We are in Dili

Stephen and I are here. After over a year of thinking about East Timor, we’ve finally arrived. It was a glorious flight from Darwin, with the sun just coming up and reflecting on the water. For the first time I could understand how, in such a small country, the Resistance could remain hidden from the Indonesians and wage a guerilla war for 24 years. Timor is an island with a high ridge running down the middle, with steep slopes on either side and almost totally covered in trees. Dili is on the side of the island opposite Darwin on a small coastal plain.

The airport is tiny, little more than a big hangar and a stretch of tarmac. Simon met us and took us to our hotel. It’s a great little place with a massive terrace covered with a thatched roof and furnished with wicker sofas and chairs with lovely soft cushions. There is a road between the hotel and the beach which is a narrow stretch of white sand, fringed by coconut trees. Somehow I hadn’t realised that this was a tropical island. I’m hoping to find a few spare hours to sit on the terrace with a cool drink and watch the world go by.