Dili, Timor Leste
I leisurely walked east along Avienda Marginal until I reached the end of the park to catch the longer distance buses which carried passengers to the eastern edge of town where the Cristo Rei statue reaches out over the hill, across the blue waters overlooking the city. I disembarked early to check out the beach, watch swimmers and then ran into my Polish friend from yesterday. He introduced me to his host as we bought simple boxes of rice and chicken from a passing vendor and told me about the hike up to the statue. Though relatively long, the path is well paved with numerous view points and spots for reflection. Once on top, I marveled at the monuments’ huge stature for such a small country and tried to spot the companion statue on the far other end of the city. I decided to enjoy the weather and walked along the coast to a nearby resort where I watched a huge birthday celebration before heading back to the city to search for a new accommodation with better internet. I arranged to move to Hotel Dili after applying my newfound negotiation skills from the Solomon Islands.
One way to find accommodation is through an arranged host family. Unlike using a bookings website, there is usually more vetting and planning required ahead of time. However, a host family will provide a better travel experience as they are able to provide more of a local experience and knowledge.