Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the ‘far side’ of Atauro. The little known beach shack ‘Tua Klunga’ was built by the village folk of Adara with the assistance of the same people who constructed the more well known and well visited ‘Tua Ko’in’ aka the Eco Lodge in Villa.
It is the most simplest accommodation you could think of, built to the side of one of the most idyllic fishing villages you could imagine.
It’s best to contact Senhor João da Costa (the Chefe de Aldea) on 7334891 with a text message in Tetun or simple English at least one full week before you wish to arrive. There is no mobile phone reception in Adara (and no fixed lines) but many of the village folk, including Senhor João will walk to Beloi every Saturday where there is reception and he will receive your message.The easiest way to get to ‘Ta Klunga’ is to arrange to meet Senhor João at the Beloi market on a Saturday afternoon (easily done if you catch the Nakroma ferry across to Atauro from Dili on the regular Saturday morning service). You will then be able to join many of the village folk for the trek home once the market winds up around 3pm.
The trek is moderately difficult, take plenty of water and expect to work up a sweat but the views form the top will make it all worthwhile.
Barry, at Belio Lodge, has maps you can borrow if you wish to trek across without a guide or else with a few stops to ask for directions, setting out on the path from directly behind the Beloi market, you may be able to find your own way. It’s an island after all, and the village is on the coast…..
The easiest way to get to ‘Ta Klunga’ is to arrange to meet Senhor João at the Beloi market on a Saturday afternoon (easily done if you catch the Nakroma ferry across to Atauro from Dili on the regular Saturday morning service). You will then be able to join many of the village folk for the trek home once the market winds up around 3pm.The trek is moderately difficult, take plenty of water and expect to work up a sweat but the views form the top will make it all worthtwhile.
Barry, at Belio Lodge, has maps you can borrow if you wish to trek across without a guide or else with a few stops to ask for directions, setting out on the path from directly behind the Beloi market, you may be able to find your own way. It’s an island afterall, and the village is on the coast…..
COSTS:One person, one night’s accommodation costs $5. Senhor João’s family will happily provide 3 very basic meals per day for an extra $2.50.
This includes coffee and snacks for morning and afternoon tea. The cooking is very simple, usually rice with some seasonal vegetables, the local pumpkins are very flavorsome especially when cooked in coconut milk and you can expect some fish once a day – the locals do no seem to discriminate very much with the type of meals for the time of day so don’t be too surprised to be served fish with rice for breakfast!
Freshly picked coconuts from the trees taste fantastic after an afternoon snorkelling in the sea.
AMENITIES:It’s a shack and there are few amenities.
The shack itself is locally made, wonderfully positioned, large enough for 3 people inside and 2 on the verandah at most, although it would seem to lend itself to a romantic weekend away or an individual seeking some solace.
It’s the perfect place for reading a book, finishing writing that book, practicing your yoga, your free diving, your tetun, or just getting some really good sleep.
There is a newly built pit toilet 100 metres away. Senhor João’s family is the place to shower – local cold water shower from a bucket is the norm but there are plans to make a running water shower closer to the beach on their way.
The shack itself is wonderfully positioned to the far left of the town, nestled into a grove of palm trees from which the place takes its name. ‘Tua Klunga’ means the sound of palms – the ever present ocean breeze rustling through the palm branches above provides the perfect soundtrack.
Are the waves lapping at the shore applauding the palm branches or is it the other way around…?
A rolled out mat and a pillow serve as bedding – as the shack is raised on stilts natural air-conditioning finding its way through the floors and walls is a feature years away from being replicated by any 5-star hotel…
From my experience, visibility as good as I’ve ever seen it. The village is nestled in a small bay, along the entire length is great snorkeling from 3-10 metres until it reaches a massive and dramatic drop off.
Some currents depending on the tide.
No seaweed (it seems to be over running many other dive spots on Atauro), a huge variety of fish, the occasional green turtle.
Very few people have dived or snorkelled here so who knows what else you may find…
There are a couple of options; walk back the way you came, continue around the island for further exploring or return back to Beloi or even Dili via boat.
The village has one large outrigger canoe fitted with an outboard motor. This option is not for the faint-hearted as the sea usually gets quite rough as you are rounding the end of the island. You will get wet and most likely scared as well.
Try to remind yourself they make this trip a couple of times a week and keep your eyes open for dolphins, whales or other sea creatures…
Contact: João da Costa (Chefe de Aldea) 7334891