En route to Atauro from Dili, Timor Leste
Candle at the Falls.
Lesley takes a bit of fence-hurdling in stride.
Our guide to the falls, and all of Oecusse.
A Traditional Tais
Lesley walking up the valley to the falls.
A Traditional Tais.
Our driver modelling a traditional Tais.
Climbing the valley to the waterfall.
Antonio, our guide to Oecusse, wearing a traditional hat.
The Top of the Valley
The waterfall at the head of the valley divided the low lands from the high villages in the mountains. Control of the valley during the war was strategically important.
Local Water Source.
Water is captured in a small weir at the bottom of the falls and piped down the valley to the village.
Cave with Cross Inside.
Fighting during the war of independence was intense along this valley and many locals lost their lives.
Dry Season Hills.
They turn green n the wet.
Village School Motto
Oecusse Woman's Hat.
Of Portuguese inspiration, these hats look wonderful! They are woven from local materials.
The village school's aims are social as much as academic.
Pet Monkey Shaking Hands.
He is as intrigued by our hands as we are by his.
Like chickens, goats and other animals, pigs generally roam freely. That these two are tethered probably means they are destined for the pot.
Fences are Minimal.
Fences look simple and primitive but are surprisingly elegant in design.
Each extended family has a house where sacred objects are kept and certain ceremonies and offerings are made.
The Street Outside the Village School.
Goats wander freely and seem to be reasonably traffic-conscious.
Graves of Two Warriors
They fought for this land so their villagers didn't need to. Both died of their wounds but the local guy lived longer so he won. You can just see the losers grave on the right.
A dry stone wall is all that remains of a Portuguese fort built to overlook Oecusse.
It takes months to weave a single garment.
The mud in the springs is extremely fine and mixed with an oily base. It feels smooth and velvety on the skin.
Indonesia - Timor-Leste Border Marker
Indonesia - Timor-Leste Border.
From left: our driver, Antonio our guide, Lesley, and our wonderful Tourism contact Irene.
Mud bubbles up from within the earth. It is cold, not hot. The darker color is oil.
Indonesian - Timor-Leste Border
Our guides are in Indonesia; Lesley and I are in Oecusse, Timor-Leste.
Tais Weaving Loom.
Traditional Tais are hand-woven. Women sit with the loom in front of them and it's slow, back-breaking work.
Do Not Adjust Your Monitor.
It could be a Tais weaving.