Ramelau is the highest mountain in Timor Leste. It is revered by the Timorese as shown by its local name Tatamailau, which means grandfather of all. Last weekend I climbed Mt Ramelau along with some other interns. I’m very glad I did this because this was 50% of my Timor-to-do list.
Ramelau is situated somewhat near the center of Timor Leste. It took us 5 hours in total to get from Dili to Mt Ramelau. The road kept getting progressively bumpier as we drove away from Dili but the scenery kept getting prettier.
We got dropped off at the point from the vehicles were not allowed anymore. From there, it was a 4 hour trek to the top. We decided we’ll trek 3.5 hours to a small church, rest there for the night, and then trek to the top of Mt Ramelau half an hour before sunrise.
Mt Ramelau has few residents because of its historical and religious significance. There is a statue of Mather Mary at the summit which attracts annual pilgrims. The trek has many gateways (natural and man-made) which are considered to be ‘gateways to heaven’. It was above the clouds, so…
We started trekking late afternoon, so we also managed to catch the sunset.
We camped for the night in a small church. It was too cold to get any sleep so we just huddled around the bonfire. At 5 AM we trekked up to the summit to catch the sunrise.
We stared at the sunrise, and Timor for another hour, until we were thoroughly frozen and decided to hike down.