Looking at the calendar I see I’m into my fourth week in Timor Leste, but I feel I have been here much longer.
Dili is not what I expected. I imagined a beachy, Bali-esque scene with colourful street markets and lush garden cafes but it’s not like that at all. There are gritty city blocks and uneven pavements but also one way streets and traffic lights, large government buildings and extensive supermarkets and I am reminded that this is a new nation with a priority of repair and development after decades of oppression.
The capital is functional, however, whatever it lacks in colour is made up for in its dramatic surrounds. Anywhere you go you can orientate yourself by a spectacular red mountain range which pushes the low-rise urban sprawl out along the coast. It is into these mountains and beyond that James and I will be heading shortly and I am looking forward to seeing what they hold.