19/23 April Dili East Timor
Arrived in Kupang (West Timor) very early and decided to drive straight to Dili
(East Timor). When we were 50kms from the border when we asked the way to East
Timor and motorcyclist seemed to understand and indicated for us to follow him.
We expected him to goes a few hundred metres and show us the main road but he
led us off down some a maze of roads getting smaller and rougner. What to do? We
clearly weren't on the main road but we won't be able to find our back so there
was no alternative but to continue following. About 20kms later we arrived at a
police post which turned out to be the border, he had bought us on a short cut!
Money changed hands. No real problems at the border but both sides wanted to
look in every bag (this had never happened before) which was a bit of a pain.
Found somewhere to stay in Dili and texted Trent and Jacqui (NZ couple whose
bikes we hope will share the container) saying where we where, five minutes
later they rocked up. They were staying just down the road and we arranged to
sort the container the next morning.
The next 2 1/2 days were spent cleaning the car for Oz quarantine inspection. We
jet washed everywhere including taking the wheels and sumpguard off. 40 years of
muck was removed from the chassis rails! We even removed the seats and carpets
amd resprayed the floor. I am sure the car hasn't been cleaner for 40 years.
There were no problems getting the car and the 2 bikes in the container but one
of the container eyes snapped when the straps were tighened - quick prayer that
nomore would go onroute.
The next day the 4 of us hired a 4WD to drive up the mountain which was said to
have great views. Problem was it started raining and the clouds rolled in so we
did see much!
Dili is full of UN people (mostly Portugese and Oz). They each seem to have a
big white 4WD with UN on the side. They have bizare shops here full of imported
goods and other strange things - one ever had a complete saddle. All week there
have been demonstrations by the church. Apparently the PM (who is a Muslim - a
bit strange in a 100% catholic country) has decreed that religion won't be
taught in schools anymore. The demos seem very tame but lots of the streets are