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Atauro Island 4W6A Press Release

Bernd, VK2IA, arrived from Sydney on Wednesday afternoon in Darwin. With 5 members of the team now at Stuie’s house we had a meal and talked about the work ahead of us over the next 12 days. It had to be an early night for all as we needed to be awake at 3am to leave Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia for a 0545 hrs local time flight with Air North to Dili, East Timor. It was in the departure lounge that the team met with the Timor-Leste, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, our team leader VK8NSB Stuie had the chance to inform him of our DXpedition to Atauro Island. The team had a group photograph with the Prime Minister before boarding our flight.

The team were met at Dili International Airport by Kim & Tony our local support team and driven to the Hotel where the team members had various pre DXpedition shopping and logistical matters to deal with. The final two members (9M6DXX & 9M6XRO) of the team are still in Bali, Indonesia prior to leaving for Dili on Friday. We had a meeting with Kim & Tony to discuss all the duties that we would need them to assist us with in getting the fuel over to the Island daily for the generators along with supplies for the team. The Hexbeam was delivered to the hotel, and the generators have been checked over for collection later.

This afternoon has been a stressful time for the team – by mid afternoon it became obvious that there was a problem developing with the customs / shipping office. Our team leader headed down to the offices with Kim our contact and after some long negotiation and hours later Stuie pulled through for us. The generators collected and together with the 500 kgs of communications gear, everything was transported to the boat ready for an early start Friday.

On Friday the roads will be closed for the Tour de Timor race, this will add a few problems to our transport plans, but we are on target to get two stations on air dark by Friday. This IS a third world country and you must all realise that problems do and will arise; problems can can be overcome with diplomacy and being cool headed. The sewers here run along the side streets and into the sea and yes we do have to walk through that to get to the boat, something worth thinking about when you are trying to work us in the forthcoming pile ups. We do ask you to follow the DX Code.

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