Fish on a stick at last

Beloi Travel Blog

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Fillies get in early

I had a leisurely breakfast and after thanking Duarte, checked out of the Tua Koin Eco Lodge.  The Fillies collected me and we went to the port to await the arrival of the ferry from Dili.


Beloi was bustling, a hive of activity after the quiet state I saw it in on Thursday.  Saturday’s ferry visit is a welcome part of Atauro Island life and the locals take the opportunity to get some of that tourist money.


I knew there would be new UNPOL arriving on the boat for sure and told the guys I would leave them when it arrived.

Dried fish hanging out all day
  They intended to see the passengers disembark and then go for lunch to return at 2pm when they would see it sail again.


We watched as the ferry approached the concrete wharf and out spilled hundreds of passengers, many carrying boxes and bags of goods for the locals.  I saw a Singaporean UNPOL I knew from Forensics.  Paulo, my LA was a while coming off the wharf and must have been in the last few.


Finally he approached the patrol car and introduced me to his 2 cousins.  We bid farewell to the Fillies but I left my bag in the patrol car so I knew I’d see them when they returned after lunch.


Paulo, his cousins and I wandered around the markets.  I had already done this earlier with the Fillies so I was able to show everything on offer to Paulo.  He was excited by the cost of the fish and what I had been amused about (the dried fish hanging out for the flies) he was very excited about.  He advised me fish in Dili was much more expensive than here on the Island.

Paulo has success as playing with camera.


After seeing everything that was on offer he was asking me where we would go next.  I told him there was not much else to see in Beloi as the village was about an hour from Vila where there were more things to see.  They had considered bringing a motorcycle over but had decided against it in the end.  


I took them down a road running away from the wharf.  This went into the dwellings of Beloi and finished at the government training centre about 800m from the main road.  When we reached the end we sat on the grass under the trees and Paulo played with my camera.  When we had cooled enough we decided to go back for lunch.


I’m not a big fish fan but Paulo found a place that had a good selection of foods and we sat down to eat.  Most of the people had come and gone for lunch so we had time and the pickings of what was left.  I had long considered enjoying a fish on a stick opposite the Eslanada but had not yet.

Paulo delighted with his grilled fish lunch
 I’m happy to report I’ve now had my grilled fish and can say it was as expected.


Paulo and his cousins had one fish after another, each bigger than the last.  They enjoyed it with rice balls and water.  They seemed to enjoy the feast of cheap fish and when we were all done we rinsed off our hands in the water bowl and paid up.  My lunch was a dollar which Paulo was happy to pay, ignoring my protests and my offer of a few notes to help them out with their lunch.


Next I had to secure a ticket to return to Dili.  My timing was good as the bulk of the purchasers had departed.  I met several people in the area of the wharf as we awaited the word to embark.  Some I had met in the past couple of days, other were strangers who were in Timor Leste from NZ.


On the ferry ride back I watched from the deck as we set sail.  The sun was hot and I stayed on deck for about 2 hours of the 2.5hr (25km) sailing.

Sorry to see us go without seeling us their trinkets
 I talked politics and geography with my new NZ friends as Paulo chatted to some friends from Oecussi he had not seen for years.  When the sun became too hot we went down into the lounge and watched WWF on the television.  The Timorese passengers loved the excitement of the show but when it finished a karaoke disc of local Timorese love songs was put on and the lounge became quiet except for the girl beside me singing away softly with the video.


At 5.30pm we docked at the Dili port and caught a taxi.  I had the driver drop me at the hotel and deliver the three cousins to their home.  It had been a good few days on the island.  I was very pleased to have got there after my two failed attempts.  The best thing was I still had 4 days of CTO to go before I had to return to the office.

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Fillies get in early
Fillies get in early
Busy day in port
Busy day in port
Dried fish hanging out all day
Dried fish hanging out all day
Paulo has success as playing with …
Paulo has success as playing with…
Paulo delighted with his grilled f…
Paulo delighted with his grilled …
Sorry to see us go without seeling…
Sorry to see us go without seelin…
All aboard!
All aboard!
Memorial to a killed Suco at the e…
Memorial to a killed Suco at the …
photo by: goezi