Bridge to Bridge travel blog

Karen & David's luggage,you can guess whose is whose


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

blocked off.

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