Mountain road to Iliomar
Sometime after Iliomar I came across a ceremony at a local church, ladies were all in costume and dancing and singing outside. The kids were wearing white sashes and some of the girls were in little bridal gowns. Aha a confirmation is on the go. Iím not much for religion but it being Friday I was a bit surprised, I thought all this stuff happened on Sunday?
Anyway I stopped and was mobbed by kids who all went into a frenzy like Santa himself had happened along to join the party. A couple of the older lads restored order with a few well-placed swipes with lengths of thin cane. I asked if it was OK to take some pictures and was invited to do so. The kids got a bit out of control again until a very small older lady stepped forward and took my hands in hers and kissed them. A bit taken aback by this I responded in kind. Well the kids just lost it then but quickly got themselves back in control after a few stern words from the LOL (Little Old Lady) I indicated Iíd like to take a photo of her and she posed nicely, Iím guessing it was her granddaughter who came and stood by her for the photo. Again the instant friend maker came out and I produced a print of the LOL and presented it to her. She and her granddaughter were delighted. Of course the requests came thick and fast then but I picked out some of the more senior folk and told them that the battery was close to finished. As it turns out this was the truth, canít have me telling porkies in front of a church now can we?
At some stage on these rough roads the screw holding the back of the additional fuel tank decided enough was enough and it hit the road. The tank was sagging at the back but still serviceable; Iíd tried a temporary fix with some light rope but it too broke under the strain.
When I finally made it to Lospalos I looked about for a fuel station but not seeing any in obvious locations I asked a local. young lad on a scooter gave me a personal escort to his favourite place where I took on the first fuel since Dili three days ago. I asked him if he knew where I could get a replacement screw for the fuel tank and he took me a couple of blocks down to a mechanic. Within seconds the exact right screw was produced and attached, job done and no charge. We had a few laughs and I was on my way. Decided to stop in Lospalos for the night at the AVR Guesthouse. Itís a lovely old building falling slowly into dereliction, I imagine it would have been one of the more upmarket restaurants in town in a bygone era.