Thursday, March 6, 2014

Arrival in Dili, Timor Leste

February 24th was the day for a long journey to travel here.  11 hours from Los Angeles to Tokyo, 7 hours from there to Bali.  I was already aware of being in an entirely different world.  Having never been in the tropics, only having experienced hints of true humidity, the uniqueness of this experience was already apparent.
Why did I needed a Visa on Arrival in Indonesia? Timor Leste (a.k.a. East Timor) is it's own country, the newest in the world (est. 2002), after all.  Maybe it is just my limited traveling experience, maybe I've already succumbed to heat exhaustion, maybe I should just deal with it!
Only a few hours to fly from Bali, Indonesia to Dili, Timor Leste.  The airport is small.  I've been in bigger private airstrips in the U.S.  The sun was out, it was hot.  I get my Visa on Arrival, I locate the hotel shuttle driver in a sea of local taxi drivers. 
Dili is the capital of the country.  All business, politics, tourism, etc. starts here.  It sits on a young sedimentary plain that abuts a steep topographic rise into the adjacent hills.  This wall of metamorphic rocks already has my inner geologist's interest held.  BUT, for now, I am first a scientific diplomat, logistic coordinator, and motivator of collaboration. 

photo:  A view from the mountainside above Dili.  Atauro Island is in the distance across the 3000+ meter deep Wetar Straight. 

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