After wild camping on the coast between Manatuto and Baucau I headed off with the intent of getting to Lospalos, however somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn and found out I was heading towards Viqueque. Iíd intended to come back this way in any case so I just kept going. The country is pretty dry but the mountain scenery is still pretty spectacular.
The road was still pretty crappy but I could make reasonable time averaging 20 to 30 kmh while I was moving but the frequent stops for sightseeing and photography slowed me down more.
The town of Viqueque is set in a nice pocket of rainforest with a lovely waterfall right in town. I found a guesthouse and considered staying the night but the price at $40 was out of my range so I kept going to the southern coast of Timor.
I stopped briefly to have a look at the beach and was considering setting up camp in what looked to be a coconut plantation but some bloke came along and said something which by his arm action and tone sounded like ďpiss off Noddy, youíre not camping hereĒ but it could well have been ď look at that sky, what a brilliant dayĒ however I still had a few hours of sun left so decided to play it safe and keep going.
A bit further along I passed a family farm and spied the father busy at work on what was once a tree but now was being transformed into a boat so I invited myself in and by means of hand and body language asked if I could watch. Anyway to keep it short, I was treated like the honoured guest and invited to sit in the only chair in the shade. I took a couple of pics and some video of the bloke hard at work and then the little kids lined up for a photo so I took one of them. Now I bought out the friend maker; my little Polaroid instant photo printer and before their very eyes produced a print of the kids. Mother was over the moon with this and ran out to the road to show people going by. When she got back and calmed down we took a nice family portrait to print as well, then a couple of the older sisters wanted a photo.
Hit the road again as time was running out to find a decent camp. About halfway between Beacu and Iliomar I came to the perfect spot.
I thought I was in the middle of nowhere; Iíd gotten well off the road and hadnít seen a car or any other vehicle for over an hour. I just got dinner cooking and bugger me some bloke comes walking up the hill, waltzes over and sits down to stare at me. After the usual pleasantries I gave him a pack of dried banana and wished he would take that as a parting gift but he just sat and stared. I tried my best to let him know it was getting late and that he really should be moving on but just more sitting and staring at my tent, stove, food, water, and Postie Bike most of all. You might imagine what was going on in my head when without a word but a big smile and wave he ups and off over the hill. Phew! Why do we always think the worst of people?
Anyway I had a great sleep and up at sparrow fart to get the cam packed up, try for internet, unsuccessfully and hit the road.
This next section from camp to Iliomar was to be some of the roughest road so far but also the most rewarding. This section is pretty much virgin coastal rainforest and is lovely to ride through. The road descended into deep gullies to cross small creeks and then climbed high for sweeping views of the coast. At times I was concerned that if I couldnít climb the other side of the gully that I might not be able to backtrack either, but I should never have doubted the Postie it just kept going.
Now Iím in to very remote areas seldom visited by travellers, the villages here are about as traditional as they can get and at times I feel like Iím riding through the pages of National Geographic.
The road continued up into the mountains, some sections very rough but other sections of smooth surface made road shaded by a canopy of leafy trees, it was so good to get into 4th gear for a while. Iíd fitted a tiny voltage converter to charge the computer but with such slow progress the motor hasnít been revving hard enough to produce much in the way of electricity. Even with the headlight turned off the computer only managed to get up to about 30 percent charge.