epic travels

Jaco island/ Timor-Leste 🇹🇱 day 90 island hoping

Jaco island Where to begin, so much to write and reevaluate. Well for starters I will say that I have been to hundreds of beaches in my life over a hundred islands and this place is by far the best I have ever seen. So while I have a 10 hour bus ride back to the capital I will begin my writings, I hope you will follow suit, maybe follow my same track or even follow your own guide, your own way, because no matter what, it will be an adventure.

My adventure started off at the capital Dili, of the country Timor Leste or East Timor. A very small country and a very new country with lots of history to tell. This country might be small but it’s no walk in a park, that is for sure, limited tourist information, long days, bumpy rides and severe rain during the wet season of November-February. Although they say March and April is the time to visit with everything green, alive and scenic magic, I came during the dry season, which is okay for me, I am a budget traveler and I can not meet every destination at the perfect time, I have to follow a certain route to keep my costs down on travel expenses.

Upon leaving of Dili I had talked to people and tried to get as much information I could get before I headed off. I had already went to the island north of Dili, Atauro, which was amazing experience you can read on my other blog. So after Atauro I had achieved so much experience about Timor and what the people say and what is exactly true. Mostly everything you hear in Dili is not true at all, unless it is specially from a person of only his village. This nation is to poor for locals to travel around and all the foreigners really have not been anywhere they just hear rumors. Which I posted another blog about rumors of this country, you can read it also. I am a thriller, a pure hearted adventurer, I go the distance to achieve what I want and I go hard. Living a local life is not easy, sometimes not fun such as this bus ride lol, but at least they not blaring the music. Some days are better than others but as a backpacker, my day usually always ends with a smile. For the thousands of miles I have traveled, dozens of countries I have been to, nothing can compare to traveling when you are actually engaged into the local lives.

Kid with a bed to eat ;

Cooking some american style bar b cue for the locals to learn and taste ^

Got invited to a birthday party and joined in;

When coming to Timor everyone had told me how expensive this country is, I didn’t want to believe them nor would I chose to care. I survived Japan and that place is dramatically expensive, most of America is cheaper than Japan. So to me I can survive anything in the rest of Asia even if I have to go back eating one plate of rice a day like in Japan. I meet an Italian man getting my visa situated to do a land crossing from Indonesia in Bali at the embassy of Timor. The Italian man said he had a business and I asked how expensive it was and he said just depends. Then I asked how much you pay the locals monthly, he said $120. Instantly I thought to myself, how could a place be expensive at all when locals only make $120 a month. Right there was my answer, yes to business’s want money and want to charge westerners extra, of course, but I don’t travel to be with westerners, if I wanted that I’d just stay home, no I choose to learn the culture and the best way for this is to be one on one with the locals. And after being in this country for one month, it is not expensive, just as cheap as Indonesia, will you find great deals at every corner, not at all, you have to search and live the adventure, but lucky for you I will give you my route, and my experience about this blog of me going to one of the best islands I have ever been too, one of the most spectacular beaches with the whitest of white sand, with so many colors your mouth will water when you see it, your eyes will water because you can not shut them, trying to soak in every single pixel of pure gods gift of perfect beauty. I don’t just rate this beach an overall A+ because of the sand and water color, No,no, this is just the icing of a German chocolate cake. But when your mouth is in perfect tone with the food/beach and you dig in, go under, then you experience the magic. BAM! OmG, a personal aquatic tank, coral everywhere, fish in every corner of your eye. Swimming with limited gear and only having a mask I was running out of breathe, trying to keep myself down as much as possible to soak up every living admiration I could possible seek to see under this beautiful clarity, gorgeous scenery, and most of all I did it all naked. That’s right naked, I was the only person on this whole island, a dream, a desire one has seeked for a long time. I couldn’t have asked for anything better except I wish I had stayed longer, but again lucky for you I will give you the best route I had taken through the most wide open arms of love in this world.

Their is a tourist office in Dili, actually a couple of them but this is the newest one and has quit a bit of information, it is near the markets and near some restaurants along with arm machines.

