Dili (Part Four)
Timor-Leste

As it was my last night in Timor-Leste, I wanted to find a bar or restaurant to celebrate a successful holiday. On the map I found a small cluster of restaurants on the beach, so I caught a microlet down to the water. The first place I saw was a Thai/Lebanese restaurant (not a common combination), and I was pleased to see they offered happy hour. Sadly, the drinks were terrible, but sitting on cushions on the sand, watching the sunset over the sea, definitely made up for this.

 

I checked out the menus of each restaurant in the area, but none seemed to offer much in the way of vegan food. Instead, I went to the supermarket and for the fourth time in Dili, bought my usual supply of dinner ingredients (including the best tofu ever) and half a bottle of white wine, and enjoyed a feast back in my apartment.

On my final morning, I woke early to go for a run. It was my first run in 11 days, but my legs felt like lead after all the hiking I had been doing. I followed the coastline away from the city, where traffic was minimal and the sun was rising from behind a mountain. Even while running I was subjected to the ‘malae’ call, but at least there weren't many people awake at that hour.

 

I had seen nothing resembling souvenirs anywhere in Timor-Leste, but I heard about a small market that mostly offered tais, a colourful woven fabric. I went down to see if they sold anything else.

 

I'm not sure how this market has survived. There were maybe 30 tiny stalls that all sold exactly the same items, and I was the only person there. I had no use for a tais, and I wasn’t in the market for a Timor-Leste T-shirt or a multicoloured bag. There wasn't much else to see. I left soon after arriving.

My next stop was the Santa Cruz cemetery, the scene of a bloody massacre by Indonesian troops on unsuspecting Timor youths in 1991. The Resistance Museum had explained the event in detail, and the video footage was awful to watch. The cemetery today is jam-packed with tombstones that are so close together it was almost impossible to walk between them. I couldn't imagine what it had been like for the Timorese people on that day.

 

Before leaving Timor-Leste, I returned to restaurant Dilicious for an early lunch, opting for an eggplant tomato dish. It wasn't as good as the curry I had on my first day in Dili, but I was relieved it wasn't rice and greens (although it did come with these on the side). I then hopped on a microlet, cramming all my luggage into the tiny van, and made my way to the airport.