What an Amazing World!

Simon, our driver who is originally from the Indonesian city of Atambua in West Timor, transports us from Baucau to the small town of Venilale in the hilly interior of Timor-Leste. The roads are in a fairly good condition, but with few vehicles passing by it is not surprising to find them so.

Moments after I fall asleep, Simon suddenly pulls over, but we are not yet in Venilale. Johnny comes out of the car and walks across the road, showing us hollow limestone chambers on a hillside. Gua Tujuh – which means seven caves in Bahasa Indonesia – is an artificial cave system built by Japanese troops when they occupied Portuguese Timor during World War II. Strategically positioned to the north of Australia, the Japanese aimed to gain control of the entire island of Timor from the Dutch – who occupied the western part of the island – and…

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