Published: December 19th 2005August 9th 2005
Waking up this morning... ehm... noon... with a nice colour pattern, my red and white skin mainly resembling that of a painted Danish soccer fan. I had some delusions about maybe doing a daytrip to Baucau, the second city of Timor Leste, but cannot really work myself into the mood. Instead I head downtown and stock up on some more film before returning to checkout my newfound love, the Dili waterfront. There is some activity in the container port but the rest of the city seems to be in siesta mode. All the street vendors I encounter are curled up in the small patches of shadows that can be found under the trees. I soon decide to follow their example and find a nice spot in front of the presidential palace that also offers a great view of Atauro island. I take care not to sit too close to the road so as not to attract too much attention from the ever present honking taxis and mikrolets.
It is quite comfortable, but the strong breeze makes it impossible to write any log entries to my journal and I am starting to feel a bit like a bum. I half-heartedly decide
to take a closer look at the eastern part of town, an area I haven't really seen that much of. A quick browse through the city map offers some promising sights, and first on the list is the Chinese temple. When I finally find it hiding behind a high wall I can't help but think that the use of the word "largest" feels a bit out of place when describing it. Continuing east along Rua Presidente Nicolau Lobato, the main bar and restaurant street, the expat factor is suddenly on the rise. This seems to be the place for foreigners to hang, and an onslaught of energetic kids touting newspapers and fruits refuse to leave me alone. There is nothing of interest in this neighbourhood so I quickly proceed until I reach the eastern end of downtown, walk past a cute little hospital on the corner and make a turn back towards the western part of town via the beach. I don't really like this part of Dili either, the beach is a popular hangout and ridiculously trashed with litter. There are some intriguing trees here, but their shadows are all occupied by eager fruit and water vendors so I
just continue westward past the floating hotel, a large barge-like ship that used to offer accommocation during the most hectic U.N. days. I don't know if business is that good anymore, perhaps it will have sailed off to some other part of the region next time I visit this town.
Back at the waterfront in front of the presidential palace I give up on touristing and sit down under the tree where I started the days excursion and spend the rest of the afternoon doing nothing. As sun is starting to come down I haul myself over to the Farol lighthouse a few hundred yards away to catch some views of the sundown. I am accompanied by an old German woman with a gigantic videocamera who has got the same idea. Waiting for the sun to come down I peek at the rocks at the base of the tower, they are littered with crabs running around picking fights with each other. This must be considered the highlight of the day. As I make my way back to the hotel a U.N. 4WD drives past and I notice Manuella waiving at me. Somehow I am not surprised at all, I
figure Dili is just the size for chance encounters to happen frequently.
There are more photos below