In Maubisse

hatobulico_051The town of Maubisse

Farmers come down from the mountains with their horses to the market in Maubisse to sell their produce.

Some wear brightly colored Marlboro cowboy hats and others wear traditional garb. It really seems like Central America with the rugged mountains in the background.

For a westerner there is not a lot to do but the weather is comfortable so it is a good place to stay for the night. Some use it as a base for climbing Mt.Ramailau less than an hour distant near Hatobuilico.

There are at least 2 places to stay. Sara’s and the Pousada de Maubisse.

hatobulico_076.jpgFor the budget traveler or backpacker Sara’s is the cheaper option. It is a family style loseman just up the hill from the Sara’s Restaurant.

She charges 10.00 US a night and they really take care of you with coffee and tea and a nice breakfast in the morning. The owner is a cheerful chap who rebuilt his place after it was destroyed in 1999.

To drive to the loseman you have to go uphill a ways from the restaurant and make a left at the dirt trail that cuts back into the mountain. Your vehicle is secure up there.

Another place to stay is the Pousada de Maubisse. This place is more plush and they offer greatly reduced midweek rates. Around 16.00 US a night. That place has some history to it and the view is superb. The staff is very helpful and accommodating.

hatobulico_087.jpgThere are 2 restaurants that I am aware of. One is Sara’s and the other is Roas Da Montanha just across from the market. I think that Rosas has better food. There are a few small warungs or depots (small eateries) there to but they close down early.

There is a vegetable market you can stock up at if you are equipped with camping equipment and like to cook your own dinners.

Chicken and rice cost around 1.50 and a can of coke is 1.00

Gasoline or benzine as it is called in East Timor is 1.25 US a liter. It is a good idea to make sure that you have enough fuel if you have a small tank like the ones that are on some motorbikes.

hatobulico_040.jpgI ran perilously low on fuel near Hatobuilico and probably wouldn’t have made it back to Maubisse had it not been for a couple of local guys that gave me 2 liters free of charge.

They wanted no payment. That was a very gracious gesture typical of the people here in the country side.

I insisted on giving them 3.50 anyway because the cost of fuel is a big burden to them and it wouldn’t be right to take advantage of their kindness.

The generosity of the Timorese people makes you wonder what triggered the violence that has wrecked the country over the last 30 years.

Maubisse – East Timor

Nov 5, 2006 www.dutchpickle.com

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