“You need to see traditional West Timor” insisted Frenky, our local agent, who was keen to show us around and make us feel at home in his country, never wanting to leave again. So, he organised a day trip for Pascal, Marie-Laure and us, passing through various villages and featuring some of the traditional activities still practised by the locals.
We reached the middle of West Timor up to the Fatumnasi Mountains where we met the chief of the village, visited his hut full of pigeons, and Pascal inspected his festering leg wound from a motorbike accident. Along the way, we also saw how they cultivate rice and produce palm sugar in Lasiana, sang Country Roads and Let it Be accompanied by a master Sasando player in Oebelo, ate local colourful pastries for morning tea in Oesao, were served an array of dishes in small plates, food previously stacked on display by the window, in a reputed Masakan Padang restaurant where officials from the Agriculture Ministry were also having lunch in Soe, and took pictures of the grand views from Tomenas.
A lot of driving and not enough physical activity if you ask Thomas, but that gave us a good overview of the Indonesian way of life, and, as a bonus, spared us the showers that fell on Kupang all day.