Saturday, April 4, 2015

First station revisited in Indonesia

Upon Cooper and I arriving in Kupang, Indonesia, we reunited with Nova Roosmawati to make the tour through our 22 stations currently operating in the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT).  Last year, during our installation phase, it was hot and somewhat dry.  In March, the wet season has completed and it is green and lush, and the temperature is noticeably cooler.  Perhaps even more helpful is the fact that it is the down season for tourism, both within Indonesia and internationally.  It is a pleasure to be back in our field headquarters!
We first visited a station in Timor that is a four hour drive from Kupang (this time of year...), the small village of Lelogama. Last year's installation has a brutal and adventurous seven hour drive that included a near collapse of a bridge.  We learned that a truck had blocked the same bridge about a week ago when it reportedly partially sunk into a section of the span.  We received info that it was passable and arrived in Lelogama 3.5 hours later.  This was our first servicing and data collection of the equipment that is loaned to our project from the U.S.-based IRIS-PASSCAL instrumentation center.  We are happy to report that the station was working flawlessly!

The office sign at the Camat office, identifying
the 'county' (Kapubaten Kupang), the village group
(Kecamatan Amfoang), and the village (Lelogama).
We traversed the rough road to Lelogama in style, a beastly Toyota Hilux 4x4.  The scenery is beautiful, and the geology is spectacular.  Our trip started in the perched coral terraces in Kupang, travelled through a large section of the enigmatic Bobanaro Melange (this geologic unit deserves an entirely separate blog entry), and ended in volcanic and carbonate rocks that belong to the infamous Banda Terrane.

Our parking spot for lunch.  Tidak masala (no problem) traversing the roads!  

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