the slight breeze refreshing. A couple of goats could be seen at both sides of the path.

Looking towards the church

Looking towards the church

We walked through the village of Arlo where our map showed a church and some pig pens. It was rather empty though and we were wondering if the majority might be attending church on a Sunday.

Climbing over some fences, we left Arlo again, heading for the coast. The path continued much as it had before Arlo with forests and rocks until we came to a breakthrough in the escarpment. The ocean on the other side came into view as well as the steep path leading down.

I was slightly worried but the limestone offered many handholds and places to put your feet so it was no problem at all. Soon we saw the fisherman’s huts noted on our map and turned to walk along the beach. This proved to be quite exhausting as walking on sand generally is, and again the sun was burning down on us mercilessly. Two great big trees gave us one small resting place while the rest of the walk was unshaded. We saw even more goats here at the beach and then arrived at Mario’s place.

Mario is a local from Adara Village who operates an eco lodge similar to Barry’s place. It is a more basic accommodation but the place is beautiful, right at the beach.

Photobombing pet pig *grin*

Photobombing pet pig *grin*

Mario, who had seen us yesterday when we disembarked the ferry, welcomed us. We sat down, ate our lunch (even though Mario invited us to his lunch buffet…we didn’t want to carry ours back) and drank coke and coffee. Here, we met Chantal again and also a lovely Argentinian traveller named Leah.

When we were well rested, we started on the long way back. Mario refilled our water bottles without any charge and showed us a path next to the beach which we could take back to the escarpment. This one was shaded and easier to walk than the sand.

Climbing up the escarpment with the sun on our backs was quite exhausting. Flo ate our last emergency banana when we were up and then we had to walk the last hours home.

In Arlo, we talked to a couple of locals and while nobody spoke English, they all were happy with exchanged “botardi” and “obrigada”s. At one hut, three small children waved at us enthusiastically. Their mother allowed us to take a picture so now we have Timorese kids as a photo memory as well.

Trotting along the road...clearly lacking enthusiasm at this point =P

Trotting along the road…clearly lacking enthusiasm at this point =P

The track along the road stretched like chewing gum and I was very happy when we made it back to Barry’s at 6pm.

We were more than ready for a shower and dinner.

Mario was also here. He has his private route from his place to Barry’s place that only takes him 1 ½ hours to walk but which includes a lot of climbing and is too dangerous for tourists.

He showed us a short documentary “Wawata topu” in which he was involved about the women spear fishers of Ataúro.