Here is a map of the bus schedule you will need if wanting to do the local route and go on the microlets which is a van type bus that drive you around Dili for twenty five cents. One forth of a dollar, cheap. It took me two buses to reach the main bus station Becora, from where I was staying at Lugabutty hostel for $6.60 with free breakfast and has meals for $1.50.. Again cheap. I got on the number ten bus then got on the number two that took me to Becora. The whole reason for me going to Jaco island was because I had meet a guy next door to Lugabutty on the east side and his name was Michael.

Michael lives in Lospalos and I have heard quit a bit from many people about this region, it being one of the richest, and it having the most means of the country from its history, to its farms and to its military and beauty. The crocodile is worshipped here with painting dated back 18,000 years ago on the island of Atauro and I am sure other paintings are found also I just don’t know where. Going to the island Jaco their was some more paintings found by geologist but when I searched I didn’t find anything. More to come about this during my story. Eager to go though to this side where people have said crocodiles walk the cities at night time, where you can see hundreds of them and they are hardly ever hunted but kept secrete with people believing if you kill them they will kill you. I told all them how good they tasted and they seemed like I was the devil, lol 😆😬. Life goes on, it is quite amazing what people believe on this earth. I have heard the number 7 is always used in this region, it is luck or is there actually a reason. From what I can gather up at the archaeologist sites is the number 7 actually represents of what they say as a geometric two sided 7 angles animal. By looking at the picture they say a person with a bow n arrow hunting this animal is found in many places throughout Timor. The picture does clearly look like a man with a bow n arrow but as far as the other drawing, well it is bigger than the human, but almost looks like a spider to me, but I don’t let me know what you all think.

But this is where I believe they get this number from and boy do they still use it in their culture. Almost everything cost $7 or even $17. Something has to hold the number 7. If you marry a woman here you have to give 77 cows. Crazy. I don’t see how this is possible at all when each cow cost around $1000 is what I have heard. That is 77,000 dollars and that is as much as a whole entire family would seek working their whole life here. I don’t know and hard to believe some of these stories but as far as the marriage goes here, I have heard from all over the whole country you have to give animals to the girls parents as a gift or maybe as a retirement plan for the parents. It surely is quite different from the westerner world, but I can understand it. Everything depends on the situation. Let’s say their is two families named Ed and named Star. Ed has 8 kids and five boys, three girls. Star has three kids all girls. One set of the kids want to marry from Ed and Star kids. Well since Star only has girls Ed’s son will actually have to move in with Star and also give animals and perhaps some money. Have heard all sorts of differences from one goat, one pig, $100, and one blanket, to I have heard 77 cows. So I guess give or take on this. But since Star only has girls a boy would have to live with him and the family so they could be taken care of the rest of their life and also would be granted the farm animals. I suppose this is also a tradition to get a family on their feet and make sure the man is really wanting to marry. But let’s say one of Stars daughter already married and already have the husband living with them and one of his next daughters is going to marry, well Star could possible just ask for the items and let the daughter move in with her husband family. So you get the idea of what I am trying to state here. Very unique, creative and different. So if anyone is will I get to marry here just be prepared to buy some farm animals and it is actually quite easy to marry here. But I heard of you take the girl away from the country not only do you pay the parents you also pay the government 😉.
Micheal invites me to his home and I tell him I will go but I have a wedding I got invited to so after that I will join. The wedding was awesome, very formal like a western style wedding but with a lot of people, like whole villages that come. It was interesting to see and hear how everything goes down. And supposedly the girls parents actually pay for the wedding which could cost over ten thousand dollar with almost all of it spent on food feeding hundreds of people. The food was delicious, with some beer, wine and liquors, it was a wild night dancing till 3 am. So funny watching everyone dance when the music started, song would start everyone would slow dance like in middle school, then song over everyone would sit and then song would start playing again and everyone would get back up. Reminded me so much of middle school, or some call it lower grad school. Basically schooling around 12 years of age. Was pretty funny actually 🤣

