Photos of From Baucau to Lospalos, Timor-Leste

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From Baucau to Lospalos

Baucau is 123 kilometres east of Dili and East Timor's second largest town, at 330 metres above sea level and with about 16,000 inhabitants. Although much of the infrastructure of the city and the surrounding area was damaged or destroyed during the riots that followed the referendum for independence in 1999, it still has many colonial Portuguese buildings, like the Pousada de Baucau (or Hotel Flamboyant, as it was called during colonial days or Hotel Baucau during Indonesian occupation), a large pink hotel, recently renovated after it was thoroughly trashed in 1999.

Mercado Municipal
 
Shop, Kota Baru
 
Boy selling fish
 
Main street and market
 
Baucau main street
 
Trashed building
 
Catholic church
 
Timorese statue
 
Pousada de Baucau
 
Thatched houses
 
Near Osolata
 
Osolata beach
 
Pantai Wataboo
 
Canoe, Osolata
 
School in Venilale
 
View from Venilale
 
Boys of Venilale
 
Laga village
 
Church in Laga
 
Panel, Laga Church
 
Traditional house
 
Village near Laga
 
Portuguese Fort
 
Water buffalo
 
Lospalos market
 
Police patrol car
 
Catholic Church
 
In Lospalos
 
Boys from Lospalos
 
Women and girls
 
Masjid Al Taqwa
 
Portuguese ruin
 
Protestant Church
 
Lospalos children
 
Traditional house
 
Main street, Lospalos
 

The impressive Mercado Municipal buildings of Baucau are due for renovation; meanwhile, Baucau's market is centred alongside it on the street. The Catholic church is flanked by a pavilion, built in the style of the Fataluku people who live on the eastern side of the island.

Two kilometres from old Baucau, above the cliffs that form the backdrop of the town, is Kota Baru (New Town in Indonesian), featuring a market and administrative buildings (some trashed), established during the Indonesian period. Five kilometres downhill from Baucau, past rice fields and small villages, is Osolata, which used to be Baucau's port; the old Portuguese "Alfandega" or customs house still fronts Pantai Wataboo, a beach lined with coconut palms. Osolata is now just a small village with outrigger canoes drawn up the beach.

The small town of Venilale, surrounded by rice paddies, is about 28 kilometres south of Baucau, just off the road that continues to Viqueque. The most notable building is the colourful Escola do Reino de Venilale, a school that was originally built in 1933 and recently restored and freshly painted. It is now used as a library.

Heading east from Baucau, the road follows the coast to the village of Laga, about 19 kilometres away. It has an old Portuguese fort and the large São João Bosco church, featuring a large ceramic panel depicting grateful Timorese introduced to Catholicism by a Portuguese friar. Next to the church is a house, built in the style of the Fataluku people who live further east. It is an elevated house with a high pitched thatched roof. 40 kilometres further on is the village of Lautém with a crumbling Portuguese fort, its walls flanking the road and Japanese bunkers still on the beach.

The town of Lospalos is the centre of the Fataluka people with a population of around 28,000, almost 250 kilometres east of Dili. Although the name sounds Spanish, it is in fact derived from the Fataluku name Lohoasupala. The famous independence leader Nino Konis Santana (1959-1998) was born here. The town suffered a lot of damage from Indonesian militia after the independence vote in 1999 and many buildings along the main road are still in ruins. A replica Fataluku house with it pitched roof and roof decoration, was built in 1990 next to the market. The Catholic church is also topped by a Fataluku house roof.