Two things that we rarely did while having a trip: Hiking and watching the sunrise. And this day, we were going to do both! Parabéns! (means ‘congratulations’ in Portuguese)
We obviously are not a hiker because we often and always have a trip by motorbike, except in Singapore because we love the metro system and the country is really pedestrians friendly. And I’m not such an early riser, to be honest. But for this last day at Timor-Leste, we decided to hike to the top of the Cristo Rei statue to watch the sunrise. Trust me, it was so much fun!
As we mentioned before on our first-day story at Timor Leste, we went to Cristo Rei beach and we were taking pictures of Cristo Rei statue from the beach below. Across the beach, there were stairs to go up to the statue. We saw it slightly and confirmed it in a second that that path would be perfect for a diet program exercise. Well, although we were not on a diet, we assumed a hike up to the statue activity as our last to-do list while on Timor-Leste.
We start to climb the stairs at 5 A.M. Dili in the morning was pretty quiet and it was a little bit dark because of only a few street lights there. We parked our motorbike in the parking area, with a worry of missing it because nobody was there. Like, who will be responsible for our vehicle and helmet while we are leaving? It’s even not ours, we rented it… Anyway, we could only put our trust to Him and left the motorbike as it is.
While climbing up the stairs, there were 14 Stations of the Cross written in Bahasa Indonesia. Cristo Rei statue was officially unveiled by Suharto in 1996 as a gift from the Indonesian government to the people of East Timor, which was at the time still a province (source: Wikipedia).
It was exhausting but thank goodness, the stairs wasn’t really steep to climb. We arrived at the top around 5:30 A.M. It was still dark! We could hear the sound of birds chirping around the statue.
We enjoyed taking pictures from the top. On the east side, we could take pictures of Dolok Oan Beach, and on the west side, we could take pictures of the city. It was worth the climb, I guess. Oh, you can also climb the stairs from Dolok Oan beach, but it might be a little bit steep from there.
Just like any other places in Timor-Leste as usual, not many people around. There were a couple of people that we met when we were resting near the statue; they were having a morning jog. No one brought the camera for sure. They were used to this heavenly view, huh?
At 6:30 A.M. we went down back to the city. We were looking for a breakfast, called ‘nasi kuning’ or yellow rice in English. It was pretty famous in here, they say. The rice color is literally yellow because of the turmeric and coconut milk, usually served with egg (boiled, omelet, sunny side up), fried fish, fried chicken and/or vegetables. It was kind of hard to find a street vendor that selling this nasi kuning; it made us turning around the city twice until we found it. We were having fun at taking pictures of the city but we forgot to take pictures of the meal. Our bad.
Nothing much we did until our flight at 2 P.M. (but we have to go to the airport at 11 A.M.)
One of our bucket lists finally fulfilled, and now we are preparing for our next trip. Thanks for reading!
Also read our previous post for full story of our journey: Lovely Dili – Day 1, Bon Dia, Dili! – Day 2, A Road to Baucau, Timor Leste – Day 3, Let Me Be(ach) with You – Day 4, Unexpected Trip at Timor-Leste – Day 5.