After the wedding I headed off next day, only getting a couple hours of sleep after helping them clean up the place I had missed the bus that goes straight to Lospalos from around 4 am-6 am, which I went to bed at 6 drunk, I needed some kind of sleep. Waking up at 8 not leaving until after food and getting here at 10 am, which took like an hour to get to Becora bus station in the microlets. Once arrived they told me the buses already left for Lospalos so I asked if their was another bus, like half way. Yes I can go to Macadai and then jump on another bus to Lospalos. Not only dos the driver tell me this two other people told me on the bus as well. Once I got to the bus station drop off I had asked more people and they told me bus could come just wait. I arrived here at 4:30 pm. Had some kids come up and bother me about wanting to go back to Dili and have no money. I finally gave in and gave $2.50 and a couple apples. They defiantly looked like they were from Dili but who knows. He got on a bus and left.
Waiting at the bus stop and nothing even around 8 pm I asked some other guys and one knew English he said yes they should come. At nine I went up by the hotels and talked to them and both them told me no buses until morning time. Welcome to Timor where it’s very few that know much. But hey good thing I am the genie pig, meaning I am the messenger, I am the trail runner, the ghost rider, but good thing I am Thor and I can sleep anywhere. The hotels I didn’t even ask about price I just popped my hammock up between two sign and went to bed.

Woke up ready to get on bus where I heard the buses will start running at 8 am, well 7:30 rolls on by with a blue Toyota four runner and the man asks where I am going . I say Lospalos he said yeah me too. I made sure by showing him the map, he had a young girl in back so I figured it was safe, asked him how much he told me five dollars, ok as much as a bus lets go. A very nice ride much better than a bus, and could stop a lot more places, while riding he told me he had a motel, and I said I couldn’t afford that but I had asked how much. He said $20 included meals, with hot water. Sounds good but out of my budget and I am meeting Michael and told me I could stay for free. So after meeting family of this man that gave me a ride which his name is Antonio which spoke English pretty good, the girl in the vehicle was his daughter. On the way we had stopped at Timor salt farm and wow the salt was very good, not to salty and had just right amount of taste, I liked it a lot, and all this salt they claim they get every month, month after month, wow what a lot of salt 😮

We drove past some luwalk animals that where shot and sold for guess how much $7. Antonio said very good meat, I should have tried but I didn’t maybe next time.

So finally arriving I have some coffee see the home and I go find this Michael, had no phone, no contact just a picture of him on my phone and he told me a restaurant he always hangs out at, so I drove around with the picture and finally found a kid that knew him, he took us there and what do you know. Michael left yesterday back to Dili, I had asked him before how long he would stay out here and he told me like one month. Well again welcome to Timor. So I go back to Antonio place and the first thing on my mind is how can I get to Jaco island. Again I can sleep anywhere so I just need the ride and I had already brought a large bag full of food, I asked Antonio brother how much he can rent bike for and I finally got a decent deal I wanted. Next came them wanting me to stay, which I knew I couldn’t afford but they asked me stay and I told them I couldn’t afford that. I had asked them why they charging same price for room of two people at $20 when I am only one person. I got them down to $15 with all meals and boy was it surely enough food. The motor bike I got a really good deal at and let’s just say I got it for less than Dili charges which I have heard at $25 a day. I am defiantly a bargainer and I would also like to help this family out as much as I can. So I got a better deal by putting them on maps of Google and maps.me, maps.me app is the best app you could possibly get while being a traveler. Next I also said I would sponsor them as much as I could by putting information out here so other travelers can come and experience a journey like I did. So here is all their information you shall need.

Antonia / #67077265434

He calls his motel, Donna motel, which is his wife. There is a small sign on the right hand side of road going to Lospalos from Bauro. Their is no physical address out here in these villages and towns. His village name is Titlari.

