Tourism drive

I note that the President is urging Australians to come here as tourists.  And I see that a new 5-star hotel resort is on the cards :

The resort will be built between two ridges in Taci Tolu * on the coast of western Dili and will have a five-star hotel with about 350 rooms, a 27-hole golf course set amid lakes, and a business park.

This puts it just west of the existing Timorese defence HQ (and the race course) and just beneath the outstretched hands of the recently erected Pope Paul statue.  It is also just across the road from Dili Rock – a popular diving spot.  And 10 minutes from the airport.

Not that I am a hotel ratings genius, but my current best guess is that Hotel Timor may be a 4-star.  Discovery Inn looks ordinary from the outside but at least it does have a more hotel-ish restaurant and bar.  And the Com Resort is more 3-star-ish with its non-24-by-7 power.

On the more rustic tourism front, I recently did the Mt. Matebian walk.  For more details on how to do it, I would try this site which seems pretty up-to-date to me.  The contacts given in the web page seem to be current.  We did the Uaiboro start option which is gettable by 4-wheel drive in the dry – allow about 7 hours from Dili.  I did the Uaiboro-summit in 4 hours and return in about 2 hours 40 minutes.  I was knackered and drank about 3 litres of fluid during the recovery time at the end.  It was fine but cold at the top, requiring additional clothing.  It was fine but hot at the bottom, requiring as little as possible.

My only failure was my boots.  The sole almost came off one on the ascent and had to be taped back on – this worked.  The left sole came off 30 minutes from the end (no tape left) and I staggered in looking and feeling like a wreck.  My t-shirt looked like a salt pan.

Note that TL does not have a camping/hiking store that can supply typical western supplies so you have to bring what you need.  We used a guide which I think is preferable.  The guy wore cheap running shoes but took them off half-way up and went the rest of the way barefoot.  While I was chugging down the water on numerous occasions, he seemed quite happy to do without.  Near the end, the local kids were laughing at me with my sole-flapping boots as they raced past and around me barefoot on the loose stones and gravel.  Doesn’t it cheese you off !?

* Note that “Taci Tolu” literally means 3 lakes.  They currently exist but after the wet season, 2 of the 3 lakes usually merge to make 2 lakes.