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Travel reports

A lessen in TOLLerance

Dili, Thursday 24th of July. Day 18 in the capital of Timor-Leste.

Our car is here.
After waiting more than 10 days for the vessel to finally land at the port there is still a container wall between us and our ride.

Miserable organisation, ignorance and bad communication as well as false information given by the shipping company TOLL and the staff at the port took the last bit of good mood. Frustration and anger are the only things to describe our current mood.
The following log shall give an idea about our findings and happenings of the last days.

Monday, 07/07/2014:
car delivered to Toll in Darwin port;
our agent as well as his supervisor assure us the vessel will be on time (estimated time of arrival: 14th or 15th of July);
no information about the vessel (like flag, ID number, ...) have been provided at all

Tuesday, 08/07/2014:
arrival in Dili by plane

Sunday, 13/07/2014:
after long online search: found Team Spirit on a vessel tracking website: did not even leave Darwin yet, so delay is for sure;
request by e-mail to agent in Darwin about vessel status remains unanswered til 18th of July

Wednesday, 16/07/2014:
note from Paul and Angie from Darwin: Team Spirit leaves Darwin today

Friday, 18/07/2014:
at noon: we spot a vessel from the waterfront which proves to be the Team Spirit;
went to port in the afternoon to ask the local staff for the landing time of the Team Spirit: after the third forwarding to another person we get the answer: 'tomorrow afternoon', meanwhile the vessel is 5 days late according to the original vessel schedule;
e-mail received from Toll: port fee can be paid at Toll office in town

Saturday, 19/07/2014:
at the port in the afternoon: Team Spirit still not landed;
information from port staff saying port will be closed on Sunday;
furthermore: another vessel is currently lying at the peer which has to be load first before the next vessel (hopefully ours?) can land;
meanwhile the 'Reliance', the second vessel of Toll serving Dili, arrived in Dili and lies off now

Sunday, 20/07/2014:
in the evening: Team Spirit still not in port;
all peers vacant

Monday, 21/07/2014:
went to Toll office by taxi (5 $US), paid port bill, went to customs at port (5 $US), got Carnet stamped, back again to Toll (5 $US), picked up delivery order, documents now ready and complete for picking up the car, information given by Toll: Team Spirit will be unloaded today in the evening and during night because the port will be closed the next two days due to a government conference currently taking place in Dili;
back to port (5 $US);
5pm at the port: met an employee of Toll: yes, car can be picked up in about two hours;
7pm at the port: Team Spirit still not at the port;
9pm at the port: intense activity going on at the port but no ship at any of the peers;
providing false information we gain access to the port area; no one to be found in the Toll office;
we ask an employee of the port passing by who tells us that the Reliance will be unloaded first because it has cargo on board urgently needed for the government conference, but also has to handle engine problems;
furthermore he confirms the port will be closed until Thursday;
back at the backpackers: booking extended the fourth time;
e-mail send to Toll: reported dissatisfaction with inadequate information and processing

Tuesday, 22/07/2014:
neither Team Spirit nor Reliance made it to the port;
in the afternoon: it seems containers are unloaded from the Reliance as put on a 'swimming port' moved next to the Reliance

Wednesday, 23/07/2014:
afternoon: suprisingly we find the Team Spirit in the Dili port although everyone told us the port would still be closed that day;
unloading is taking place, according to Toll staff we can pick up the car in the following morning;

Thursday, 24/07/2014;
8am: we are at the port, have to wait till 9am, meanwhile we are staring at 19 containers containing mostly cars, one of it is supposed to be ours, we wonder why the car actually was transported in a container although the delivery documents are reading 'loose freight'
9.30am: after asking in the office why unloading is not starting we get told that exactly THIS is the problem now: the manifests are not correct any more - updated manifests have to be requested from Darwin, this could take up to three days they say;
after extending our booking at the hostel for the fifth time we call the person in charge in Darwin to make Darwin providing correct manifests to Dili (asap);
4pm: after five calls during the day costing almost 10 $US of mobile phone credit in total we receive the manifest;
4.30pm: we are in the Toll office at the port and print our the manifest, the staff is surprised about us having it already, now they say a correction fine has to be paid by the company to the customs first before discharging could start - this again could take a day or more;
5.15pm: we contacted the Darwin office about this situation who - according to their reply - would take care of this;
our next visit at the port is scheduled for tomorrow (25/07/2014) 10am;

Considering all these circumstances we now hope (which is about the fifteenth new hope for something in connection with our car and Toll) to be able to pick up the car until Friday afternoon. Documents are ready. But we feel totally pranked by Toll.

Team Spirit

We cannot expect to never again have anything to do with Toll!

It seems we have to reschedule the Myanmar crossing (which is the only kind of 'appointment' we acutally have) once more.
And additionally we are getting more an more sceptical about reaching our final destination (Germany) by Christmas time because eventually this is not the 'Rally Dakar'...