He has a vehicle you can rent for $100 a day. Or he will take you too all the local spots close by on a day tour consisting of beach, local aborigine tribes, waterfalls, and some jungle along with mint aims and scenery. The places he will take you is as such ( Kon, Lori, lliomar, Luro and of course the famous Jaco island. ) I did not go to any of these places besides Jaco and I went by myself. It cost me around $11 for fuel and rent price of bike. If you wanted to visit all these places it might possible take a week to do with some free time in between. If wanting to rush it I’d assume you could do it all in probably 4 days. Jaco took me one whole day to do. I would have loved to see the original aboriginal ( aborigine ) people as well as some of the original houses people still reside in along with old historic caves with drawings as I had previously listed along with these pictures.
Antonio said he is going to buy two more motorbikes and hopefully get his business going, I spent many hours trying to help these people and get a better idea of what westerners want and how backpackers feel. Most backpackers don’t want to come here because they see the prices on booking.com and instantly do not want to come. This is not true if you actually put just a little bit of effort and keep a smile, you will be surprised what is around the corner. These people are wide open in their arms and in love, having some bargaining skills can get you a long ways here, trust me this people make very little money and really have no money for any kind of resources at all, half the population works in Dili just to make something. So a little to these people is actually a lot, you coming to a place such as Lospalos you can find these deals I write down along with other people reviews which is slim to none and I hadn’t went to any other places but I would never choose a different spot than Antonio, Donna motel. They are very musical inclined with every piece of music instrument there, their food was delicious and way to much for me to eat, they took me fishing in the lakes in back, they have fresh coconuts, the place was clean for a farm house and he even had some deer as pets. They had just about every animal insight and the kids were lovely along with the whole family. I’d highly recommend this place and at $15 with all the food I wish I didn’t bring any of my food at all. The bathrooms had hot water, along with free tea, coffee, and good water, you couldn’t ask for a better person to pick me up and tag along especially after Michael had left and I got a chance to see the best frontal beach and island in this world so far. Thanks family.

This home definitely felt like a western home as you can see in the pictures above and now below. Was a nice place to stay and had everything a western could love. Watch the video also.

So the bus is $8 to Lospalos and $8 back, along with the room/ food included, the boat ride to Jaco island is $10, so $5 each way. I did bring out a solar panel because in town everyone was telling me they charge $20 each way, this is not true at all. Maybe they try and get that much but I bought a $10 solar panel to charge phones and such and lucky for them their charger quit working. I can not stress enough how some of these village people have nothing and bringing something light to carry and giving them as a gift is something special. Can be anything, be creative, new clothes, solar stuff, a football, paper and pens for the kids, BOOKS, quit being cheap you can spend $3 and not drink a couple of beers one night to actually help people out. I wish people would donate to my cause so I can give more to the people that actually need it and I can see what they need. As for other organizations such as Red Cross only about 15% of the donations is actually used towards the people. The rest people just steal and pocket the money.

Waking up at 6am and eating and leaving at 7 I was on my way to Jaco. The bike I a, on is badass, defiantly got some balls, like a bored out 250 two stroke, but this was a four stroke I’d say around 400. It was a good ride, and I went to the big lake but was almost completely dry, I did hear lots of crocodiles in the big lake but I wouldn’t even know where to look and my journey was about this island, to top it I am from Florida USA so I have seen many alligators and not to much difference. Approaching Jaco you have to go down this steep mountain, I seen someone walking so I pull over and he gets on. While going down many times he had to get off so I can have more control and even then I about lost it. If going to rent a bike you better be highly experienced or you are going to wreak. If you touch your front breaks you most likely will wreak, and even touching the back breaks was a challenge because if going over a bump the lever would just jam in the dirt or pop back up. They are however rebuilding the road so I’d say in 3-4 months it should be good but that will be the rain season so I’d say next year would be a good start. When dropping the guy off it was a boat man, so I assume I would have already got a good deal but man where they so overwhelmed by the gift. I was happy to give it to them.

Once you reach the beach area you will already be in love, the colors, the setting of the island and beach is perfect from east to west to get the perfect tan, the breeze coming off the main ocean and seeing all the beautiful nature around. The boat ride takes about 20 mins to your dream and you can tell them a time and they will pick you back up. Going over the main channel the water is dark blue with some wind coming at you. When getting closer to the island you begin to see the water change colors, then you start to see the bottom the clarity and seeing all sorts of colors with the sun just beaming off the perfect white sand, you feel heaven is approaching. When you get off the boat and the sand is so perfect, the colors are spectacular, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. No chemtrails in sight, not that you really see any in Asia anyways only by some major cities, the sun fully out with some clouds, all alone on an island just by myself I get naked, walk around seeing all the beautiful rock formations of coral, and playing in the sand. On the west side of the beach area I see a huge eagle, I walk around for an hour or so checking it out really wishing I had brought my hammock and stayed the night, but I didn’t and time was ticking away so I tried to do what I could. On the map the island looks very small, but you will need all day long like ten hours to walk it, so prepare if you want to do that. I am sure their is over beautiful spots as well on the island but I did not go. After the walk I jump in the water, I watched a video on YouTube before I came and the camera person put his camera in water and I seen nothing but rocks. Well where he was at was not where I was at. Where the boat man puts you right to the left side go in the water and keep swimming left and you will see the amazing beauty. Everywhere was coral, everywhere there was small to big fish. Without a snorkel I was struggling to keep my head down because so much was to see, so I highly recommend you bring a mask and snorkel. I got lucky and the boat man had a mask. Buy some extra ones and leave it with the boats so other people can have a chance to see this beauty. Corals all different sizes, and fish everywhere, it was like your own Disney world fish tank, and the clarity of the water was the best I have ever seen. This is why I rate this number 1, not just because of perfect white angel soft sand, not just because of a perfect setting of the island on the sun, nor to say the least of how perfect clear and colorful the water was, but the coral, the underwater life was fabulous, spectacular, amazing, a dream, a heaven, a paradise. I loved every minute of it and I’d go back in a heart beat.

After leaving I seen some archeologist sites close to Jaco island on the main land. I will state this, I didn’t find anything, there was zero markings about anything, the trail leads you off so many places after hours of searching I found these places only to find nothing just some caves. The caves were cool but I have seen hundreds of caves and wanted to see some history. They did have some really nice signs that showed where these greedy archeologists found the stuff but had no markings, even their meter gauge was wrong when it said 200 meters and it was over 400 meters. I was highly pissed, not happy wasting hours upon hours of my time only to find some caves. Like how hard is it to mark in the caves what you found or what you see. I used my lights and all for hours and didn’t find one drawing. I even went all the way to the beach where so,e guesthouse a were to see if the people would bring me and that didn’t work out so well. I told them how can you get more interested tourists here by not having no signs up, you think people is only interested in this island and nothing else about history. So you can waste your time like I did but good luck finding anything. This is what the signs had read. And since it was dark when I left it took me three hours to make it back. End of rant.
Maybe I shouldn’t have put this but it was part of my trip. I am trying to give the reader an idea of how I feel, what I do, how I think, to give the complete ideal journey I had accomplished. I have spent hours of writing this, hours of downloading and hours of doing this journey. I hope you have enjoyed, please share so others can see, please like and subscribe to see future blogs I will be posting and please leave some comments, let me know what you all think. Share the love people! Happy days, cheers, peace!

Update:                                                                                                                                         I got my first explorer to read my blog and follow through on some of my experiences and I am so thrilled. She took the long haul all the way to Jaco Island and was amazed just like i was. Here is our comments and emails and i hope to get more.

Comment: Hey, I’m traveling to Timor Leste tomorrow and saw the link to your blog on a booking review. I just want to thank you so much for writing down all this information and sharing your stories! They are truly inspiring and I just want to let you know that your posts are helping me a lot to get prepared for TL and making some plans. 
Keep going with your blog, I will follow your next stories. 🙂


Time: September 20, 2018 at 2:43 am
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Contact Form URL: https://forestdestine.wordpress.com/contact/

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Amelie Neubauer

Dec 11, 2018, 7:05 AM (1 day ago)
to me
Wow Yess Jacco Island blew my mind, got into the water with my snorkel mask and couldn’t believe I was already in the middle of a coral garden, 5 minutes later I turned to the right and saw a white tip shark, later on I saw a sting Ray and some other cool fish… It was one of the best places in the world for me!

Epic! Forest Destine

7:42 AM (1 minute ago)
to Lia
Very cool! absolutely agree, ive been diving and snorkeling for a long time and it sure was paradise. glad you enjoyed and glad i could help you along the way. cheers

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